NASCAR Cup Series | Results and 3 takeaways from Sunday’s race at Las Vegas

Kevin Harvick won the Pennzoil 400 on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his second consecutive victory, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s race:

1. We have a new championship favorite

Winning a single NASCAR Cup race is exceedingly difficult. Winning two in a row is even more so. Winning two in a row, with a “worse” car, and leading the most laps in both races? There’s just no getting around how good Kevin Harvick has been early this season. He surged at the end of 2017 and made it into the championship four, but really wasn’t in contention. What a difference a few months makes. It may be early, but he’s the championship favorite at this point.

[100TH WIN: Kevin Harvick dominates Vegas for back-to-back NASCAR victories]

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2. Ford is no fluke

When Brad Keselowski won the Clash at Daytona International Speedway to open the season, it sparked a question: Could Ford shock some people this season? Three races in, we have our answer – absolutely. Back-to-back wins is one thing, but the success Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney are also having proves that Harvick’s team is no fluke. Chevy will improve as the season progresses, but Ford can’t be counted out anymore.

3. 100 career wins for Kevin Harvick means …

Kevin Harvick has been a Hall of Fame lock ever since he won his Cup championship in 2014, but with this win, he became the fourth driver in the modern era to reach 100 victories across NASCAR’s three series. The others are Richard Petty, David Pearson and Kyle Busch. So what does this mean for Harvick’s career? He’s definitely headed to the Hall of Fame when he retires, but now – and especially if he can win another Cup championship – we have to start including Harvick in the conversation as one of the smartest, best overall drivers the sport has ever seen.

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Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Sunday

At Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nev.

Lap length: 1.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267 laps, 60 points.

2. (13) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, 43.

3. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267, 50.

4. (4) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 267, 46.

5. (1) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267, 48.

6. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, 41.

7. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, 43.

8. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267, 29.

9. (12) Paul Menard, Ford, 267, 30.

10. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266, 27.

11. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 266, 26.

12. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266, 25.

13. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266, 24.

14. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 265, 23.

15. (28) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 265, 22.

16. (20) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 265, 21.

17. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 265, 20.

18. (11) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 265, 19.

19. (21) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264, 18.

20. (24) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264, 17.

21. (26) Darrell Wallace Jr, Chevrolet, 264, 16.

22. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 264, 15.

23. (23) David Ragan, Ford, 264, 14.

24. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 264, 13.

25. (30) Cole Custer, Chevrolet, 264, 0.

26. (18) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 263, 11.

27. (17) William Byron, Chevrolet, 263, 10.

28. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 262, 9.

29. (33) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 262, 0.

30. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 262, 7.

31. (36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 255, 6.

32. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 253, 0.

33. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, engine, 195, 4.

34. (6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, accident, 183, 8.

35. (3) Kurt Busch, Ford, accident, 183, 9.

36. (22) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, accident, 176, 1.

37. (15) Michael McDowell, Ford, engine, 100, 1.

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Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 141.760 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 49 minutes, 31 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 2.906 seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: R.Blaney 1;K.Harvick 2-38;M.McDowell 39-49;K.Harvick 50-121;Ky.Busch 122-125;K.Harvick 126-163;J.Logano 164-176;M.Truex 177-182;J.Logano 183-194;K.Harvick 195-224;Ky.Busch 225-230;K.Harvick 231-267

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): K.Harvick, 5 times for 209 laps;J.Logano, 2 times for 23 laps;M.McDowell, 1 time for 10 laps;Ky.Busch, 2 times for 8 laps;M.Truex, 1 time for 5 laps;R.Blaney, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: K.Harvick, 2;A.Dillon, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. K.Harvick, 135;2. J.Logano, 132;3. R.Blaney, 131;4. M.Truex, 115;5. Ky.Busch, 104;6. K.Larson, 104;7. B.Keselowski, 99;8. D.Hamlin, 97;9. P.Menard, 96;10. A.Dillon, 94;11. A.Almirola, 93;12. C.Bowyer, 93;13. Ku.Busch, 77;14. R.Newman, 75;15. D.Wallace, 68;16. A.Bowman, 67.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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