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MENCS: Harvick wins 5th of season in dramatic fashion

(MRN) Kevin Harvick charged past race leader Martin Truex Junior following the night’s final restart and kept his Number-4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in front over the final two laps to notch his fifth victory of the season on Saturday at Kansas Speedway. It was a seven-car accident along the frontstretch that produced the final caution, sending cars to pit road for service and setting the stage for Harvick’s late charge to victory. He was sixth in the running order when the green flag flew but quickly began marching toward the front. Harvick powered past Truex with a strong outside move and beat the 2017 champion to the checkered flag by thirty-nine one-hundredths of a second to notch his second straight victory of 2018 and the forty-second of his career – three of which have come on the mile-and-a-half Kansas City oval.

Joey Logano finished third with Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin completing the top five. Larson won the second stage and led a race-high 101 laps before late contact with Ryan Blaney took him out of contention for the victory. Darrell Wallace Junior was the highest-finishing rookie, in twenty-third place.

Matt Kenseth returned to competition for the first time since stepping away from the sport at the end of last season. He was collected in the seven-car accident that brought out the night’s final yellow flag and finished thirty-sixth among thirty-eight cars.


Top 10 Finishers in the K-C Masterpiece 400


1. Kevin Harvick (Pole) 79

2. Martin Truex Jr. (7) 13

3. Joey Logano (9) 6

4. Kyle Larson (22) 101

5. Denny Hamlin (6) —

6. Paul Menard (11) —

7. Erik Jones (12) —

8. Kurt Busch (8) —

9. Aric Almirola (4) —

10. Kyle Busch (3) —


After sweeping both races at Kansas Speedway last season, Martin Truex Junior finished second in his bid for three straight victories there and remains well behind his championship pace of a year ago. Through the first twelve races of the 2017 campaign, he had two wins and was leading the standings – five points ahead of Kyle Larson. In 2018, Truex has one victory and has slipped to eighth in the standings – 127 points behind leader Kyle Busch, who finished tenth at Kansas … Saturday’s race included just thirteen lead changes among seven drivers, tying the track record for the fewest in each category … There were six cautions for thirty-one laps. Three of the yellow flags were packed inside the final thirty laps.

NASCAR CUP SERIES Unofficial Point Standings After 12 Races


1. Kyle Busch 503 —-

2. Joey Logano 491 -12

3. Kevin Harvick 484 -19

4. Brad Keselowski 396 -107

5. Kurt Busch 393 -110

6. Clint Bowyer 386 -117

7. Denny Hamlin 380 -123

8. Martin Truex Jr. 376 -127

9. Ryan Blaney 365 -138

10. Kyle Larson 356 -147


With five victories through the first twelve races of the season, Kevin Harvick has taken on a championship posture that seemingly has him on pace to claim his second title in five years. In 2014, “The Closer” didn’t win his fifth race until the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After twelve races that year, Harvick had two wins but was mired in twelfth place in the standings – eighty-seven points behind leader Jeff Gordon. Through the first dozen races of 2018, Harvick is third in the standings – just nineteen points behind first-place Kyle Busch … Harvick’s victory is Ford’s first win in Kansas Speedway’s spring race since the track began running two events annually in 2011.

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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