Hampton, GA – For the first time in 17 years, Kevin Harvick achieved the opportunity to celebrate in the same fashion as his first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with three fingers held high in the air in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt.
It was an emotional victory for the driver of the number 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion after winning the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Harvick has exerted dominance year after year at the mile and a half racetrack in Hampton, Georgia. However, bad luck and unfortunate circumstances led to undesirable results which kept him out of victory lane.
After an issue with NASCAR’s new regulated air gun on pit road at the end of Stage 1, Harvick only needed 40 laps to drive from the rear of the field and back to the lead. A long green flag run allowed the Bakersfield, California native to lap a majority of cars in the race while pulling away from any contenders. After a late-race caution, Harvick’s pit crew got him back out on the track in the first position and he never looked back, earning the checkered flag after 325 laps.
Top Performing Fantasy Picks
A Class: Kevin Harvick – 40% Started / 65 Points
A large portion of Speedway Collective fantasy teams selected the winner of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Harvick led the most laps, won the first stage and ultimate took the checkered flag. Along with three bonus points from qualifying, Harvick was the top fantasy driver for race number two on the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series schedule.
B Class: Clint Bowyer – 5% Started / 48 Points
The entire Stewart-Haas Racing organization had a strong showing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team had all four cars running in the Top 10 for a majority of the race. Bowyer held his position inside the Top 5 throughout the night while finishing 2nd in Stage 2. The Kansas native brought his Haas Automation Ford Fusion to a 3rd place finish.
C Class: Aric Almirola – 18% Started / 33 Points
No surprise here, another Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion was the highest finishing competitor in the C Class at Atlanta. After qualifying 11th, Aric wasted little time driving into the Top 10 where he spent a good portion of the race. After a late race caution, the driver of the Smithfield Ford was regulated to a 13th place finish. Although, after a scary incident in 2017 where Almirola missed significant time due to an injury, this race has the driver and entire number 10 team excited for a fresh start in the 2018.
D Class: Kasey Kahne – 42% / 16 Points
On Friday, Kasey Kahne surprised many by out-qualifying all four of his former Hendrick Motorsports teammates. A steady race without incident allowed Kahne to earn the top finishing position of any D Class drivers with a 21st place finish.
Race 3: Kobalt 400
Next week the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to compete for the win and position in the playoffs. In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. led the most laps in route to a victory in the Kobalt 400. Truex Jr. obliterated the competition at 1.5 mile tracks last year and is certainly a favorite heading into race number three of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
View the complete Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race results here.