Kevin Harvick swept both stages and won his series-high seventh points race of the season Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
Harvick’s 44th career Cup win tied him with Bill Elliott for 17th the all-time win list.
“The most important thing is winning races and getting all the points you can to position yourself well for Homestead,” Harvick told NBCSN. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year.”
Harvick has a series-high 40 playoff points.
MORE: Race results
MORE: Points report
This is the third time this season that Harvick has swept both stages and won the race. He also did it at Las Vegas and Dover.
Harvick has finished runner-up seven times at Michigan, including June’s rain-shortened race. HIs victory Sunday is his second at the 2-mile track. He won there in August 2010.
Brad Keselowski finished second. Kyle Busch was third. Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon was fourth after having a tire issue coming to the last lap and losing a shot at a runner-up finish.
Stage 1 winner: Kevin Harvick (11th stage win of the year)
Stage 2 winner: Kevin Harvick (12th stage win of the year)
How Kevin Harvick won: He had the dominant car, leading 108 of the 200 laps. He had the strongest car in the June race but finished second in the rain-shortened race. Nothing got in his way this time.
Who had a good race: Although a tire issue caused him to fall from second to fourth on the last lap, Austin Dillon still scored his first top-five finish since his Daytona 500 win. … Brad Keselowski tied his best finish of the season with his runner-up result. … Ryan Blaney‘s fifth-place finish was his second top-five in the last 16 races. … Chase Elliott placed ninth and has placed in the top 10 in all six starts at Michigan.
Who had a bad race: Ty Dillon’s race ended early when he struck a battery or tungsten on track that sent him into the wall. He finished 38th. … Erik Jones spun twice before finishing 13th. … Martin Truex Jr. ran out of fuel before the end of Stage 2 in a gamble that kept him from having a chance to win. He also spun early in the race after contact from William Byron. Truex placed 14th. … Jimmie Johnson finished 28th, the second consecutive race he’s placed outside the top 25.
Notable: This is only the second time in the last 20 seasons that a driver had seven wins through 23 races (Kyle Busch had eight through 23 in 2008).
Quote of the day: “This is my 18th year and I can promise you this is a career year,” Kevin Harvick told NBCSN. “Never have I experienced anything like this and so we’re going to enjoy it, we’re going to bask in it and we’re going to do everything that comes with it and however it shakes out, it’s going to be a great year.”
Next: The series goes to Bristol for the night race at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 18 on NBCSN