Kevin Harvick was able to overcome a flat-right front tire early in the race and would later stretch the fuel in his No. 4 Mobil 1 Mustang on Sunday on the way to his second win of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season in the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
Harvick led 22 laps en route to victory, taking the checkered by 1.054 seconds over runner-up Denny Hamlin. Kyle Larson finished third, while Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top-five finishers.
“It was a day of a little bit of adversity that we were able to overcome,” Harvick said. “We had a really fast car all weekend. Our car handled really well today, and with the multiple lanes (due to the PJ1 traction compound), we were able to run all three lanes pretty well and make our way through traffic.
“They (the team) put a really fast race car on the track, and we were able to capitalize on it, so that’s always fun.”
Although the Playoffs are steadily looming closer, Harvick’s Crew Chief Rodney Childers still feels like there’s plenty of time for their Stewart-Haas crew to hit their stride, especially with two wins in the last four races.
“I still feel like it’s a long time before the Playoffs,” said Childers in the Media Center. “We have a lot that we need to get better. You know, we’ve just – we started the year off, and our cars weren’t where we needed to be, and we’ve continually got better and better. I think to be able to get a win on a 550 track and get a win on a 750 track, that says a lot about the race team right now, to sit on the pole at Pocono and have speed there.
“We’ve definitely made gains on it. We’re not perfect by any means, and we’ve still got to get a lot better. But we’re definitely in a lot better shape than we were at the beginning of the year.”
Kyle Busch, Ryan Preece, William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-10. Playoff bubble drivers Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson both faced issues in the race, as both drivers made hard contact with the wall during the race. Bowyer would be faced with a 37th-place DNF while Johnson would finish 34th, eight laps down.
Six cautions slowed the race for 24 laps, while eight drivers swapped the lead 19 times. The next race on the schedule will be at the Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s annual event at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.