Kevin Harvick makes it three wins in three weeks, as he won the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race in Charlotte, NC. This win marked Harvick’s sixth overall win of the season, while Stewart-Haas Racing celebrated their 50th NASCAR overall victory.
“These guys built a really, really fast Jimmy John’s Ford,” Harvick said in Victory Lane. “I just have to say thank you to the aero department, the fab shop, all the guys in the engineering CFD side of things and a special thanks to the Roush Yates Engine department. They put a lot of effort, they love restrictor plate racing and we won!”
The revisions to the All-Star Race car package was the story of the night. For the first time ever in a featured All-Star Race the engines utilized a restrictor plate, similar to what is used on the superspeedways at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. In addition, a change to the car’s aerodynamics’ package was also made which all added up to tight, side-by-side racing all night.
“Congratulations to Kevin, Tony, Gene and the Stewart-Haas team on your 50th NASCAR win,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “I’m really proud of our team at Roush Yates Engines, Stewart-Haas and Ford Performance for all the hard work and attention to detail in building these fast Fords. One of the great things about racing is it’s a team sport and the entire Ford Performance team is really working together and finding ways to make the team better.”
After a late caution restart, the field was re-stacked with two laps to go, Ford Performance teammate Joey Logano lined up behind Harvick on the outside lane to lead the cars to the green flag. Logano hooked up with Harvick’s back bumper to give him a strong push to clear the No. 19 Daniel Suarez for the lead. It ultimately came down to a drag race at the finish, as Harvick crossed the finish line a mere .325 seconds ahead of Suarez.
The never quit mentality of Harvick paired with the performance of the Ford FR9 engine, powered the No. 4 Ford Fusion to a race high 36 laps and Stage 1 and Stage 3 wins on his way to Victory Lane. This was Harvick’s second time winning the marquee race in Charlotte.
Logano finished third with another strong race for the No. 22 followed by the duo from Roush Fenway Racing Stenhouse Jr. in 11th and pole winner Kenseth in 14th.
This momentum will carry the Ford Performance teams into the next points race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27th at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reference the full 2018 schedule on Roush Yates Engines.