Kevin Harvick recovered from an early tyre puncture and outlasted Joey Logano to take his second win of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season in the Consumer's Energy 400 at the Michigan International Raceway.

The 42-year-old Californian's race nearly came apart on Lap 32 when his No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang suffered a flat tyre. The timing proved to be a blessing as it occurred during green flag pitstops and kept him on the lead lap.

He remained with the top contenders as Martin Truex Jr stole the show early by tearing through the field after starting from the rear of the field for an inspection infraction. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 45 following a fuel only and cruised to the opening 60 lap stage with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin taking second as Harvick crossed the line sixth.

Brad Keselowski moved to the lead heading into Stage 2 following a two-tyre stop during the stage break while Truex came out in ninth. Truex wasted little time on the restart and dispatched Keselowski for the lead on Lap 82.

Another fuel-only stop kept him on his perch as the laps wound down but a late spin by Keselowski set up a one-lap dash to complete the stage. The yellow brought several drivers down pit road as Truex stayed out with JGR teammate Kyle Busch joining him on the front row.

Busch got the jump on the restart and cleared him at the line to take the stage win.

Kyle relinquished the lead to brother Kurt during the stage break when he made his pit stop. Kurt led the Team Penske duo of  Joey Logano Ryan Blaney ahead of Wiliam Byron and Paul Menard for the forthcoming restart. Busch would line up 16th for the final 80 lap dash.

Logano snatched the lead from the elder Busch brother and was the class of the field for the next 30 laps as two yellow flags the single-car spins by Cup debutant Spencer Boyd and Clint Bowyer briefly slowed the action.

Logano pulled away after Bowyer's spin until Lap 149 when Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. cut a tyre and spun coming off Turn 4.

The yellow came right at the edge of the majority of the field's fuel window and brought all of the lead lap cars to pit lane under the yellow.

Blaney led a Penske team train off pit road followed by Keselowski in second and Logano in third with Truex, Jr and Paul Menard in tow as Harvick restarted sixth.

The race would go green for the final time on Lap 153 which was right on the edge of the window for drivers to make it to the edge on fuel.

Logano and Blaney raced side by side for a handful of laps before Logano ultimately cleared him for the top spot.

The action settled down as Logano led teammates Blaney and Keselowski. The latter pair eventually faltered as they attempt to save fuel. That fell right into Harvick's favour as he felt he had enough fuel to make it and he started to claw his way into the top three.

Harvick took over second from Blaney on Lap 175 with a full head of steam to attack Logano.

With 17 to go, Harvick got a huge run on Logano coming off Turn 4 and took the lead right at the start/finish line.

He set sail from there and saw no challenge from behind as the Penske duo stopped late for a splash of fuel. Keselowski didn't receiver enough fuel on his previous stop and pitted with 10 to go having not, and Logano peeled off with three to go for a sip of fuel.

That moved Denny Hamlin to second, but he was too far behind to challenge as Harvick took the win with one second in the bank.

"Takes a lot of people to make these cars go around, and winning races is what it's all about," said the Stewart Haas Racing driver. "Just can't do it without all you guys. I mean, to come here to Michigan and win for Ford, and I know how much Mobil 1 likes to beat that Shell car so that was cool."

Hamlin's runner up finish is his fifth top five in as many races. Kyle Larson came home in third with Truex trailing him in fourth place while Daniel Suarez finished fifth.

Stage two winner Kyle Busch ended up sixth trailed by rookie Ryan Preece, who scored his first top 10 since Talladega in April.

Hendrick Motorsports drivers completed the top five with William Byron finishing eighth ahead of Watkins Glen winner Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman rounding out the top five.

 

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