NASCAR Cup: Kevin Harvick dominates at Dover; Alex Labbé 17th in Xfinity…despite the pitfalls!

Sunday August 23, 2020 by Philippe Brasseur

The last two races of six, bringing together 4 NASCAR series (Cup, Xfinity, Truck and ARCA) in 3 days, took place today on the oval of Dover International Speedway, in Delaware. Two races, one Xfinity series and one Cup, completed the program and both were won by Ford drivers from Stewart-Haas Racing.

Presented at the start of the afternoon, the Xfinity race was marked by the domination of Chase Briscoe. It comes just a day after the Stewart-Haas Racing driver missed out on a possible first win of the weekend, hitting the wall yesterday. Starting from the back of the field in his reserve car, Briscoe took control of the race with 20 laps to go in the second segment and never looked back. In total, he led 107 of 200 laps, only giving up first place in a pit stop shortly before the final restart, which led to a streak of no less than 103 laps on the green until the end. ‘arrival.

Briscoe edged out Ross Chastain (Chevrolet/Kaulig Racing), Austin Cindric (Ford/Team Penske), Brandon Jones (Toyota/Joe Gibbs Racing) and the four JR Motorsports drivers (Chevrolet), in order Daniel Hemric , Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier (winner of yesterday’s race) and Michael Annett, Riley Herbst (Toyota/Joe Gibbs Racing) and Brett Moffitt (Chevrolet/Our Motorsports) followed, to complete the round of the top 10.

Better than yesterday’s race where he had to settle for 19th place, Quebecer Alex Labbé’s race ended in 17th position. Starting last after having changed the transmission last night after the 1st race, the driver of the Chevrolet No.90 of DGM Racing quickly climbed back into the Top 15. However, a tire not validated by the officials during the last pit stop forced us to start the relaunch… at the back of the pack! He moved up to 17th. One more neutralization might have allowed him to finish a few places higher, but it is satisfying to see that Alex had a much more competitive car today than in previous races.

Very monotonous, the Cup race which followed that of Xfinity saw Kevin Harvick win, the championship leader taking an insurmountable lead once the last restart was given. With this seventh victory of the season, he obviously consolidates his position as leader, he who has been guaranteed to participate in the playoffs since May. It is also his third victory on the Delaware 1-mile track, his 56th in the Cup series and Ford’s 700th in the same NASCAR Cup series.

Harvick led no less than 223 of 311 laps. He crossed the finish line 3.525 seconds ahead of Martin Truex Jr. The Joe Gibbs Racing No.19 Toyota driver finished second for the second straight race in 24 hours on the Monster Mile of the Dover track). After another excellent race, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson finished third, just ahead of Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman. Hopes were high at the end of the race to see the two young drivers give battle to Johnson, but the three Chevrolet drivers remained in this order during the last 15 laps without ever attacking each other.

Completed the Top 10. Kyle Busch (Toyota / Joe Gibs Racing) finished 11th, he who is still looking for a first victory this season in the series, after winning the title in 2019.

In addition to his victory, Kevin Harvick won segments 1 and 2 and he has already won the title of regular season champion. This title comes with a bonus of 15 points at the start of the playoffs, which are fast approaching.

Denny Hamlin, winner of the first race of the weekend on Saturday, finished 19th after making an unscheduled stop with a loose wheel problem at the start of the final segment.

Finally, it should be noted that the race was stopped for 12 minutes and 19 seconds at the end of the first segment, the time for the track workers to repair part of the concrete surface which covers the circuit.

The next Cup Series race will be the regular season finale. It will take place this Saturday, August 29, from 7:30 p.m., on the oval circuit of the Daytona International Speedway.

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