Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick eased to his second victory of the NASCAR Cup Series season at Atlanta after dominating the final stage of the race.
Harvick’s #4 Ford Mustang re-started the final segment of the 325-lap race in third position, but quickly passed Joe Gibbs Racing duo Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr to assume control of the race.
Throughout the final 114-lap stage, aside through green-flag pit-stops, Harvick comfortably held the chasing Truex and Busch at bay by around two-three seconds to ease to his 51st career Cup win, at the track where he claimed his first back in March 2001.
Truex ran strongly in the #19 JGR Toyota Camry, and claimed his first, and second stage wins of the campaign, but as he faded in his pursuit of Harvick, team-mate Busch was able to nip by in the closing stages to equal his best result of the season with second – the third time he has done that in 2020.
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney had a sensible race in a quiet afternoon, coming home in fourth in the #12 Mustang ahead of the third JGR entry of Denny Hamlin, who did not quite have the pace to keep tabs with the team-mates around the 1.5-mile Atlanta circuit.
Kurt Busch was forced to start at the back of the field after his #1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro failed pre-race inspection, and was forced to take a drive-through penalty early on.
The 2004 Cup champion steadily rose throughout the pack, finishing 17th and 15th in the two stages before passing Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson late on to record a sixth top 10 finish of the season and place as the highest Camaro finisher.
Johnson held off Hendrick Motorsports team-mate, the randomly drawn pole-sitter, Chase Elliott for seventh as team-mate’s William Byron’s race was effectively ended early on with a puncture in the opening stages.
Penske pair Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano both encountered trouble in the race, with Keselowski being slapped with a pit-road speeding penalty, whilst Logano suffered minor damage after contact with another car in the pit-road scramble.
Keselowski fought back to ninth, with 2018 champion Logano racing the #22 Mustang to 10th and came home as the last driver still on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer was set for a strong result, following his second-place at Bristol last Sunday, but his #14 SHR machine was struggling with the right-rear tyres all race, leading to him often pitting out of sequence with the rest of the leading gaggle.
With 14 laps to go, Bowyer was forced to pit again, and fell from seventh to a lapped 20th.
|1||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||3h30m03.s|
|2||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||3.527s|
|3||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||4.708s|
|4||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||14.730s|
|5||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||20.182s|
|6||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||22.902s|
|7||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||24.589s|
|8||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||25.532s|
|9||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||25.862s|
|10||Joey Logano||Team Penske||25.925s|
|11||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||1 Lap|
|12||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||1 Lap|
|13||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||1 Lap|
|14||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||1 Lap|
|15||Matt Kenseth||Chip Ganassi Racing||1 Lap|
|16||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||1 Lap|
|17||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||1 Lap|
|18||Christopher Bell||Leavine Family Racing||1 Lap|
|19||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||1 Lap|
|20||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||1 Lap|
|21||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||1 Lap|
|22||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||1 Lap|
|23||John Hunter Nemechek||Front Row Motorsports||1 Lap|
|24||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||1 Lap|
|25||Matt DiBenedetto||Wood Brothers Racing||1 Lap|
|26||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||2 Laps|
|27||Corey LaJoie||Go FAS Racing||2 Laps|
|28||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||3 Laps|
|29||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||3 Laps|
|30||Brennan Poole||Premium Motorsports||4 Laps|
|31||Daniel Suarez||Gaunt Brothers Racing||9 Laps|
|32||Quin Houff||StarCom Racing||11 Laps|
|33||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||12 Laps|
|34||Josh Bilicki||Rick Ware Racing||12 Laps|
|35||Garrett Smithley||Rick Ware Racing||13 Laps|
|36||J.J. Yeley||Spire Motorsports||14 Laps|
|37||Reed Sorenson||Tommy Baldwin Racing||15 Laps|
|38||Joey Gase||Petty Ware Racing||17 Laps|
|39||Timmy Hill||MBM Motorsports||Electrical|
|40||B.J. McLeod||BJ McLeod Motorsports||Clutch|
Published at Sun, 07 Jun 2020 23:02:38 +0000
George Russell took his third successive Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix victory, while Charles Leclerc suffered a nightmare race which finally ended his run of podium finishes.
Russell, the winner of the previous two F1 esports races at Catalunya and Monaco, beat Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to pole position.
Williams F1 driver Russell was able to maintain his lead at the start of the race and he earned a dominant race win ahead of ex-Formula 2 title advisory Albon.
Albon was unable to provide much competition for Russell, and Albon’s hopes of claiming his first Virtual GP since his win at Interlagos were dashed when he picked up a three-second penalty for corner-cutting.
Russell’s third race win in a row means he moves ahead of Leclerc to the top of the unofficial drivers’ championship, which was retrospectively constructed days before the virtual Baku race.
Leclerc struggled in qualifying and could only manage 10th place. He fell further down the order at the start of the race when he was involved in a multi-car crash.
His Ferrari team-mate Enzo Fittipaldi – an FIA Formula 3 driver and Ferrari junior – lost his car in the tight-Castle section and ended up collecting Leclerc.
Leclerc picked up 12 seconds worth of track-limits penalties and he finished down in 14th place, the first time he has failed to finish on the podium in the series.
Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez earned his second straight podium finish in third place, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, who achieved his best Virtual GP finish in fourth position.
Renault junior Oscar Piastri, who will drive for reigning series champions Prema in FIA F3 this year, finished in fifth place on his series debut ahead of Haas F1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
Popular YouTuber Ben ‘Tiametmarduk’ Daly was eighth on his maiden Virtual GP outing, with long-time Mercedes simulator driver Anthony Davidson and popular streamer Jimmy Broadbent rounding out the top 10.
F1 drivers Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez struggled on their first starts, placing 12th and 15th respectively.
Ex-Renault junior Jarno Opmeer won on his debut for Alfa Romeo in the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race ahead of Racing Point’s Lukas Blakeley and reigning F1 Esports champion David Tonizza.
The final Virtual GP before the belated real-life F1 season starts will take place at the Canadian Grand Prix venue in Montreal next Sunday.
Published at Sun, 07 Jun 2020 18:44:00 +0000