By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports activities NASCAR Author
RICHMOND, Va. — Kevin Harvick went 687 days and not using a NASCAR Cup Series win.
Now he has two victories previously eight days.
Harvick led the ultimate 48 laps Sunday at Richmond Raceway to develop into the primary back-to-back winner of the NASCAR Cup season as he rode the momentum from his Michigan victory every week in the past.
Kevin Harvick holds off Christopher Bell to win at Richmond
Kevin Harvick holds off a late surge from Christopher Bell to go back-to-back with a win Sunday at Richmond.
The victory got here because of a late surge that had Harvick’s automobile coming to life and foiling robust days by Joey Logano (222 laps led), who light to sixth, and Christopher Bell and Chris Buescher, who threatened however settled for second and third.
“The cars have been running good week in and week out, and you see that we have a lot better understanding of what’s going on with how we adjusted on the car after the first run and were able to get our car handling a lot better,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver mentioned.
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Listed below are three takeaways from Richmond:
Buescher, Bell and Hamlin come up quick
Buescher’s earlier greatest at Richmond was fifteenth, but there he was, difficult Harvick for the lead with about 35 laps remaining. He ran so laborious that his tires light close to the top of the race, and he wound up third.
Buescher entered the race needing to win one of many three ultimate regular-season races to make the playoffs.
“It’s a little easy with this format to feel like third place doesn’t matter, but it’s nice to be close and to keep progressing and getting better as we’ve gotten through the summer,” he mentioned.
Bell was coming quick with slightly bit more energizing tires however could not catch Harvick, and Denny Hamlin was fourth after a gradual ultimate pit cease.
“They’re all great athletes, and most of them are veterans,” Hamlin mentioned of his pit crew. “They had a 90 percent day. Nine out of 10 stops were great. It was just the last one that we needed to be good was the extra long one.
“You lose by 3.8 seconds, and you’ve got a pit cease four-to-five seconds too lengthy, that’s the distinction between successful and shedding.”
Blaney holds serve on Truex
With Harvick being a repeat winner, there have been 15 winners with two races left in the regular season (Watkins Glen and Daytona). That will leave, at most, one spot in the 16-driver playoff field for a winless driver on points.
Ryan Blaney, who is second overall in the standings but winless, finished 10th Sunday but was strong enough in the first two stages to increase his points total over seventh-place Martin Truex Jr. from 19 to 26.
Richmond generally would have been considered Truex’s best chance among the final three races to win.
“You by no means know what can occur,” Blaney said. “You may have a foul day subsequent week or the subsequent two weeks. You may have a brand new winner a type of weeks. You simply by no means know. I don’t really feel higher or worse about it.
“It’s just one race down. I’m proud of the effort we had, and then try to do the same thing next week.”
Elliott nonetheless confused
Chase Elliott began twenty third and completed fifth Sunday.
The place did he enhance from the place he was in qualifying to the place he completed the race? Elliott wasn’t so certain.
“We started the race, and our car actually drove really good,” Elliott mentioned. “I was pretty pleased with it. Our car started driving worse there toward the end, and we kept moving forward. So I’m just confused here. I don’t understand what it takes to go fast and be successful at this racetrack.”
Elliott must earn 4 factors within the subsequent two races (a Thirty third-place end is 4 factors) to clinch the regular-season title.
Bob Pockrass has spent a long time protecting motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports activities in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting Information, NASCAR Scene journal and The (Daytona Seashore) Information-Journal. Observe him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. In search of extra NASCAR content material? Join the FOX Sports activities NASCAR Publication with Bob Pockrass!
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