MENCS: Harvick notches first win at Sonoma, first win of 2017

(MRN) Kevin Harvick finally found his way to Victory Lane on Sunday, stretching his fuel mileage over the final forty laps and leading the last twenty-two trips around Sonoma Raceway’s two-mile road course for his first Cup Series win of the season. The 2014 champion started twelfth and led briefly early in the second half of the race, before taking command down the stretch to record his thirty-sixth career victory but first since October of last year at Kansas Speedway. Clint Bowyer finished second, giving Stewart-Haas Racing a one-two sweep. Brad Keselowski ran third with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch completing the top five. Pole winner Kyle Larson led only the first nine laps and finished twenty-sixth, one lap off the pace. Daniel Suarez was the highest-finishing rookie, in sixteenth place … Martin Truex Junior won the first stage and led a race-high twenty-five laps. But he was sidelined by engine failure and finished thirty-seventh in the thirty-eight-car field … Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson notched his first stage win of the year, leading the field home in the second segment of Sunday’s race. He went on to finish thirteenth, one of twenty-two drivers running on the lead lap with Harvick at the checkered flag … Sunday’s race featured thirteen lead changes, which broke the track record of twelve that had occurred three times before – most recently just last year … There were ten different race leaders, erasing the old mark of nine that had been recorded four times before – most recently in 2014 … Sunday’s race included six cautions for twelve laps.

NASCAR CUP SERIES

Top 10 Finishers in the Toyota/Save Mart 350

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. Kevin Harvick (12) 24

2. Clint Bowyer (13) —

3. Brad Keselowski (23) 17

4. Denny Hamlin (14) 11

5. Kyle Busch (4) 3

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10) —

7. Kurt Busch (17) —

8. Chase Elliott (8) —

9. Ryan Blaney (7) —

10. Jamie McMurray (2) 1

RACE NOTES …

Ford had a stellar day at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, sweeping the top three finishing positions with race winner Kevin Harvick, runner-up Clint Bowyer and third-place Brad Keselowski. The manufacturer has now won two of the last four Cup Series races in Northern California, with Harvick’s win following Carl Edwards’ victory in 2014 … Harvick is the ninth different winner in the last nine races contested on the Northern California road course … Of the thirty-eight cars that started Sunday’s race, thirty-five of them were running at the finish.

NASCAR CUP SERIES

Unofficial Point Standings After 16 Races

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER

1. Kyle Larson (2) 659 —-

2. Martin Truex Jr. (2) 646 -13

3. Kevin Harvick (1) 548 -111

4. Kyle Busch 542 -117

5. Brad Keselowski (2) 519 -140

6. Chase Elliott 509 -150

7. Jimmie Johnson (3) 483 -176

8. Jamie McMurray 477 -182

9. Denny Hamlin 476 -183

10. Joey Logano (1) 434 -225

11. Clint Bowyer 427 -232

12. Matt Kenseth 423 -236

13. Ryan Blaney (1) 415 -244

14. Kurt Busch (1) 389 -270

15. Ryan Newman (1) 367 -292

16. Erik Jones (R) 358 -301

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1) 355 -304

18. Trevor Bayne 337 -322

19. Daniel Suarez (R) 334 -325

20. Austin Dillon (1) 322 -337

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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