Kevin Harvick overcame early race trouble to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 for the second consecutive season.
In the first stage of the race, Harvick suffered a flat tire that forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop. The stop put him a lap down early, but he continued to make adjustments on his car and by the third stage he was back on the lead lap.
“We just had a really fast car all weekend,” Harvick said. “Our car handled really well today, and with the multiple lanes, we were able to run all three lanes pretty well and make our way through traffic. So just really proud of everybody on our Mobil 1 Ford, everybody from Busch and Hunt Brothers and Jimmy John’s and everybody back at the shop from Haas Automation and Stewart‑Haas Racing, just put a really fast car on the racetrack and we were able to capitalize on it, and that’s always fun.”
Harvick’s crew made the right call on his last pit stop and the most important thing was they put enough fuel in the car. As other cars had to stop for fuel in the final 10 laps, Harvick managed his fuel and had just enough to win the race.
The driver of #4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas has now won three times at MIS during his career.
The win capped an impressive season for Ford Performance at Michigan International Speedway. The manufacturer swept both races after Joey Logano won the FireKeepers Casino 400 in June. Ford has posted four consecutive wins at its home track, with Harvick taking two of them.
Ford Performance will take the Michigan Heritage for the fourth straight MENCS race at MIS. The manufacturer will proudly display the trophy at its corporate headquarters just down the road from the track, and celebrate with its employees.
“We want to win every race but we definitely want to win here at Michigan,” Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance said. “To have the Heritage Trophy, we display it proudly and it will go back and be in Dearborn first thing in the morning for our executives to see there and we will put it on display for our employees to see. It is kind of neat the way the trophy works. You bring it out here and give it back at the beginning of the race and it is kind of neat to take it right back at the end of the race. It is great to do it four races in a row. We want to keep that streak going.”
Michigan driver Brad Keselowski started on the pole and looked like he was the car to beat early in race. The first stage of the race saw two drivers make unscheduled pit stops as Jimmie Johnson and Harvick both had tires go flat.
But Martin Truex Jr. was the talk of the first round. He started at the back of the field after he failed prerace inspection. He quickly moved through the field and was in second place on the last lap behind Denny Hamlin. Truex got a run to get around Hamlin to the take the green and white checkered flag.
Keselowski spun with four laps remaining in stage two to bring out the caution flag and set up a one-lap dash to the finish. Kyle Busch took advantage to hold off Truex. The action was behind the leaders as Aric Almirola, Daniel Hemric and Austin Dillon were in a three-car accident coming to the green and white checkered flag.
Erik Jones, from Byron, Mich. brought his car home 18th and Keselowski finished 19th.