Ford Performance NASCAR: Harvick Looks to Defend Last Year’s Sonoma Victory

by Official Release On Wed, Jun. 20, 2018

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: SONOMA ADVANCE

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season resumes this weekend at Sonoma Raceway with Ford looking to extend its manufacturer-leading win total. Clint Bowyer’s victory at Michigan two weeks ago gives Ford eight wins on the year and a victory on Sunday would mark the first time since 1997 that the Blue Oval had nine victories or more after the first 16 events. Kevin Harvick is the defending champion after taking the checkered flag last season.

FORD IS FIRST

Not only is Ford first in number of victories this season (8), it also leads the manufacturer standings by five points. Overall, six Ford drivers are in the Top 10 of the point standings with Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer holding down second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Kurt Busch (7th) and Ryan Blaney (9th) are also in that group with Aric Almirola just outside in 11th.

FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT SONOMA

· Ford has eight all-time series wins at Sonoma by eight different drivers.

· Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch all have one series wins at the track.

· Ford has won at Sonoma in consecutive years twice (1993-94 and 1996-97).

HARVICK GETS FIRST FORD WIN

Kevin Harvick stretched his fuel over the final 40 laps to bring home his first win with Ford and first win at Sonoma when he captured this event last year. Harvick bested teammate Clint Bowyer and fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski in a 1-2-3 showing for the Blue Oval. The win marked the second triumph for Stewart-Haas Racing since moving to Ford prior to the start of the 2017 season. In all, five Fusions wound up in the top-10 with Kurt Busch finishing seventh and Ryan Blaney ninth as Harvick led 24 of 110 laps and cruised to a win of over eight seconds.

RUDD RUCKUS

When Ford took the checkered flag at Sonoma Raceway for the first time it came in controversial fashion. That’s because Davey Allison, the man credited with winning the Banquet Frozen Foods 300 in 1991, was sent spinning by Ricky Rudd as they were approaching the white flag. Even though Rudd ended up crossing the finish line first, he received the black flag from NASCAR for rough driving and awarded Allison with the trophy. The win was Allison’s first and only one on a road course and snapped an eight-race streak that had seen either Rudd or Rusty Wallace end up in Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International or Sonoma Raceway.

MOORE IS BEST

Little did anyone know that when Geoffrey Bodine won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway in 1993 it would represent the final win for car owner Bud Moore. Bodine, driving the No. 15 Motorcraft Ford, had just purchased the assets of Alan Kulwicki’s No. 7 team earlier in the week and after taking the checkered flag proceeded to honor the late driver by doing an abbreviated Polish Victory Lap. He was able to do that after surviving a fierce three-car battle on the final lap with Ricky Rudd and Ernie Irvan in which contact between all three cars took place. Moore, a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee in 2011, won 63 series races during his career by 10 different drivers.

EDWARDS BREAKS DROUGHT

Carl Edwards snapped an 11-race winless streak for Ford when he captured the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in 2014 for car owner Jack Roush. Edwards held off Jeff Gordon on the final lap to post the first road win of his MENCS career. He did it thanks to a two-stop strategy and a timely caution. Edwards had just pitted on lap 70 when NASCAR threw a caution for debris one lap later. While most of the field decided to pit for new tires, Edwards and fellow Ford driver Marcos Ambrose stayed out and gained the necessary track position that put both in position to win. Ambrose took the lead from Clint Bowyer on lap 81 and brought Edwards with him, but another restart with 25 to go saw Ambrose and Edwards sharing the front row. Edwards got the jump and took the lead, which he never surrendered, although a hard-charging Gordon made it interesting on the final lap.

FORD SONOMA RACE WINNERS

1991 – Davey Allison

1993 – Geoffrey Bodine

1994 – Ernie Irvan

1996 – Rusty Wallace

1997 – Mark Martin

2002 – Ricky Rudd

2014 – Carl Edwards

2017 – Kevin Harvick

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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