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MENCS All Star Race: Harvick can’t stop the winning

(MRN) Kevin Harvick took control of the race early in the final stage and kept his Number-4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in front over the final ten laps to claim victory on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s Harvick’s second win in the annual non-points race and it came exactly eleven years after the first one … on May 19th, 2007.

He wins a cool one million dollars and becomes the seventh driver with multiple victories in the thirty-four-year history of the race. Harvick started fourth in the twenty-one-car field, dominated the opening stage and then reasserted that dominance after drivers lined up for the final ten-lap dash to the checkered flag. His margin of victory over runner-up Daniel Suarez was thirty-two one-hundredths of a second.

Joey Logano grabbed third place with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott completing the top five. Pole winner Matt Kenseth failed to lead a lap and placed fourteenth in the final running order.

The All-Star Race primarily features race winners from the previous season and included stage winners from the Monster Energy Open preliminary race – Suarez, Alex Bowman and overall winner A-J Allmendinger along with Elliott, who was the top vote getter in fan balloting. All-Star runner-up Suarez had the highest finish among that quartet.

The race included twelve lead changes among seven drivers.

There were eight cautions for seventeen laps.

MONSTER ENERGY OPEN

Top Finishers / * Advanced to All-Star Race

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. A-J Allmendinger * (9) 2

2. Erik Jones (2) —

3. Chase Elliott * (4) 3

4. Paul Menard (5) —

5. Chris Buescher (11) —

6. Aric Almirola (Pole) 11

7. William Byron (R) (6) —

8. Ty Dillon (14) —

9. David Ragan (10) —

10. Michael McDowell (12) —

ALL-STAR NOTES …

Kyle Busch finished ninth on Saturday night in his bid to win back-to-back All-Star Races, leaving Davey Allison and Jimmie Johnson the only two drivers to do so … With his victory, Kevin Harvick is the seventh driver with multiple wins in the annual non-points race. The others are Allison, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Mark Martin … Harvick’s victory was an early birthday present for team owner Tony Stewart, who turned 47 on Sunday … In the five years since Johnson put consecutive victories together in 2012 and 2013, there have now been five different winners in the All-Star Race: Harvick, Busch, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. McMurray finished thirteenth on Saturday, Hamlin fourth and Logano ran third.

FINAL RESULTS

NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE

DRIVER STARTED LAPS LED

1. Kevin Harvick 4th 36

2. Daniel Suarez 19th

3. Joey Logano 10th

4. Denny Hamlin 14th 7

5. Chase Elliott 21st

6. Jimmie Johnson 11th

7. Kyle Larson 16th 6

8. A-J Allmendinger 20th

9. Kyle Busch 7th 19

10. Kasey Kahne 17th

11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2nd 5

12. Austin Dillon 9th

13. Jamie McMurray 12th

14. Matt Kenseth Pole —

15. Ryan Blaney 6th

16. Ryan Newman 13th

17. Martin Truex Jr. 5th 17

18. Kurt Busch 15th

19. Clint Bowyer 3rd

20. Brad Keselowski 8th 3

21. Alex Bowman 18th

Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick

Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 3 Winner: Kevin Harvick

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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