The day of firsts for Kevin Harvick at Sonoma Raceway
Kevin Harvick is the winner of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, one of two Monster Energy Cup Series road course races in the season. For the driver of the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ford Fusion it’s the first ever victory at the Sears Point and the first Cup Series win this season. It’s also his first win in a Ford, after Stewart-Haas Racing made an offseason switch from Chevrolet.
On Saturday afternoon, Harvick won NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Sonoma Raceway, what was a good preparation for a triumph in the main race on Sunday. Harvick recorded his 36th win in 590 Cup Series starts, taking the checkered flag under caution after Kasey Kahne hit the wall on the last lap.
By then, Harvick had a comfortable lead of more than eight seconds ahead of his teammate Clint Bowyer. Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski finished third, giving Ford drivers a sweep of the podium positions.
During a race, Harvick was leading for 24 (of 110) laps. Martin Truex Jr., who led a race-high 25 laps and won the first stage of the race, had to stop after 86 laps due to engine failure, dropping to 37th place. The pole-sitter Kyle Larson inherited a lead but after that he went off the road few times, dropping to 26th at the finish.
Five drivers made their NASCAR Cup Series debuts on Sunday. Billy Johnson was the best among them, finishing 22nd in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Israeli driver Alon Day was 32nd, Kevin O’Connell 33rd, Tommy Regan 34th and Josh Bilicki 36th.
The next Cup series event is the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1.
Photos: Getty Images/nascar.com,