|Date: May 17, 2020
Event: The Real Heroes 400
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.336-mile oval)
Format: 293 laps, broken into three stages (90 laps/95 laps/108 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/1st (Running, completed 293 of 293 laps)
Point Standing: (1st with 218 points, 28 points ahead of Alex Bowman)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: William Bryon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):
● Kevin Harvick started sixth and finished fourth and earned seven bonus points.
● Harvick was in second-place when the competition caution came out on lap 30. Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a half-pound out of the right-rear tire.
● After early on saying he had a vibration and the alternator possibly not working, both were no longer a problem by the first pit stop.
● Told crew chief Rodney Childers, “The car is good. We’re in the ballpark.”
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-185):
● Started first and finished fourth and earned seven bonus points.
● On lap 93, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
● Harvick brought the No. 4 Busch Light #YOURFACEHERE Ford Mustang to pit road on lap 112 for four tires and fuel. Came in first and exited in first.
● On lap 126, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Came in first and left first again.
● Harvick pitted on lap 157 for four tires and fuel. Team attempted to add tape to the grill but it wouldn’t quite stick. Came in first and exited first again.
● On lap 174, Harvick pitted for four tire, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Had a small issue on the stop and lost seven spots. Will restart eighth.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 186-293):
● Started fourth and finished first.
● On lap 187, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Said the No. 4 Busch Light #YOURFACEHERE Ford Mustang is “Loose, loose, loose.”
● On lap 216, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Came in fourth and left first.
● Harvick pitted on lap 255 for four tires and fuel. Came in first and left first.
● On the final restart on lap 260, Harvick had a really good battle with second-place Alex Bowman, but managed to get past him after a lap and went on to win by 2.154 seconds.
● Harvick’s victory in The Real Heroes 400 was his 50th career NASCAR Cup Series win and it ties him with NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for 12th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list.
● This was Harvick’s 27th NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014.
● This was Harvick’s first victory of the season and his second victory in 24 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Alex Bowman was 2.154 seconds.
● Harvick’s victory marked the 73rd overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 56th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win, its first of the season and its second at Darlington.
● Harvick is responsible for SHR’s previous win at Darlington (2014 Southern 500).
● This was SHR’s milestone 20th NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when former driver Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Ford’s milestone 30th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Darlington. NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner won Ford’s first race at Darlington in 1966.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-two. He finished second in the series’ last race March 8 at Phoenix Raceway.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-five at Darlington. He finished fourth in the series’ previous visit to the track last September.
● Harvick has never finished outside the top-10 at Darlington since joining SHR in 2014, a streak that began with a win in the 2014 Southern 500.
● Harvick finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and fourth in Stage 2 to earn seven more bonus points.
● Harvick led twice for a race-high 159 laps to increase his laps-led total at Darlington to 740.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 57 laps.
● Only 24 of the 40 drivers in The Real Heroes 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after Darlington with a 28-point advantage over second-place Bowman.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light #YOURFACEHERE Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do. I didn’t think it was going be that much different and then we won the race and it’s dead silent out here. We miss the fans, just gotta thank everybody from Busch Light, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Mobil 1, Jimmy John’s, everybody from Ford who helps on this car. It’s a pretty big honor to win 50 races in this deal and I just have to thank all my team guys and everybody for what they’re doing. This Dr. Josh Hughes is one of my really good friends. I spend a lot of time with him and have seen how this whole pandemic has affected our front line workers in person on a weekly basis, so thank you, Josh. We’re thinking of you. I want to say hi to DeLana and my kids at home. I guess we’ll bring home the trophy.”
You now have 50 wins.
“It doesn’t seem real and I think as you look at Darlington I think as you look at the things that happened this weekend I really thought that it would definitely play into our hand just because our guys are so good at hitting the car off the truck for the most part. We put a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of studying, a lot of meetings and just have to thank everybody at the shop who has built all these cars and just, man, I’m excited. It is weird just because there’s nobody up there, and you can go to Busch Beer.com and maybe have your face on the car next week, up here on the hood. I’m speechless.”
You race on Wednesday again. What do you have to do to go back-to-back?
“It’s gonna be a little bit different. Hopefully, we have at least one more race before we come back with the XFINITY cars. It’ll be night, so I think you definitely have to figure out what you want to do with your car.”
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Darlington on Wednesday, May 20 for a 500-kilometer race. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.