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Kevin Harvick Sweeps NASCAR Cup Series Races At Michigan

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

BROOKLYN, MI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kevin Harvick is motoring towards the end of the NASCAR Cup Series on a roll after sweeping this weekend’s races at Michigan International Speedway.

Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Busch Light Apple Ford led a race-high 90-laps and beat Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin by .093-seconds to claim his 55th career Cup Series victory.

On Saturday Harvick led a race-high 92-laps as he beat Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski by .284-seconds to claim his fifth win of 2020.

Harvick was so dominant he led 182-of-312 total laps on the 2-mile “D” shaped oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

“We are really happy for everybody at Ford that our Busch Light Apple Ford was really fast again today,” said Harvick. “I had a little trouble in the end in three and four, Denny was really good down there. We were able to do a little defensive driving and keep him back there and make it to victory lane in the end.”

“We geared up our car a little bit more towards the end of this race versus the beginning,” said Hamlin. “It kind of showed up that way. We did a good job of adjusting. Once we got to the front, we were able to show the speed we had. We had the speed pretty much all race, but we were kind of mired back between third and sixth. Happy we were able to give it a charge there. Just came up a little short.”

Harvick’s sweep meant that Ford Motor Company gets to keep “The Heritage Trophy” that MIS gives to the winning manufacturer.

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“Well, Michigan is overall an important race for everybody at Ford, Roush-Yates, really all the teams,” said Harvick. “They make you well-aware of the importance of the Heritage Trophy and how much they want to keep it in their lobby.”

“Really glad that we can bring it back to Dearborn,” said Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director. “We’ve had a lot of success through the years with I think 39 race wins before this weekend, so notch two more onto that, more than any other manufacturer. And across a lot of different teams. I think Jack Roush is the winningest team owner here. Doug Yates and Roush-Yates, they build a lot of power into the engines. Definitely need that here in Michigan with the cars wound up like they are. Really got it done today, this weekend, with those engines and Ford Performance.”

Harvick leads the NASCAR Cup Series points standing with Keselowski in 2nd place.  Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson and JGR’s Erik Jones are on the “playoff bubble” 26-points behind William Byron for the last playoff spot available via points.

A lot can change in the next four races especially since the next race is the inaugural Cup Series race on the road course at Daytona International Speedway on August 16.

Michigan Saturday Results

Michigan Sunday Results

NASCAR Cup Series Points

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NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr Victorious At Martinsville Speedway

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James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Martin Truex Jr passed teammate Denny Hamlin on lap 485 and went on the win the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.  The victory was Truex’s second of 2021 and 29th of his Cup Series Career.

“He (Hamlin) started getting tight, our car was getting better and better,” said Truex of the late race pass. “We were able to take advantage of it. Really happy. For whatever reason our car really turned on when the lights went down. Always good when a plan comes together and it works out the way you hoped it would.”

Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott finished second, his seventh top-10 finish in 13-races at Martinsville and fourth top-10 of 2021.

“Really, really hard-fought second actually for us,” said Elliott. “We were not great, but had some, I guess our strong suit was kind of early on in the run, then really faded hard, too hard there in the latter part of a run. But we never got one of those super long runs, which is probably a good thing for us because we were struggling on that end. But, yeah, proud we could fight back.”

Hamlin settled for third after leading the most laps in the race (267).

Three Rivers Karting

“Had a really good car on the short run all day,” said Hamlin. “Got great restarts. Was fast for 25, 30 laps. Then it seemed like guys would start catching us. Unfortunately it was just too many laps there at the end that we couldn’t hold those guys off.”

Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson finished fourth and fifth respectively, giving HMS three cars in the top 5.

The race featured 18-lead changes among 7-drivers and was slowed by 15-caution flags for 105-laps.

The next NASCAR Cup Series race is April 18, 2020 at Richmond Raceway.

Martinsville Cup Results

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NASCAR

Josh Berry Gets First Career Xfinity Series Win At Martinsville Speedway

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James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs for the lead on lap 223 and stayed out front for the final 27-laps to get his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway.  The victory was the first career victory for Berry in 13 Xfinity Series starts.

“Man, I wanted to win so bad for these guys,” said Berry referring to his No. 8 JR Motorsports team. “They’re such a great group. I knew this would be a good opportunity to win. (Crew chief) Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race. The car was good, and we just kept tweaking on it. The tires were pretty worn out there at the end. I was struggling a little bit with wheel-hop. This is just unbelievable.”

Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson finished second and picked up a $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, which eased the pain of being the runner-up.

“One hundred thousand dollars richer,” said Gragson. “Great 1-2 finish for our team at JR Motorsports. I really wanted to win there, but I was having to protect the bottom to keep the guys behind me from moving me out of the way. I couldn’t open up my arc the way I needed to and make speed.”

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Daniel Hemric finished in third position followed by Gibbs, who faded to a fourth place finish.  Gibbs’ teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth. Jones was the leader Friday night when storms red-flagged the event after completing 91-laps.

The race featured 13-lead changes among 9-drivers.  The race was slowed by 12-caution flags for 75-laps.

The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is April 24, 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Martinsville Xfinity Results

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NASCAR

Mother Nature Wins At Martinsville Speedway

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Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is throwing a wrench into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series Schedules at Martinsville Virginia.

Friday’s Xfinity race is under a red flag following 92-laps of the scheduled 250-lap event after rain showers put an end to NASCAR’s attempt to get the event finished.  Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is scored as the leader of the race.

NASCAR has rescheduled the remainder of the event for Sunday at Noon ET.

Three Rivers Karting

The Cup Series race was red flagged on lap 43 because of showers.  JGR’s Denny Hamlin is scored as the leader.  Hamlin has led 38-laps.  Team Penske’s Joey Logano started on the pole position and led the other laps.

NASCAR will restart the event on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

Per NASCAR rules, an event is considered official after half of the scheduled distance has been completed.

Both races will be broadcast live on FS1, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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