This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin picked up their duel right where they left off. The pair battled and split the wins last week at Pocono Raceway, and then found themselves battling again for the win in Sunday's Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hamlin appeared to have the edge in the final miles with a faster car and favorable track position, while Harvick was in full chase mode trying to capitalize on lapped traffic to make his move for the lead. When a right-front failure sent Hamlin into the turn 1 wall, it was up to Harvick to survive an overtime restart to win his second consecutive Brickyard 400. The win again moves him level with Hamlin with four for the 2020 season as they march toward what is increasingly looking like a championship battle between the pair.
Next up is Kentucky Motor Speedway. Only nine NASCAR Cup series races have been run at the circuit, and Kurt Busch is the defending winner. Neither Hamlin nor Harvick have won at the circuit, but Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have all won multiple times there. Only eight races remain before the playoffs commence and pressure will continue to rise for those hoping to claim their spot in the championship elimination fight.
Kevin Harvick – Harvick played the strategy game early in Sunday's Brickyard 400. He opted to pit just before the first caution of the race and then saved fuel to maximize his