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NASCAR at Michigan 2019 Results: Kevin Harvick Wins for 2nd Year in a Row

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

Kevin Harvick races out of turn one during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

There's no stopping Kevin Harvick at Michigan International Speedway.

Harvick defended his title at Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan, in dramatic fashion. He was trailing a combination of Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and others for extended stretches but charged to the lead with 17 laps and never relinquished it on his way to victory.

NASCAR @NASCAR

Saved enough to get it done. ✅ Retweet to congratulate @KevinHarvick on another victory at @MISpeedway! 🏁 https://t.co/p4SrlUTEWT

He defeated second-place finisher Hamlin by 1.054 seconds.

Here is a look at the top finishers, per NASCAR.com:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Denny Hamlin

3. Kyle Larson

4. Martin Truex Jr.

5. Daniel Suarez

6. Kyle Busch

7. Ryan Preece

8. William Byron

9. Chase Elliott

10. Alex Bowman

Many of the sport's biggest names had momentum entering Sunday's race.

Chase Elliott was coming off a win at the Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, while Truex and Hamlin finished closely behind him in second and third place. What's more, Keselowski won the pole position in Friday's qualifying.

The Michigan native had nothing but open track in front of him as he looked to win at his home track for the first time in his career, but it was Truex who set the tone early.

The No. 19 car found himself at the back of the field in Stage 1 but rallied to the leader's spot, held off Hamlin and seized a playoff point in his 500th career start.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

The green flag is out, and @MartinTruex_Jr officially has 500 starts in @NASCAR! What an accomplishment for the 2017 Cup Series champ. @JoeGibbsRacing https://t.co/PCLmqqgN9b

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

From last to first! Martin Truex Jr. wins Stage 1 at Michigan, presented by @Kroger #ClickList. https://t.co/54VTjLWmWC

It was more of the same for Truex, who is one of nine drivers who arrived at Michigan having already qualified for the playoffs. Hamlin, Elliott, Keselowski, Logano, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Harvick and Alex Bowman were the others.

Truex nearly won the second stage as well but lost in a drama-filled ending.

There was a one-lap shootout following a spin from Keselowski, and Kyle Busch came from right behind the first stage winner to take Stage 2. Daniel Hemric, Austin Dillon and Aric Almirola crashed behind him as he earned a playoff point, and Almirola was held for two laps because he had too many men over the wall under damaged vehicle policy.

NASCAR @NASCAR

Things can happen in a hurry at @MISpeedway. Take a look at what unfolded coming to the end of Stage 2. https://t.co/iQc6clSAOE

Kyle Busch won the stage, but Keselowski's save was the most impressive part of the head-turning stretch:

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

What a save by Brad @keselowski! Sparks fly from the @Team_Penske No. 2, but he hangs on to that car at @MISpeedway. Watch @NASCAR on NBCSN or stream here: https://t.co/wmwQrlNwAP https://t.co/nqeZgdaaSl

Clint Bowyer was not as fortunate and crashed into the outside wall during the early going of Stage 3. It was a particularly important crash because he is firmly on the NASCAR playoffs bubble entering the race at 15th in the standings.

Jordan Bianchi @Jordan_Bianchi

Correction: Because Clint Bowyer scored two points for finishing ninth in Stage 2, he will earn a total of three points today -- currently a single point more than Johnson, who could still move up in the running order.

Elsewhere, Kurt Busch and Logano each took their turn in front of the rest of the field heading into the stretch run. Busch fell back, though, temporarily clearing the way for Logano, Ryan Blaney and Keselowski up front in a dream for Team Penske.

Still, the fuel situation loomed as the primary storyline, which helped Harvick propel his way into second:

NASCAR @NASCAR

Fuel concerns for @Blaney as the laps wind down? 🔊🆙 for the No. 12's team radio. https://t.co/4Pogcv5BZk

NASCAR @NASCAR

🔼: @KevinHarvick 🔽: @Blaney The 4⃣ is on the march once again as he moves into second. https://t.co/Gmr0J9yQ2e

MISpeedway @MISpeedway

When you have no idea who’s gonna make it on fuel... #ConsumersEnergy400 https://t.co/bYbqJXwsCH

Harvick was in control from there, taking the lead with 17 laps remaining and extending the advantage over Logano without any fuel concerns. Logano and Keselowski could not say the same and were forced to pit, but Hamlin attempted to close the gap without stopping.

The decision was enough for second place, but there was no catching Harvick down the stretch.

Harvick was the best on the Michigan International Speedway track once again and will look to keep the momentum rolling as attention turns toward Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.