(MRN) NASCAR’s return to real-time action Sunday afternoon was a resumption of the close-quarter, high-action brand of racing that fans have long expected at historic Darlington Raceway, culminating with Kevin Harvick claiming his first trophy of the season in front of a robust television and radio audience eager to welcome sports back.
The Real Heroes 400 was the first on-track activity in nearly two months after NASCAR suspended competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The return to track included specific guidelines unique to this unprecedented situation – no fans in the grandstands, temperature checks at track, a limit on number of team members and of course, social distancing.
The competitive drama, however, remained as intense as ever.
Harvick’s 2.154-second victory over Alex Bowman was his first of the season and extends his points lead in the standings to 28 points over Bowman. His only previous win at Darlington came from pole position in 2014, the same year Harvick went on to win the series championship. Sunday’s victory was the 50th win for the Stewart-Haas Racing veteran, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett on the NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list.
Bowman, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin followed Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to the finish line. Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10. It was the best showing of the season – and first top-10 finish – for the rookies Reddick and Nemechek.
For complete coverage of Sunday’s live racing action, visit www.mrn.com.