Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished eighth, earning three bonus points.
● After getting up to second place on the opening lap, the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang dropped to 10th by lap seven.
● Harvick steadily rallied, clawing his way back to sixth by lap 13.
● “Need some rear grip, early center (of the corner) both ends (of the track),” said Harvick on lap 25 while running sixth.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 28 during competition caution. Gained one spot in the pits to restart in fifth place.
● Some contact with Matt DiBenedetto on lap 35 caused some slight right-front fender damage to the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford.
● Harvick maintained fifth place until lap 55 when William Byron got by, sending Harvick to sixth.
● “Something’s not right here, Rodney,” said Harvick on lap 58 to crew chief Rodney Childers. “I think it’s the tire.”
● Dropped to seventh on lap 59 and then to eighth on lap 67. Held on to eighth through the end of the stage.
● Harvick said he needed his car to turn better late center exit.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment and tire pressure changes at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Harvick started ninth and finished eighth, earning three bonus points.
● “Feel like I need it to turn mid-center, late-center better,” said Harvick while running eighth on lap 92.
● Harvick took advantage of caution and pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 93, with the pit crew working on that right-front fender.
● Lined up 14th for lap-99 restart and was 11th by lap 110.
● “Sideways all the sudden in traffic,” said Harvick on lap 122 after dropping back to 13th.
● Rallied to eighth at the end of the stage as Harvick was able to stay out on fuel mileage while others ahead of him were forced to pit.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment at the end of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Harvick started sixth and finished ninth.
● The No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang had dropped to eighth by lap 177 as both Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch got by.
● Byron passed Harvick on lap 187, taking eighth and sending Harvick to ninth.
● Ryan Blaney took ninth from Harvick on lap 197, sending Harvick to 10th.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 214 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick was back up to 10th by lap 223. He took ninth on lap 224, eighth on lap 226 and then seventh on lap 229.
● Keselowsi took seventh place back on lap 250, sending Harvick to eighth.
● Busch nipped Harvick for eighth on the final lap and Harvick crossed the stripe in ninth.
● Harvick earned his 20th top-10 of the season and his 13th top-10 in 25 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
● Harvick’s 13 top-10s at Las Vegas are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● This was Harvick’s fourth straight top-10. He finished fifth Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, eighth Sept. 11 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and second in the series’ prior race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● This was Harvick’s 10th straight top-15, a streak that began July 11 with an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● Denny Hamlin won the South Point 400 to score his 46th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Las Vegas. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was .442 of a second.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 12 of the 38 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Subway Delivery Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was about what we had tonight. We got the right-front fender nicked up a little bit, but that didn’t really change the car, so we lucked out on that. We battle and gained ground on it. That is what we wanted to do – not give it all away today. We were able to gain ground and we’ll go from there.”
Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 8):
1. Denny Hamlin (3,082 points) 1 win
2. Kyle Larson (3,096 points) +57
3. Kyle Busch (3,074 points) +35
4. Martin Truex Jr. (3,070 points) +31
5. Ryan Blaney (3,063 points) +24
6. Chase Elliott (3,061 points) +22
7. Joey Logano (3,045 points) +6
8. Brad Keselowski (3,043 points) +4
9. William Byron (3,039 points) -4
10. Kevin Harvick (3,036 points) -7
11. Alex Bowman (3,030 points) -13
12. Christopher Bell (3,018 points) -25
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.