Harvick dominates rainy race
Kevin Harvick was flanked by his Stewart-Haas Racing team on the victory lane stage when a photographer yelled at the group, “What are you holding up?”
“Four!” they shouted in unison.
Harvick, team owner Tony Stewart and the rest flashed their fingers Four Horsemen-style and let out a “Wooo!” before they uncorked the champagne and sprayed anyone in their sights.
The checkered flag collection keeps growing at SHR, and Harvick is leading the way.
Harvick dominated a race interrupted by rain and drove to his Cup Series-high fourth victory of the season Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
“I feel like we’re playoff-racing on a weekly basis,” Harvick said.
He reeled off three straight wins at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix earlier this season and now has the 60-pound Miles the Monster trophy to add to his collection.
His brought the trophy home following his first win at Dover in October 2015, only to have his young son break the arm on the fiberglass creature that was never cleaned from the victory celebration.
“I’m bringing it home but do not break the arm off of this one,” Harvick said he told his son. “It’s hard to explain to people why his playroom smells like beer.”
Harvick swept the first two stages and easily chased down SHR teammate Clint Bowyer in the third for the lead after a 41-minute delay. Bowyer, who won this season at Martinsville to snap a 190-race losing streak dating to 2012, had asked for a rain dance when the race was stopped with 80 laps left.
Once it resumed, Harvick waltzed his way into victory lane in the No. 4 Ford. He led 201 of 400 laps and stormed past Bowyer and took the lead for good with 62 laps left.
“You knew he was going to be the one that you were going to have to beat for the win,” Bowyer said.
Harvick’s 41st career Cup victory gives him a stout nine top-10 finishes and eight top-fives in 11 starts this season. He held four fingers out the window as he took a victory lap on the mile concrete track and won at Dover for the second time.
Bowyer was second. Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.
SHR had three cars in the top five with Harvick, Bowyer and Busch.
“Three cars in the top five says a lot about where we are as a company,” Harvick said. “It’s fun racing your teammate.”
SHR has five wins this season and has never won more than six in its 10-year history.
“It’s days like today that builds momentum for the organization,” Stewart said. “It’s about evolution.”