Harvick holds off Bell at Richmond for second straight Cup win

After a 65-race winless streak, Kevin Harvick is now 2-0 and has raced his way into contention for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series championship.

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Harvick cycled back into the lead after a late-race round of green-flag pit stops but spent the final four laps furiously working to hold off Christopher Bell, who was on 12-lap fresher tires.

Bell got close but Harvick edged him by 0.441 seconds at the checkered flag to win Sunday’s race at Richmond (Va.,) Raceway.

“Yeah, boys! Great job! Great job!” Harvick exclaimed over his team radio as he became the first driver this season to win consecutive races. Harvick snapped a 65-race winless streak with his victory last weekend at Michigan.

Sunday’s win was also the 60th of his career and the 46-year-old native of Bakersfield, Calif., is now just one of 10 drivers who have won at least 60 Cup races in their career.

“You just don’t know. Like I said last week, the cars have been running good week-in and week-out and you see a lot better understanding of what’s going on with how we adjusted on the car through the first run and we’re able to get our car handling a lot better,” Harvick said. “I think as it got dark, the race track really came to our (car).”

Asked about the approach of Bell in the final laps, Harvick said, “Well, I knew he was coming, but I forgot to shift down the front straightaway the last time. I was not paying attention and he got closer than he should have.

“I made a mistake there a couple laps doing the same thing. I wasn’t shifting on the back and I was shifting in the front. There was a lot going on, and made a couple mistakes, let him get too close.”

With two straight wins coming just before the start of the playoffs, Harvick was asked about the importance of momentum in the playoffs.

“We’re just going to keep doing the things that we’re doing,” he said. “I think we just have to keep an open mind about things and keep progressing and keep understanding the car, understanding what we could have done better today, understanding what we could have done better in qualifying yesterday and do the same thing over and over.”

Chris Buescher ended up third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Chase Elliott ended up fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Bell said of the runner-up result: "I love whenever the races stay green and you’re able to play your cards a little bit different. Really proud of everyone on this No. 20 crew to be able to come back from how we started.

"Very tough weekend for us. We didn’t practice very well and we didn’t qualify very well. And the guys did a really good job getting this (car) up front and where we needed to be at the end.”

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Stage 3

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars all pit with Kyle Larson first off pit road.

On the restart on Lap 240, Larson was followed by Logano, Hamlin, Harvick and Almirola.

Entering Turn 3 on the restart, Ross Chastain got into Kyle Busch and both spun out to bring out a caution. Erik Jones and Truex also received damage in the incident.

When the race returned to green on Lap 246, Larson was followed by Logano and Hamlin.

Logano powered around Larson on the outside on the restart to reclaim the lead.

Bell spun off Turn 4 on Lap 251 to bring out the fifth caution of the race just as Hamlin moved into the lead.

A handful of lead-lap cars – Blaney, Hamlin, Bubba Wallace and Truex – all pit. Logano inherited the lead and led the way on the restart on Lap 257.

On Lap 274, Harvick got around Larson and moved into second, 2.5 seconds behind Logano.

Blaney was the first to kick off a round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 294. Logano and Harvick followed on Lap 295. Hamlin, who was among those that pit under the most recent caution, moved into the lead.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 305, Logano returned to the lead. He was followed by Harvick, Buescher, Elliott and Almirola.

With 75 laps remaining in the race, Harvick had gotten to back of Logano’s car was attempting to pass for the lead.

On Lap 334, Harvick went to the outside of Logano and grabbed the lead for the first time in the race.

 

Buescher was the first of the lead-lap cars to hit pit road on Lap 340 to start the final round of green-flag pit stops as teams took on new tires and fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 353, Harvick returned to the lead. He was followed by Buescher, Logano and Elliott.

With four laps to go, Bell moved into second and tried to run down Harvick for the lead.

Stage 2

Logano patiently held Larson at bay to take the Stage 2 win, his third stage victory of the 2022 season.

Hamlin was third, Harvick fourth and Blaney ended up fifth.

During the break between Stages 1 and 2, the lead-lap cars all pit with Chastain first off pit road.

On the restart on Lap 79, Chastain was followed by Larson, Hamlin and Blaney.

Logano got a big jump on the restart to move into second and then went to the outside of Chastain and grabbed the lead on Lap 81.

