Harvick Dominant in First Half of Michigan Doubleheader

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Kevin Harvick won the Firekeepers Casino 400 from Michigan International Speedway on Saturday afternoon in the first half of NASCAR’s doubleheader weekend.

Harvick dominated on Saturday, winning both stages on his way to collecting his fifth checkered flag of the season.

For the first time in a points-paying event NASCAR implemented a choose cone, allowing drivers to choose which lane they would restart in.  Chase Elliott was able to use this to get to the front after a string of late cautions, and he and Harvick battled for the lead over multiple restarts.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Harvick said he nearly showed Elliott the way to victory on one of those late restarts.

“I kind of showed my hand there a little early when I passed [Elliott] on the outside,” Harvick said.  “I knew that’s what I didn’t need to happen to us…I just had to keep him from going by us.”

Harvick won with the same car that went to victory lane at Indianapolis in July, and he will use it again in the second half of the Michigan doubleheader on Sunday.

Harvick said bringing a fast car to one of his best tracks helped him pick up the victory.

“This was an awesome car to drive today,” Harvick said.  “I think that the confidence is high when we come to Michigan; it’s a racetrack that’s been really good for us.”

Brad Keselowski finished second after failing to get by Harvick over the final two-lap shootout.

Keselowski said he and the rest of the field have work to do to compete with Harvick on Sunday.

“[Harvick] was just so fast,” Keselowski said.  “I’ve got a couple small ideas but…we’ve got some work to do.  Kevin’s just super-fast on the straightaways, but doesn’t really give up anything in the corner.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Denny Hamlin
  7. Chase Elliott
  8. Joey Logano
  9. Bubba Wallace
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Erik Jones
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Christopher Bell
  14. William Byron
  15. Matt DiBenedetto
  16. Aric Almirola
  17. Matt Kenseth
  18. Tyler Reddick
  19. Clint Bowyer
  20. Chris Buescher
  21. Alex Bowman
  22. Corey LaJoie
  23. Ty Dillon
  24. Daniel Suarez
  25. Ryan Preece
  26. JJ Yeley
  27. Quin Houff
  28. Ryan Newman
  29. Michael McDowell
  30. Reed Sorenson
  31. Austin Dillon
  32. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  33. Timmy Hill
  34. Cole Custer
  35. Garrett Smithley
  36. John Hunter Nemechek
  37. Brennan Poole
  38. James Davison
  39. Joey Gase