Sonoma NASCAR: Kevin Harvick leads Stewart-Haas Ford one-two

Kevin Harvick took his first win of the 2017 NASCAR Cup season and his first for Ford, beating Stewart-Haas team-mate Clint Bowyer at Sonoma

Sonoma NASCAR: Kevin Harvick leads Stewart-Haas Ford one-two

Harvick managed to make his fuel last until the end of the final 60-lap stage to claim his first win at the Californian track and his first on a road course at Cup level for 11 years.

He began the final stage of the race in 10th place and worked his way through the field, taking the lead on lap 64 of the 110.

He would surrender that position two laps later to make his only green flag pitstop of the race, but he emerged in fourth with the top three yet to pit.

The 2014 Cup champion took the lead again with 21 laps to go as previous leader Brad Keselowski pitted.

With five laps left, Bowyer passed Denny Hamlin for second place after fighting his way through the pack with battered car, making it a Stewart-Haas one two.

Despite Harvick slowing the save fuel at the front, Bowyer was unable to make up the nine second deficit, eventually finishing eight seconds behind his team-mate.

Keselowski finished in third to make it an all-Ford top three. The Penske driver gambled on his strategy in the hope of a late caution that would give him a free pit stop.

But the only late caution would come once the leaders had begun the final lap, with Kasey Kahne hitting the concrete barrier at Turn 1 hard.

Hamlin, who led 11 laps, finished fourth ahead of Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr, his second best result at the track in what is likely to be his final Cup race there.

Kurt Busch finished seventh, with Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and front row starter Jamie McMurray rounding out the top 10.

The first stage of the race was won by Martin Truex Jr, who beat road course specialist AJ Allmendinger and polesitter Kyle Larson.

Truex's chances of winning then disappeared with engine problems, and despite leading the most laps in the race, he retired in the closing stages.

Stage two winner Jimmie Johnson finished in 13th, having fallen to 22nd when he pitted before stage three. He was one spot behind Joey Logano, whose chances of victory were ended when he was handed a penalty for speeding on pit road during his final stop.

Points leader Larson also had trouble in the race. Although he led nine laps, he was collected by a spinning Earnhardt 13 laps in and ended up 26th at the flag.

Danica Patrick was also involved in that early incident, as well as a later collision with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. She finished in 17th after spending some time running in the top 10.

One week after competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford, Billy Johnson, who was subbing for the injured Aric Almirola, finished his Cup debut in 22nd place.

RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
2 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
3 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 110
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
5 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
7 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
8 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
9 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 110
10 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 110
11 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 110
12 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 110
13 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
14 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 110
15 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 110
16 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
17 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
18 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 110
19 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 110
20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
21 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 110
22 Billy Johnson Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 110
23 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 110
24 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 109
25 Erik Jones Furniture Row Racing Toyota 109
26 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 109
27 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 109
28 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 109
29 Boris Said Circle Sport / TMG Chevrolet 109
30 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 109
31 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 109
32 Alon Day BK Racing Toyota 108
33 Kevin O'Connell Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 108
34 Tommy Regan Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 107
35 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 104
36 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 100
37 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 86
38 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 30

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Larson 659
2 Martin Truex Jr. 646
3 Kevin Harvick 548
4 Kyle Busch 542
5 Brad Keselowski 519
6 Chase Elliott 509
7 Jimmie Johnson 483
8 Jamie McMurray 477
9 Denny Hamlin 476
10 Joey Logano 434
11 Clint Bowyer 427
12 Matt Kenseth 423
13 Ryan Blaney 415
14 Kurt Busch 389
15 Ryan Newman 367
16 Erik Jones 358
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 355
18 Trevor Bayne 337
19 Daniel Suarez 334
20 Austin Dillon 322
21 Kasey Kahne 305
22 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 293
23 Ty Dillon 273
24 Paul Menard 259
25 Chris Buescher 223
26 Michael McDowell 223
27 A.J. Allmendinger 213
28 Danica Patrick 196
29 David Ragan 191
30 Aric Almirola 188
31 Cole Whitt 183
32 Matt DiBenedetto 160
33 Landon Cassill 160
34 Gray Gaulding 82
35 Reed Sorenson 72
36 Jeffrey Earnhardt 65
37 Michael Waltrip 29
38 Derrike Cope 26
39 Billy Johnson 15
40 Boris Said 8
41 Alon Day 5
42 Cody Ware 4
43 Kevin O'Connell 4
44 Tommy Regan 3
45 D.J. Kennington 1

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