In a thrilling finish that went down to the final lap with the NASCAR Sprint Cup title hanging in the balance, Kevin Harvick held off Ryan Newman Sunday to win the Cup with a victory at the Ford EcoBoost 400.
Harvick Came From Behind Down the Stretch to Pass Denny Hamlin
Harvick was in sixth place with Denny Hamlin leading down the stretch when Harvick made a late surge to the front of the pack, passing Hamlin and then holding off a furious challenge from Newman, who had lagged toward the middle of the crowd throughout much of the race as he tried to compete an improbable run to the title.
Hamlin, who led for 50 laps, finished seventh. Joey Logano, who — along with Harvick, Newman and Hamlin, had a chance to win the Cup — finished 16th.
Brad Keselowski finished third, with Paul Menard fourth, Jamie McMurray fifth and Matt Kenseth sixth.
Harvick’s victory capped a dominant season in which he led for more laps than anyone else on the Sprint Cup Series.
Denny Hamlin Led With 50 Laps to Go
Denny Hamlin led with 50 laps to go, putting him in prime position to win the race and the Cup. Jeff Gordon was second, but Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano were both in the top 5, with Ryan Newman joining them in the top 10.
Tony Stewart Finished His 1st Winless Season
Tony Stewart, who went through the worst season of his life for reasons having nothing to do with his lack of success in the Sprint Cup standings, went to the garage, completing his first winless season in 16 years as a driver.
Stewart’s struggles in NASCAR coincided with a year in which the former Sprint Cup champion struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race in upstate New York in August.
The 4 Contenders for the Cup Were All in the Top 5 at the Midway Point
As we head into the second half of the race, NASCAR couldn’t ask for a more dramatic finish. All four contenders for the Cup are running in the top 5, with Denny Hamlin running first, Joey Logano second, Kevin Harvick third and Ryan Newman fifth through 174 laps.
Jeff Gordon, who led for the majority of the first 100 laps, was fourth at that point in the race.
All 4 Contenders Started Off Well
Through 122 laps, all four contenders for the Cup were in the top 7 — continuing a trend in which all for were at least in the top 8 for most of the first half of the race.
Through 122, Jeff Gordon was clinging onto an overall lead, but Kevin Harvick was just behind in second, Joey Logano in third, Denny Hamlin in fifth and Ryan Newman in sixth.
Jeff Gordon Led After 60 Laps
Jeff Gordon isn’t in the mix to take home the Sprint Cup title, but he was in command of the first 60 laps, leading the field for the majority of the early-going after passing Kevin Harvick.
At the 60-lap mark, Denny Hamlin was second overall and first among those in contention for the title.
Kevin Harvick Got Off to a Quick Start
The pre-race festivities have come and gone, and we’re under way, with Kevin Harvick taking the early lead through the first 40-plus miles.
Here’s how to watch online and on mobile:
Watch the Ford EcoBoost 400 Online
If you have the log-in info for a cable subscription with access to Watch ESPN, you can watch the race at WatchESPN.com. You’ll need a cable log-in and password, or the log-in and password of someone you know, to access the stream.
Watch the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Mobile
Mobile and tablet users with access to Watch ESPN can watch the race on the Watch ESPN app. As is the case with desktop, you’ll need the log-in for a cable subscription with access to ESPN. You can download the app for free in the App Store , the Google Play store, the Amazon App store or the Windows Store.