Kevin Harvick avoided the pitfalls of an eventful Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rising out of an overtime restart to score his fourth NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
Driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford, Harvick set the pace for 68 of the 161 laps in the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400. The outcome, which ended in long shadows near sunset after multiple delays at the start, was Harvick’s third win at the 2.5-mile Brickyard and the 53rd of his Cup Series career.
Matt Kenseth snagged second place in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet, marking his first top-five result since 2017. Stewart-Haas’ Aric Almirola came home third with Brad Keselowski fourth and rookie Cole Custer rounding out the top five — a career best.
Denny Hamlin appeared to be headed to his fifth win of the season and his first triumph at the Brickyard when a tire let go just seven laps from the end of regulation, sending his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota out of the lead and hard into the Turn 1 retaining wall. Hamlin emerged unhurt, but was saddled with his first DNF of the season.
The start was delayed 55 minutes by a series of lightning strikes within an 8-mile radius of the speedway. Then the race was just 15 laps old when the red flag emerged for a multicar pile-up on pit road that injured a tire changer for Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford.
That tangle ended the race early for Justin Allgaier, Martin Truex Jr., Corey LaJoie and Ryan Preece. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell were also involved. The event was stopped for 11 minutes, 17 seconds to attend to Team Penske’s Zach Price, who was taken to a local hospital.
Allgaier was making his first Cup Series start since 2016 as a fill-in for Jimmie Johnson, who missed the race after revealing a positive COVID-19 test on Friday. Allgaier’s No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet absorbed too much damage to continue and was scored 37th on the final rundown.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Once again nobody in the fantasy league was riding with the race winner, Freaky Fast Harvick. So this prestigious award will go back into the proverbial closet til Kentucky.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
After the checkered flag waved in the bedroom community of Speedway, IN, which is where IMS happens to be located, there was noticed an odd couple bobbing, weaving, and generally acting a fool in the neighborhood. This unusual pairing was identified as Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head and Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. Both females drew the attention of the local constabulary because of their outlandish behavior! I am not sure if scoring 42 points for Chase Elliott’s hard charging and his 11th place finish was the genesis, or maybe they both were hitting the Catnip extremely hard today!
Jim, aka Chiefy, seems to be rebounding finally from his flirtatious relationship with our newly redecorated Outhouse. I think that slightly earlier in the segment he was getting way too comfortable with those Outhouse digs! This week, however, he racked up a nifty 40 points from Matt Kenseth’s fantastic second place finish! And, as the Jefferson’s was sing, he’s movin’ on up!
Likewise, Carlton The Doorman is on a late segment run towards a podium finish and a paycheck from the ol Redneck Fantasy League! This week The Doorman locked in 38 points to his scoring bucket. All race he was riding shotgun with ol Rowdy. Ol Kylie Busch hung out in the top ten for the duration of the race from Speedway, IN, and when the checkered flag flew Rowdy slipped his hot rod into 6th place.
Also having a reasonable day at the race track was the most unlikely trio of Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Carole, aka Rudy, as well as Dan The Numbers Cruncher. All three of these players were able to salvage a decent race, logging 27 points a piece. Even though they all were rewarded the same number of points, it came from two different drivers. The Vegas Super Star was covertly cheering on the driver formerly known as The Outlaw, aka Kurt Busch. However, Rudy and The Numbers Dude were fully supporting Joey Sliced Bread Logano.
Rounding out the top five scorers this week is Snoopy Dawn. Snoopy was enamored with the wild and crazy dude, more commonly referred to as Clint Bowyer. For her loyalty this week she received 23 points.
This week everyone changed zip codes, that is to say that nobody remained in their previous comfy positions.
The single biggest mover this week is Jeremy The Coach. I am not totally sure if it was his prowess of driver picks or just a nasty case of the irritable bowel syndrome this week allowed him to make a huge run for The Outhouse! Nevertheless, The Coach dropped like a bad habit three (3) places to be roommates with LindaThe Cookie Mom in The Outhouse.
There were five players, nearly one half of the fantasy league, that moved two (2) positions. Four of the five players, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head, Carlton The Doorman, Jim, aka Chiefy, as well as Bernie The Bay Area Bandit stepped up two places to sit now in 1st, 4th, 8th, and 9th places, respectively. However, Linda The Cookie Mom was not so lucky and slid down two places to be in a tie with, and a roommate of, The Coach in The Outhouse
The remaining five players, Carole, aka Rudy, Dan The Numbers Dude, Snoopy Dawn, Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff, as well as Edie The Las Vegas Super Star moved next door from their previous abodes. Rudy, The Numbers Dude, Snoopy, and Your Most Benevolent Sheriff all slid down the scoring pylon to reside now in 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th, respectively. While The Vegas Super Star stepped up one spot to sit in 7th.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
This week The Coach gets one award all to himself and gets to share another. The one award that he locked up in his sole possession is The Crappiest Pick of the Week. It seems that The Coach was swinging for the fences today. Unfortunately, the pitcher came thumbing up the big “Uncle Charlies”. You know the ones that break about eighteen inches as it approaches the plate. PS: it is known that The Coach’s kyrptonite has always been the big old round house! To make a long story short The Coach could only muster up a one single solitary point today!
As I previously discussed in the paragraphs above we have two new occupants residing this week in The Outhouse. Both The Coach and The Cookie Mom get to spend the week as roommates in The Outhouse this week!
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIIN’!