Kevin Harvick Enjoys Another Dominant Victory In Las Vegas

(NASCAR Wire Service)

By Reid Spencer NASCAR Wire Service

Kevin Harvick celebrates following victory in the Monster Energy Cup Series Pennzoil 400 Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – If you thought last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta was an aberration on old asphalt, think again.

Kevin Harvick was every bit as dominant on the newer asphalt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racking up impressive numbers in winning Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, the third event of the season.

In winning his second straight race and his second at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick finished 2.906 seconds ahead of runner-up and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. Third-place finisher Kyle Larson was more than 13 seconds back. Paul Menard in ninth-place was the last driver on the lead lap.

Harvick won for the 39th time in the Monster Energy Series and the 100th time over all three of NASCAR’s national touring series combined. He is tied with Tim Flock and Matt Kenseth for 19th on the all-time Cup victory list and third among active drivers.

The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford also took the series lead by three points over second-place Joey Logano and four over third-place Ryan Blaney, who started from the pole on Sunday and led one lap—the first.

“As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general, it has been really good since I started here at SHR,” said Harvick, a Bakersfield, California, native. “They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are. It’s great to win on the West Coast for me.”

Harvick led 214 of 267 laps, most ever by a Las Vegas winner. His fastest lap was more than .4 seconds better than the quickest circuit posted by anyone else. Harvick won the first two stages of the race with relative ease, picking up two Playoff points in the process.

With all that, the outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion after Harvick lost three spots on pit road under caution at the end of Stage 2. He restarted fourth on Lap 167, fell back to fifth and didn’t regain fourth-place until he passed Chase Elliott on Lap 172.

“We had some trouble getting through traffic there,” Harvick said. “That was our worst run, as far as where the car was. I don’t know if it was just the car, tire set, handling, whatever it was. We were just stuck in traffic and needed to come make an adjustment.”

After two more cautions—the first for Jamie McMurray’s brush with the backstretch wall on Lap 176, the second for a hard crash off Turn 4 that eliminated Kurt Busch and Elliott on Lap 183—Harvick lined up beside eventual seventh-place finisher Logano for a restart on Lap 195 and rocketed into the lead through the first corner.

At that point, it was game over. Kyle Busch led laps 225-230 after Harvick made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 225, but that was Busch’s last glimpse of the lead. Harvick reclaimed first place after Busch came to pit road on Lap 230 and stayed there the rest of the way.

“There was no catching that 4,” Kyle Busch said. “They were on rails today… Certainly would have liked to have been able to run down the 4 or catch the 4 and put on a race, but they were just so far out there and so far the class of the field all day long, I don’t think anybody was really keeping up with them.”

Notes: Cole Custer finished 25th, three laps down in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut… Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in 21st, also three laps down… Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. started fourth and finished fourth. Blaney completed the top five.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, March 4, 2018

1. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
2. (13) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
3. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.
4. (4) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
5. (1) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.
6. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
7. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
8. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.
9. (12) Paul Menard, Ford, 267.
10. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.
11. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 266.
12. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266.
13. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266.
14. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 265.
15. (28) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 265.
16. (20) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 265.
17. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 265.
18. (11) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 265.
19. (21) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264.
20. (24) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264.
21. (26) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Chevrolet, 264.
22. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 264.
23. (23) David Ragan, Ford, 264.
24. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 264.
25. (30) Cole Custer(i), Ford, 264.
26. (18) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 263.
27. (17) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 263.
28. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 262.
29. (33) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 262.
30. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 262.
31. (36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 255.
32. (37) * Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 253.
33. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, Engine, 195.
34. (6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, Accident, 183.
35. (3) Kurt Busch, Ford, Accident, 183.
36. (22) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 176.
37. (15) Michael McDowell, Ford, Engine, 100.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 141.756 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 49 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory: 2.906 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 4 for 29 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Blaney 1; K. Harvick 2-38; M. McDowell 39-49; K. Harvick 50-121; Kyle Busch 122-125; K. Harvick 126-163; J. Logano 164-176; M. Truex Jr. 177-182; J. Logano 183-194; K. Harvick 195-224; Kyle Busch 225-230; K. Harvick 231-267.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Harvick 5 times for 214 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 25 laps; M. McDowell 1 time for 11 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 10 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 6 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,78,42,12,22,2,41,9,18,21
Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,12,42,22,18,2,78,41,9,21


  1. What a boring race,Hard to watch , thank god for a great golf turnament …

  2. Yes Bob the race was very boring but how about Kevin Harvick. That car is freaky fast. What’s with the air guns the teams lease them on a lottery system and they have built-in telemitry to tell if a lug nut is loose. The first two races they’ve had something like 16 guns fail in one way or another didn’t hear much about them today but give me a break built-in telemitry sounds expensive to me and what happens if this lottery system has a team receive 2 bad guns and it costs them the win?

  3. Race dude. says

    Agree with you both . How come Trump didn’t jump in and keep that 6th over the wall guy from losing his job. LOL

  4. wmass01013 says

    You would think with Tracks 1/2 empty, removing seats, tv ratings way down year after year, sponsors leaving every year, Monster keeps delaying option to stay as main sponsor of Cup Series, 36 and 37 teams entered last 2 races that The Great CE0 of Nascar Brian France would be front and center to try to change all the BAD going on and make some positive changes and show some desire about the sport,BUT HE IS NOWHERE to be found!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. darealgoodfella says

    Only one Chevrolet in the top 10?

  6. Hard to watch. I had plans earlier in the day so the timing was good but when I checked in there was zero action, nothing. Used to watch most races, travel to several a year but no more. The early season of NASCAR used to keep me entertained until the local tracks open in Spring but now I just look forward to our local tracks getting started. I wonder how things will start to improve, Daytona was a bunch of wrecks, Atlanta and Vegas were good cures for insomnia!

  7. With seemingly no interest in monster cup at all maybe our short track racing isn’t in the dire straits that we all think it is.Just an early spring thought!

  8. Hank Hill says

    I like how NASCAR focuses out of their primary sponsor Monster girls when at the winners circle. If I were monster I would of not came back to support this crap.

  9. Found this ESPN article from 2/28, I was quite surprised to see Preece on this list.

  10. “but he turns 28 later this year”
    So what?

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