There was no drama in Kevin Harvick’s victory in the Drydene 311 at Dover International Speedway, an old-fashioned thrashing in the back end of a Saturday/Sunday NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader.
There was more than enough suspense, however, in the battle between Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and William Byron for the final position in the Cup Playoffs.
After winning the first stage at the high-banked concrete Monster Mile, Harvick had already clinched the regular-season Cup championship and the 15-playoff-point bonus that goes with it, with next Saturday’s race at Daytona International Speedway still to be run.
Harvick went on to sweep the second stage and the race, crossing the finish line 3.525 seconds ahead of runner-up Martin Truex Jr., who finished second in both legs of the doubleheader after running third in each of the previous five races.
The victory was Harvick’s series-leading seventh of the season, his third at Dover and the 56th of his career, tying him with Kyle Busch for ninth all-time. The win was the 700th in the series for Ford. “Some guy have all the luck”!
“I love the grit of our race team,” said Harvick, who was disappointed with his fourth-place result in Saturday’s opener at Dover, which he accomplished with a broken track bar. “I think that’s what (team owners) Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have built at Stewart-Haas Racing, a team with a lot of grit.
“Sometimes we don’t have the fastest car, but we have guys willing to suck it up, and when we have a weak link that day, someone else will carry the team. I’m really proud of that, and that’s what it’s all about. You’re only as good as the people around you, and we have great people.”
Harvick once again took the upper hand in his battle with Denny Hamlin, who won his sixth race of the season on Saturday.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
Finally somebody was riding with the race winner, Freaky Fast Kevin Harvick! For the Dover 2 race The Florida dudes, Snoopy Dawn and Carlton The Doorman, scored the max allowable race day points, 60 much needed ones, and that made a nice little deposit to their 3rd segment bucket.
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
Having a reasonably good Sunday evening as well is the odd pairing of Jeremy The Coach and Linda The Cookie Mom. Both players were rallying around MTJ. Truex ran a very good race keeping himself in contention for the win throughout the race, depositing 42 points in his cheerleader’s buckets today.
Meanwhile, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head was a stowaway inside The Delivernator’s hot rod all race long. Even though Denny Hamlin finished 19th today, he racked up a few stage points along the way today, and donated 26 points to The Cheddar Head.
Skipping along to their own melody (it sounded a lot like “Skip To My Lou”) at Dover was Jim, aka Chiefy, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, as well as Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. This trio was able to drop 21 points into their 3rd segment totals today.
And sliding in at home as the fifth highest scorer of the race was Leon Your Most Benevolent And Extremely Humble Sheriff. The Sheriff was riding undercover with the soon to be unemployed Erik Jones today. This weekend was just not a very productive weekend for That Jones Boy, or for that fact, The Sheriff. That Jones Boy also supplied The Sheriff with just 15 weak points!
This race produced wide spread movement! In fact the only two players who remained in their previous resting spot was our leader, The Well Respected Sheriff and Jim, aka Chiefy. That leaves nine (9) players who changed places when the checkered flag fell.
We have three players who not only changed address, but they exchanged zip codes and/or state citizenship! Snoopy Dawn, her partner in misdemeanor type crime, Carlton The Doorman, as well as Carole, aka Rudy each moved six (6) spots when the Sun set at Dover. Snoopy and The Doorman moved up six spots to sit in 4th and 5th, while Rudy plummeted and dropped like a hot potato to land in 10th place.
Bernie The Bay Area Bandit also had to call the moving company today! After the checkered flag waved La Bandita dropped like a Prom dress falling five (5) places and landed in 7th place.
Jeremy The Coach, however, found a little better news as the Sun set on Dover. When the race ended The Coach marched up four (4) places to lay claim to 3rd place.
The trio of players that includes Linda The Cookie Mom, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head, as well as Dan The Numbers Cruncher traversed the leaderboard three (3) spots. The Cookie Mom might have been riding with The Jefferson’s because she was “movin’ on up”, stopping at 2nd place. Not so promising was the direction that The Cheddar Head and The Numbers Dude headed after the race. Both players dropped three places to now own 6th and 11th, respectively.
Rounding out the the top five movers is Edie The Las Vegas Super Star who dropped down two (2) places to control 8th spot this week,
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
Once again we have a duo that gets to share the illustrious Crappiest Pick of The Week award! The two players, Carole, aka Rudy and Dan The Numbers Dude, picked Chase Elliott to hoist the hardware at Dover and had a very rude awakening when he had to retire in the first 20 laps. For his early exit from the race these two just received one (1) microscopic point today, and thusly they are joint possessors of The Crappiest Pick of The Week award!
Additionally, for Dan The Numbers Cruncher’s dismal showing Sunday, he evicted Carlton The Doorman and gets to spend at least this week in The Outhouse!
Next week NASCAR returns to the superspeedway of Daytona.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!