This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Kevin Harvick won his second race of the round of 16 in a Saturday night showdown with Kyle Busch. The win was his ninth of the season, which gives him a 19-point playoff advantage over Denny Hamlin as the next three-race round of championship eliminations approaches. Harvick came to the front in the final stage Saturday night, passing Kyle Busch on track for the lead in a race with very few cautions. The lack of cautions benefitted the pair, who had quick machines all night, denying other cars the opportunity to make adjustments to catch them. In the end, it was a bigger advantage for Harvick, who held a narrow speed advantage over Busch and held him off at the line.
This week's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicks off the next round in the playoffs. The 12-man field will be cut by a further four drivers in a three-race round that holds a visit to Talladega and finishes on the Charlotte road course. Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, Cole Custer, and Ryan Blaney all failed to advance from the first round. The remaining 12 contenders' point totals will reset, which puts Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Aric Almirola behind the cut line as the round gets underway at Las Vegas. Joey Logano won his first race of the year there earlier this season.
Kevin Harvick – Harvick's terrific 2020 season momentum continued Saturday night in Bristol. The Stewart-Haas Racing