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Even Mother Nature Can't Stop Harvick at Dover

AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway
Sunday, May 6, 2018

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Kevin Harvick poses with Miles the Monster following his win at Dover on Sunday
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

The only thing that could have stopped Kevin Harvick on Sunday at Dover International Speedway was a sudden rainstorm. 

And even that failed. 

Eight laps after Sunday's AAA 400 restarted from a rain delay of more than 40 minutes, Harvick passed Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer for the lead and pulled away to win his fourth race of the season by a whopping 7.450 seconds. 

All told, Harvick led 201 of the 400 laps, swept all three stages and reestablished his No. 4 Ford as the dominant car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 

"It's fun racing your teammate," said Harvick, who won for the second time at the Monster Mile and the 41st time in his career, breaking a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin and taking sole possession of 18th all-time. 

In fact, Harvick and Bowyer are close enough to have ribbed each other throughout the weekend. 

"I'm thinking, oh, my gosh, I've talked so much trash to him all weekend, and he's already told me that the karma train is going to run me over when it started raining," Harvick quipped. "But we had a fun weekend, just because when you come to Dover, I feel like when you come to Dover, I feel like Clint is going to be one of the people that you have to beat just because of the fact that he's been so good for so many years here.   

"To be able to race with Clint for a win is    for me, like I told him, I said, ‘If I'm not going to win this race today, you need to win this race, so get up there and go after it, because at that point we didn't know what was going to happen during the (final) pit stop (after the rain). To be able to race with him is a lot of fun, and I'd much rather keep it within the house than racing with somebody else." 

Bowyer was relegated to second place after leading when NASCAR red-flagged the race for rain after 320 laps. But the rain abated, the track dried and Harvick made short work of his teammate after the resumption. 

"If we'd had a chance to adjust our car in clean air…" Bowyer said. "He (Harvick) had that luxury all day long. I knew, man. (My car) took off, and it was turning really, really good. And it kind of needs to be tight and work into that. I knew when it took off as good as it did and was rotating as good as it did that I was in trouble. 

"I just got way too loose. But it's fun to be running like this again and competitive and up front and in the limelight." 

Daniel Suarez finished third, a personal best on an oval track and matching his career-best third-place run last year at Watkins Glen. Martin Truex Jr. came home third, and Stewart-Haas driver Kurt Busch ran fifth, placing three SHR drivers in the top five in a race for the first time in the organization's history. 

Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson completed the top 10.  

Kevin Harvick lead the field in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Larson won the pole on Friday but didn't start there. When his car failed pre-race inspection for the third time on Sunday, car chief David Bryant was ejected from the track, and Larson was sent to the rear for the start of the race, joining Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman, whose cars also were three-time losers in the inspection process. 

Larson spent the majority of the race a lap down after drawing a penalty for an uncontrolled tire on a Lap 97 green-flag pit stop. The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet finally returned to the lead lap as the beneficiary on Lap 272 but couldn't fight his way through traffic late in the race. 

Series leader Kyle Busch exited the race after the drive shaft on his No. 18 Toyota broke on Lap 272, causing the seventh caution of the race. Though he finished 35th, Busch retained the points lead by 22 over 13th-place finisher joey Logano and by 40 over Harvick. 

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 2 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 400 201 60 Running
2 12 14 Clint Bowyer Haas Automation 400 40 45 Running
3 7 19 Daniel Suarez STANLEY Toyota 400 0 46 Running
4 3 78 Martin Truex Jr. 5-hour ENERGY Toyota 400 0 37 Running
5 9 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation 400 0 38 Running
6 8 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 400 108 48 Running
7 10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 400 0 30 Running
8 14 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Duracell Ford 400 0 33 Running
9 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet 400 0 38 Running
10 1 42 Kyle Larson DC Solar Chevrolet 400 0 27 Running
11 13 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 400 0 26 Running
12 6 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 400 0 32 Running
13 18 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 400 1 27 Running
14 17 24 William Byron AXALTA Chevrolet 399 0 23 Running
15 5 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Little Hug Fruit Barrels Ford 399 24 22 Running
16 23 1 Jamie McMurray GEARWRENCH Chevrolet 399 0 21 Running
17 25 95 Kasey Kahne Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevrolet 399 0 20 Running
18 11 20 Erik Jones XYO Network Toyota 399 0 19 Running
19 22 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 398 0 18 Running
20 16 37 Chris Buescher Kroger Clickist Chevrolet 398 0 17 Running
21 28 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 397 0 16 Running
22 29 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 397 0 15 Running
23 15 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 397 26 14 Running
24 30 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 396 0 13 Running
25 26 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. Eckrich Chevrolet 396 0 12 Running
26 27 3 Austin Dillon AAA Chevrolet 395 0 11 Running
27 32 38 David Ragan Shriners Ford 395 0 10 Running
28 31 15 Ross Chastain Florida Watermelon Chevrolet 393 0 0 Running
29 24 32 Matt DiBenedetto Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.Net Ford 392 0 8 Running
30 35 23 Gray Gaulding Earthwater Toyota 386 0 7 Running
31 33 0 Landon Cassill RNH ELECTRIC Chevrolet 385 0 6 Running
32 34 5 Reed Sorenson VIP Racing Experience Chevrolet 382 0 5 Running
33 21 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 377 0 4 Running
34 20 21 Paul Menard Motorcraft Ford 354 0 3 Drivetrain
35 4 18 Kyle Busch Pedigree Toyota 271 0 19 Accident
36 37 51 Cody Ware KeensBuildings.com Chevrolet 244 0 0 Accident
37 36 99 Derrike Cope StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 144 0 1 Accident
38 38 72 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 20 0 1 Engine


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