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NASCAR at Indianapolis 2019 Results: Kevin Harvick Edges Joey Logano for Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 08: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 08, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick held off Joey Logano to win the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harvick notched his third victory of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the final race before the playoffs get underway. He led 119 of the race's 160 laps.

Following the final caution, Harvick and Logano were running neck-and-neck after the restart. Harvick opened up a healthy lead by the end, finishing 6.118 seconds ahead of Logano.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

.@KevinHarvick WINS the #Brickyard400, while @RyanJNewman grabs the final spot in the #NASCARPlayoffs! https://t.co/sNEzAjDybL

Bubba Wallace, William Byron and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.

          

Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Leaderboard

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Joey Logano

3. Bubba Wallace

4. William Byron

5. Clint Bowyer

6. Denny Hamlin

7. Ryan Blaney

8. Ryan Newman

9. Chase Elliott

10. Paul Menard

              

With the race officially in the books, the 16-driver playoff field is now set.

Daniel Suarez and Ryan Newman entered Indy deadlocked at 617 points, but the former occupied the final playoff place on a tiebreaker. Newman finished in eighth place, three spots ahead of Suarez, and thus moved into 16th in the overall standings.

PRN @PRNlive

Daniel Suarez: "We did a good job, just didn't have enough speed. We've got 10 races to keep racing and get to victory lane."

PRN @PRNlive

Ryan Newman gets the last #NASCARPlayoffs spot: "We'll just have to keep on going. Proud of everybody at @roushfenway, there's no guarantee over the next 10, we've got to perform over these next 3. The first round's the toughest."

Here's where things stand for the final 10 races, per NASCAR.com:

1. Kyle Busch

2. Denny Hamlin 

3. Martin Truex Jr.

4. Joey Logano

5. Brad Keselowski

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Chase Elliott

8. Kurt Busch

9. Kyle Larson

10. Alex Bowman

11. Erik Jones

12. Ryan Blaney

13. William Byron

14. Aric Almirola

15. Clint Bowyer

16. Ryan Newman

Jimmie Johnson entered Sunday trailing Suarez by 18 points for the last playoff spot. While that left him with a lot of work to do, you expected him to somehow close the gap because of his track record. Johnson is a seven-time Cup champion and never missed the playoffs.

That streak ended at the Brickyard.

The No. 48 car got squeezed on the inside while making the second turn and spun out into the wall. When all was said and done, Johnson's rear spoiler was dragging on the track and his day was over.

NASCAR @NASCAR

A stunner: @JimmieJohnson's day is done. #Brickyard400 | @IMS https://t.co/J4oGPl23iT

NASCAR @NASCAR

The dream is over. @JimmieJohnson | @TeamHendrick https://t.co/hEejlkYyZc

Although Johnson's odds of adding an eighth series title were slim, his absence in the playoff chase will be notable.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

You knew it was a longshot for Johnson heading into today, but even then, it’s still hard to believe the streak is really over. Jimmie Johnson, not in the playoffs? Surreal.

The 43-year-old was circumspect about his day:

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

"We have a lot to be proud of." @JimmieJohnson on not making the #NASCARPlayoffs for the first time in his career, and his focus for the rest of the year. https://t.co/du7SEqsbNX

Jimmie Johnson @JimmieJohnson

https://t.co/FSvYkVCNDF

Johnson wasn't the only prominent driver who headed back to the garage earlier than expected.

Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones wrecked on the 48th lap, which left Keselowski's No. 2 car tipped sideways on the inside wall.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

An overheard look at Brad @Keselowski and @Erik_Jones' crash at @IMS. #Brickyard400 https://t.co/IdrYvaZ2La

Motor Racing Network @MRNRadio

.@keselowski & @erik_jones Involved in Wreck at End of Stage 1 @IMS STORY & VIDEO: https://t.co/1NiKE3f0MC #AskMRN | #Brickyard400 https://t.co/E77Us0CNxa

Standings leader Kyle Busch experienced engine trouble on the 87th lap, rendering his car immobile.

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

Kyle Busch's day goes up in smoke, and the caution comes out! Jimmie Johnson is your LEADER in the #Brickyard400 on @NBC: https://t.co/wmwQrlNwAP https://t.co/QzvoYaCwyf

Those three drivers were all comfortably in the playoff field, however, after having notched victories earlier in the season. Failing to finish at the Brickyard will be an underwhelming finish to this portion of the year, but Keselowski, Jones and Busch all have bigger fish to fry.

All total, nine cautions were called, leading to what was a stop-and-start affair for long stretches.

The round of 16 will get underway next Sunday in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Logano edged out Keselowski at the Pennzoil 400 at Vegas in March. A similar outcome would seal Logano passage to the round of eight.

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