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Harvick Grabs Fifth Win in Wild Kansas Finish

Kevin Harvick won the KC Masterpiece 400 after leading 79 laps. This is Harvick’s second race win in a row, and series-high fifth of the season. Kyle Larson led a race-high 101 laps before a run-in with Ryan Blaney derailed his night.

Kyle Larson started hot, entering the top ten on lap 20 after starting 34th. On the competition caution, Ryan Blaney was first off pit road, followed by Harvick. Jimmie Johnson, running just outside the top 20, had to pit for a loose wheel with just under 20 to go in stage one. That would be the start of a difficult night for Johnson, which ended with a 19th-place finish two laps down. Darrell Wallace Jr. had a right rear tire go down with about five to go in stage one, meaning he had to pit under green, taking him out of contention. Wallace had an even worse day, ending up 23rd, five laps down. Ryan Blaney was able to grab the stage win after holding off a challenge from Kevin Harvick.

Harvick, though, passed up Blaney on pit road and drove away on the restart. During stage two, both Daniel Suarez and Brad Keselowski had to pit for loose wheels. Right after pit stops, which took place about halfway through the stage, Kyle Larson made a huge power move to get by Kevin Harvick for the lead. That pass sealed the deal for Larson to win stage two.

The final stage started as a Larson-fest. Harvick and Blaney worked hard trying to track him down throughout the final stage, but he was gone. That is, until the caution came out with 30 laps to go when Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman got together in front of Larson. While it was a scare for Larson, he was able to make it through.

On the restart, though, Kevin Harvick grabbed the lead away from Larson, and Logano took second. Blaney got loose and fell back several positions. Larson and Blaney soon got into a battle for third. It turned sour when Blaney bounced off the side of Larson, causing a nasty tire rub for Larson and cutting the right front tire of Blaney. This brought out the caution once again.

Pit strategy threw things for a loop, as the top six stayed out, led by Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, and Chase Elliott also stayed out, while William Byron took two tires. Kevin Harvick was the first driver with four tires, in eighth. The restart was going smoothly as Martin Truex Jr. grabbed the lead, but a huge wreck erupted after William Byron got loose under Clint Bowyer, turning Bowyer around and sending Byron into the wall violently. Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Chris Buescher, and Ty Dillon were all collected. Every car but Bowyer could not continue and the red flag was thrown. Everyone involved was okay.

The race restarted with Truex still the leader, but Kevin Harvick clawed through the field with unreal speed, tracked down Truex, and got by him with only a couple laps to go. Harvick made it through the final laps and grabbed the hard-fought victory.

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