Harvick wins NASCAR’s return race at Darlington

Harvick wins NASCAR’s return race at Darlington”

Jimmie Johnson crashed out of the lead on lap 90 of The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway while leading the race.

He led for 159 of the 293 laps, grabbing the lead before the midway mark.

"I didn't think it was going to be that much different and then we won the race and it is dead silent out here, so we miss the fans", said the Stewart-Haas driver after celebrating his victory with no spectators to cheer for him. "It felt a little odd with the garage area because it was scaled down in terms of personnel, but all in all I think it went really well".

This news outlet abhors taxpayer-funded subsidies for stock vehicle racing (and the shady lobbyists pushing them), but we can not help but love the sport ... which is why we were pleased when SC governor Henry McMaster gave the green light for NASCAR to host the first race of the coronavirus era in Darlington, S.C. on Sunday.

"It's a pretty big honour to win 50 races in this deal", he said. "I'm just really honored and really thankful for all of our front line workers, not only our doctors, but grocery stores, truck drivers, fire fighters, police departments - you name it". We're thinking of you. He claimed Stage 2 for his second stage victory of the season. Bowman, driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, sat 2.154 seconds behind race victor Kevin Harvick and led the field for 41 laps.

Harvick earned his 50th career victory in a race contested without fans and with a number of new health safety precautions.

He added: "Usually you get out of the vehicle, and the crowd is screaming and yelling and react to your emotions, and today I get out of the auto, and well, I really don't know what to do here".

More news: Italy's daily coronavirus death toll and new cases dip

"We put a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of studying, a lot of meetings and just have to thank everybody at the shop who has built all these cars and just, man, I'm excited", Harvick said. It is weird just because there's nobody up there, and you can go to Busch and maybe have your face on the auto next week, up here on the hood. Busch started 22 on the starting grid. Alex Bowman finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.

Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10. Harvick is the only drive to finish in the top 10 in each of the Cup Series' five races this season. Reddick and Nemechek are rookies. Both drivers have 15 starts combined in the series since a year ago.

Matt Kenseth made his debut with Chip Ganassi Racing following the removal of Kyle Larson.

It was just the second crash of the race after Ricky Stenhouse hit the wall coming out of the same turn on the first lap.

The next several cautions included a debris, a stage break, and three single auto incidents. Officials just dropped the green flag and the drivers rolled into turn one.

Ryan Newman finished 15th in his first race since suffering a head injury in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. The event will take place Wednesday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FS1.

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