Brad Keselowski came away victorious on Sunday in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 after a late penalty under caution plagued Kevin Harvick and removed him from the lead. While Kevin Harvick dominated the first two stages and lead 292 out of the 325 total laps, the final stage was nothing short of entertaining.
Kevin Harvick lead the field to green in his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion and was joined on the front row by Ryan Newman and his No. 39 CAT Chevrolet.
As the green flag pit stops cycled through halfway into stage one, Kevin Harvick regained the lead after both Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Dewalt Toyota) and Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) suffered speeding penalties when they were too fast entering pit road.
Kevin Harvick dominated stage one and had zero complaints about his Jimmy John’s Ford.
Stage One Winner: Kevin Harvick
The second stage was much of the same for Harvick as he was able to stay out front for almost the entirety of the stage. Brad Keselowski didn’t take any chances when he had a loose wheel when he came down pit road with 52 laps to go in the second stage, surrendering a lap to the leader, Kevin Harvick and falling back to 17th place.
With just a few laps left in the second stage, Denny Hamlin radioed to his team that he “had a bad vibration and thought something was broken” on his No. 11 FedEx Toyota. He brought the car down pit road and his team informed him that his track bar had failed and he had to take it back to the garage.
Stage Two Winner: Kevin Harvick
With 160 laps to go, Harvick maintained the lead on the stage three restart with Chase Elliott and Ryan Newman rounding out the top three.
Chase Elliott was running second place when he suffered a speeding on pit road penalty, which sent him back to 12th place. The penalty was the 12th out of a total 13 speeding penalties for the drivers after suffering just one in the 2016 race at Atlanta.
Clint Bowyer cut a tire with 46 laps to go and got into the wall in turn four, bringing out the fifth caution of the race.
Austin Dillon was running in the fifth position and lost power to his No. 3 DOW Chevrolet with just 16 laps remaining, sending him to the garage.
On the final pit stop of the race, Harvick was caught speeding on pit road, which sent him to the rear of the lead-lap cars and handed the lead over to Kyle Larson.
With seven laps remaining, Larson gave up the bottom of the race track and Keselowski took advantage of the mistake. Keselowski would go on to win the Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta by a margin of .564 seconds.
Harvick ended the day leading 292 of the 325 laps, but due to his speeding penalty, under caution on Lap 311, was unable to lead the final and most important lap
After his win on Sunday, Keselowski will now be third in the standings, just six points behind Harvick.
Note: The No. 47 car of AJ Allmendinger was found to have three loose lug nuts in post-race inspection. If penalties are applicable, they will be announced mid-week.
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Larson
- Matt Kenseth
- Kasey Kahne
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
- Kurt Busch
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
- Jamie McMurray
P16: Kyle Busch, P17: Danica Patrick, P19: Jimmie Johnson, P30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., P32:Austin Dillon, P35: Ryan Newman, P38: Denny Hamlin
A look into next week:
The Kobalt 400 at Los Vegas Motor Speedway
My pick to win: Jimmie Johnson
My sleeper pick: Austin Dillon