Indianapolis NASCAR: Harvick wins, Bowyer and Newman into playoffs

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick dominated to win at Indianapolis, the final race before the start of the 2019 NASCAR Cup playoffs

Indianapolis NASCAR: Harvick wins, Bowyer and Newman into playoffs

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in his career, after being pitched into a spin and hitting the wall on lap 105 of the 160-lap race.

Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman made it through to complete the 16 contenders for the title race, with Daniel Suarez joining Johnson in missing out.

Polesitter Harvick led 118 of the 160 laps, finishing third in stage one before beating Kyle Larson to victory in the second stage.

Larson was one of several frontrunners to drop out of contention for victory in a race with nine cautions. At the restart to open stage three, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver made wheel-to-wheel contact with leader Harvick as the two dived towards Turn 1.

Ganassi opted to make a precautionary pitstop for fender damage repair, dropping Larson outside the top 20. His fightback was halted by a spin in turbulent air at Turn 3 that pitched him into the inside wall.

Saturday's Xfinity series winner and 'regular season' Cup champion Kyle Busch threatened Harvick at the start of the second stage, but suffered an engine failure on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Stage one winner Joey Logano was the remaining threat to Harvick at the final restart, starting on the front row.

But Harvick was able to power around the outside of the Penske driver at Turn 3 before building a four second advantage over the 2018 series champion, who settled for second.

Harvick's SHR team-mate Bowyer clinched his playoff place in fifth, with Roush Fenway Racing's Newman in eighth.

Bowyer, who entered the weekend eight points clear of the playoff cut-line, was inches from colliding with a spinning Alex Bowman in the closing stages.

Newman was level on points with Suarez either side of the playoff boundary at the start, ending up just four points clear of Suarez.

SHR's Suarez hit slapped the wall at Turn 2 on lap 10, but a caution allowed the team to carry out repairs.

He was fourth early in the final stage but cycled to the back of the field after being the first to pit just before a caution was called. He rallied in the final laps but could only finish 11th.

Johnson's challenge to climb into the playoffs ended when he was squeezed on the inside of a three-wide battle with Hendrick team-mate William Byron and Kurt Busch at Turn 2 at the start of stage three. Johnson spun into the wall and out of the race having run within the top 10 for the majority of the day.

Richard Petty Motorsports' Darrell Wallace Jr threatened to secure a surprise playoff spot with a shock win, instead clinching his best result of the year - and first top 10 of 2019 - with third.

He passed a battling Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin on the outside of Turns 3 and 4 in the closing stages to grab the place.

Hamlin and Blaney would slip further down the field, losing out to Byron and Bowyer for fourth and fifth.

Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones made light contact at Turn 2 late in stage one, with both drivers then making hard contact with the wall. A red flag was required for barrier repairs but both drivers were unscathed.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160 3h20m06.s
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 160 6.118s
3 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 160 8.026s
4 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 8.191s
5 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160 8.559s
6 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160 9.019s
7 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 160 9.764s
8 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 11.214s
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 12.192s
10 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 160 12.562s
11 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160 12.678s
12 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 13.251s
13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 160 13.378s
14 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160 15.523s
15 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 160 15.552s
16 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 160 15.697s
17 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 160 16.312s
18 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 160 16.482s
19 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 160 17.184s
20 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 160 17.373s
21 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 29.752s
22 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 160 46.549s
23 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 160 47.691s
24 Ryan Sieg Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 157 3 Laps
25 B.J. McLeod Petty Ware Racing Ford 157 3 Laps
26 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 157 3 Laps
27 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 156 4 Laps
28 Garrett Smithley Rick Ware Racing Ford 156 4 Laps
29 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Ford 155 5 Laps
30 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 155 5 Laps
31 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 153 7 Laps
32 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 147 Accident
33 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 129 Accident
34 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 109 Accident
35 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 105 Accident
36 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 104 Accident
37 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 87 Engine
38 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 48 Accident
39 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 48 Accident
40 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 40 Accident

Playoffs standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 2045
2 Denny Hamlin 2030
3 Martin Truex Jr. 2029
4 Joey Logano 2028
5 Kevin Harvick 2028
6 Brad Keselowski 2024
7 Chase Elliott 2018
8 Kurt Busch 2011
9 Alex Bowman 2005
10 Erik Jones 2005
11 Kyle Larson 2005
12 Ryan Blaney 2004
13 William Byron 2001
14 Aric Almirola 2001
15 Clint Bowyer 2000
16 Ryan Newman 2000

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