Kevin Harvick wins Brickyard 400; Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman clinch playoff spots

Daniel McFadin
NBC Sports

Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to secure his second win at the historic track, 16 years after his first, the longest stretch between wins in the race’s history.

Harvick, who started from the pole, led 118 of 160 laps and outran Joey Logano and Bubba Wallace over the final nine laps to score the win, which is his third of the year.

“This is great, just got to say thanks to all the fans,” an emotional Harvick told NBC at the start-finish line. “Can’t tell you how much coming to Indianapolis (meant) to me as a kid. I watched Rick Mears win Indy 500’s and got to be around him as a kid and he was my hero. So coming here and winning here is pretty awesome.”

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Harvick has won three of the last seven races after going winless in the first 19 races of the season.

“I don’t know if we had the best car, but we had the fastest car,” Harvick told NBC in Victory Lane. “We gave up the lead there on one of those restarts and then we came and pitted, and the caution came out, and it worked our way.  We’ve given so many away just because of circumstances here, and the way that the caution flag fell today (with 32 laps to go) actually worked in our favor.  It gave us control of the race and we were able to keep control of the race and not make any mistakes and here we are in Victory Lane at one of the greatest places on earth to race.”

The top five was completed by William Byron and Clint Bowyer.

Ryan Newman finished eighth. He and Bowyer clinched the final two playoff spots. Daniel Suarez finished 11th and came four points shy of the top 16 in the standings.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

More: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Bubba Wallace earned his second career top-five finish, which follows his second-place finish in the 2018 Daytona 500. It is his first top 10 this year … William Byron earned his third career top five, all of which have come this season … After starting from the rear in a backup car, Denny Hamlin finished sixth … Paul Menard finished 10th, giving him consecutive top 10s for the second time this year.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Martin Truex Jr. finished 27th after he suffered significant damage in a pit road collision early in the race … Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones were eliminated in a hard wreck with two laps left in Stage 1Kyle Busch experienced his first DNF of the year after suffering a mechanical failure with 13 laps left in Stage 2Jimmie Johnson‘s playoff hopes and race ended when he was involved in a multi-car wreck on a restart with 55 laps to go. It is his first DNF of the season … After having a top-five car, Kyle Larson was eliminated when he spun on his own and wrecked with 32 laps to goAlex Bowman wrecked on the ensuing restart, spinning from contact with Denny Hamlin in Turn 2 and hitting a tire barrier on the backstretch.

NOTABLE: The last 16 Brickyard 400’s were all won by drivers 30 years or older. Kevin Harvick, now 43, was the last driver under the age of 30 to win (in 2003).

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “It’s been a year of progress, a year of learning, a year of a lot of things. I’m more rookie this year than I’ve ever been. An ice cold Coke never tasted so good after these first 26 races.” – Ryan Newman to NBC after clinching a playoff spot.

WHAT’S NEXT: The playoffs begin with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7 p.m. ET Sept. 15 on NBCSN.

 

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