How Kevin Harvick ‘won’ NASCAR’s version of Groundhog Day at Dover

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Kevin Harvick’s phone started blowing up with texts and voicemails offering congratulations late Sunday afternoon for winning the Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.

There’s only one problem with that – actually, a couple of problems:

First, there was no race on Sunday. It was rained out and ran the following afternoon (Martin Truex Jr. won).

Second, and the main reason so many folks offered Harvick congratulations is that Fox Sports 1 – in lieu of Sunday’s rainout and to fill time – replayed last year’s spring race at Dover, which Harvick did indeed win in dominating fashion.

But because the network only sparingly made notice to viewers during the telecast that they were watching last year’s race, many either didn’t see the notification or didn’t pay attention to it. Hence why Harvick’s phone blew up.

It was like a NASCAR version of the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray has the same day replay over and over.

“The first text I got was from (sponsor) Jimmy John himself, and talked about how he had just sat with his whole family and watched the race and how excited he was,” Harvick said during Wednesday’s Happy Hours show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It took me like 15 minutes to get up the nerve to text him back.

“He copied myself, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer and so nobody said anything on the text. Finally, I broke the ice and said, ‘Hey man, that was last year’s race.’ At first, he thought I was messing with him. I’m like, ‘No, that was last year’s race.’ And then it was Clint and Tony piling on. But he wasn’t the only text I got.

“I don’t know if it was misleading or if it said ‘re-air’ or something … maybe thinking people kind of think it was live.”

Then things took an even bigger turn. The corporate headquarters of Outback Steakhouse, another of Harvick’s primary sponsors, has a promotion that if Harvick scores a top-10 finish on Sundays, fans can come into an Outback restaurant on Monday and get a free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer. He finished fourth on Monday, his fifth fourth-place finish in the first 11 races of the season.

Said Yocum, “So many people thought you had won on social media, Outback sent out a corporate memo to all their restaurants that if anybody comes in on Monday and says, ‘Hey, I want the free Bloomin’ Onion,’ go ahead and give it to them because that’s just the kind of partner we are.”

Even Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne — who some fans thought was back racing in NASCAR because he competed in that race (but we’re not using it here because it contains profanity) — got into the mix on social media:

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