(NASCAR staff reports) In an action-filled afternoon of NASCAR Cup Series racing in Sunday’s Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records, Kevin Harvick held off the field in a overtime sprint to the finish line to earn his fourth victory of the season, and his second consecutive and third overall win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
To celebrate the big victory, Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team climbed the front grandstand fence – reminiscent of the fence celebration his team owner, Indiana native and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart did during his wins in the race in 2005 and 2007.
Although Harvick led a race-best 68 of the 161 laps, he and Denny Hamlin put on a legitimate high-speed duel to decide this victory. While leading Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota suffered a blown tire sending the car hard into the Turn 1 wall with only seven laps remaining – ending Hamlin’s impressive run.
With Hamlin out, Harvick assumed the lead for the fourth time on the day and was next tasked with holding off 48-year old former series champion, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Matt Kenseth, on a restart with two laps remaining. A great jump on the ensuing start put Harvick back out front and ultimately to a 0.743-second victory.
Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola finished third followed by Brad Keselowski and Sunoco rookie Cole Custer.
Two-time Indianapolis winner and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch finished sixth followed by Michael McDowell, rookie Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano. It was an especially impressive outing by the series rookies – with four of the six finishing among the top 15. Christopher Bell and John Hunter Nemechek were 12th and 15th, respectively.
Hamlin, who took the lead on the race’s final round of pit stops, ultimately finished 28th following his incident.
For a complete wrap-up of the race, visit NASCAR.com.