Sunday August 7, 2022 by Julie Bouchard
Kevin Harvick ended a 65-race winless streak on Sunday by winning the NASCAR Cup Series race at the oval Michigan International Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing No.4 Ford driver also secured his presence in the end-of-season playoffs, a place that was only guaranteed to him with a victory. This success is the veteran driver of the series’ first since September 19, 2020, at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Although the start was delayed by more than an hour because of the rain, once the race started, 12 of the 37 starters had to give up following clashes and racing incidents. A neutralization on lap 160 of the 200 scheduled changed the hierarchy of this 400-mile race. The yellow flag had been waved at the drivers after Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell collided on the front stretch, in the middle of pit stops then made under green flags. Chastain had just rejoined the track after the pits, and the duo were engaged in a four-car battle for the lead before the stops.
During the disqualification, Harvick stayed away from those incidents to grab the lead, while Denny Hamlin was quickest in the pit stops. But the driver of the Toyota No.11 of Joe Gibbs Racing was going to receive a penalty when a member of the team of his team had crossed the low wall of the pits before the immobilization of the car, which is prohibited by NASCAR rules.
Bubba Wallace (Toyota / 23XI Racing), qualified on pole position, then restarted alongside Harvick at the time of the restart. Harvick took the lead and as no more neutralizations came to regroup the field, he rushed to his 59th victory in the NASCAR Cup series.
Wallace finished second ahead of Hamlin, and the Fords (Team Penske) of Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman and Ty Gibbs completed the Top 10. For youngster Ty Gibbs (Toyota/Joe Gibbs Racing), this is his first Top 10 at only his third start in the series.
The biggest collision of the day occurred on lap 25, when Austin Cindric’s Ford hit the wall at turn 2, taking eight cars with it, just as the race had just been restarted following a famous flag. yellow “competition”. Initially, it was JJ Yeley who, losing control of his Ford No.15 after contact in turn 1, spun in the middle of the peloton and thus triggered the accident which ended the race of Yeley, Cindric, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Harrison Burton.
A regular Xfinity Series rider, Noah Gragson had a strong start to the race and was in the top five halfway through. But the part-time Kaulig Racing driver lost control on lap 108, coming out of turn 2, sliding against the outside wall.
For the complete classification of this race, Click here. For the summary in pictures, see the video below…