Logano kicked off a round of green-flag stops on Lap 124 as teams took on new tires and fuel. Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 134, Logano returned to the lead followed by Larson and Hamlin.

With 80 laps remaining in the second stage, Almirola – who started 32nd – entered the top-five. Meanwhile, Truex had dropped outside of the top-10 complaining of an issue with his rear tires.

On Lap 158, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was about to drop to pit road for a green-flag stop but he missed the entry, went back up on the track and clipped Truex’s No. 19 Toyota.

 

When he finally did pit, Stenhouse was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to serve a pass-through.

Hamlin and Harvick were among the first to start another round of green-flag stops on Lap 172 to get tires and fuel. Bell was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon and had to serve a pass-through.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 174, Logano returned to the lead followed by Larson, Hamlin and Harvick.

With five laps to go in the stage, Larson had cut Logano’s lead to under a second as Hamlin ran third.

Stage 1

Chastain held off a fast-approaching Hamlin to take the Stage 1 win.

Larson ended up third, Brad Keselowski fourth and William Byron rounded out the top-five.

Larson started on the pole but Chastain grabbed the lead in Turn 2 and led the first lap.

On Lap 4, Tyler Reddick spun in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 after contact with Ty Dillon to bring out the first caution.

The race resumed on Lap 8 with Chastain still out front.

With 40 laps remaining in the stage, Chastain maintained a 2-second lead over Hamlin while Larson had dropped to third.

With 15 laps to go, Chastain’s lead over Hamlin remained at 2.3 seconds as Larson and Keselowski battled for third.

Hamlin began closing on the rear bumper of Chastain with five laps to go.

Harrison Burton and B.J. McLeod both started the race from the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led Retirement Points Bonus
1 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 400 3:03'27.035     55   47  
2 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 400 3:03'27.476 0.441 0.441     35  
3 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 400 3:03'29.527 2.492 2.051     38  
4 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 400 3:03'30.874 3.839 1.347 22   50  
5 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 400 3:03'33.707 6.672 2.833 1   35  
6 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 400 3:03'39.187 12.152 5.480 222   45  
7 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 400 3:03'40.240 13.205 1.053     31  
8 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 400 3:03'40.883 13.848 0.643     34  
9 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 400 3:03'43.013 15.978 2.130     29  
10 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 400 3:03'45.751 18.716 2.738 1   38  
11 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 400 3:03'48.585 21.550 2.834     32  
12 2 United States Austin Cindric Ford 399 3:03'28.874 1 Lap 1 Lap     25  
13 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 399 3:03'30.278 1 Lap 1.404     24  
14 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 399 3:03'32.313 1 Lap 2.035 11   40  
15 6 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 399 3:03'39.387 1 Lap 7.074     29  
16 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 399 3:03'46.645 1 Lap 7.258     21  
17 42 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 398 3:03'28.045 2 Laps 1 Lap     20  
18 1 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 398 3:03'32.930 2 Laps 4.885 80   29  
19 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 398 3:03'35.508 2 Laps 2.578     18  
20 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 398 3:03'43.951 2 Laps 8.443     20  
21 31 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 398 3:03'44.621 2 Laps 0.670     16  
22 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 398 3:03'44.723 2 Laps 0.102 6   15  
23 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 397 3:03'34.182 3 Laps 1 Lap     16  
24 16 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 397 3:03'34.542 3 Laps 0.360        
25 21 United States Harrison Burton Ford 397 3:03'36.346 3 Laps 1.804     12  
26 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 397 3:03'36.593 3 Laps 0.247 2   13  
27 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 397 3:03'41.723 3 Laps 5.130     10  
28 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 397 3:03'42.698 3 Laps 0.975     9  
29 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 395 3:03'28.705 5 Laps 2 Laps     8  
30 77 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 395 3:03'41.296 5 Laps 12.591        
31 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 394 3:03'38.399 6 Laps 1 Lap     6  
32 15 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 393 3:03'43.154 7 Laps 1 Lap        
33 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 392 3:03'44.159 8 Laps 1 Lap        
34 51 United States Cody Ware Ford 391 3:03'47.230 9 Laps 1 Lap     3  
35 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 240 1:52'16.042 160 Laps 151 Laps   Accident 2  
36 45 Ty Gibbs Toyota 180 1:21'54.975 220 Laps 60 Laps   Engine  

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