SONOMA, Calif. (AP) – Kevin Harvick returned to victory lane for the first time this season with a dominating run Sunday on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.
The former NASCAR champion came to Sonoma winless in 20 races since Kansas last fall and has been overshadowed in this season of NASCAR’s young new superstars. But at a track where experience and ability can separate the field, it was Harvick and a bunch of veterans who led the way.
It was the first win on the winding wine country road course in 17 tries for the Bakersfield, California, driver. Sonoma was one of just four active tracks where Harvick had never before scored a Cup victory.
Harvick was on cruise control and conserving fuel in this win, which ended under caution after Kasey Kahne had a hard accident on the final lap.
Either way, Harvick had a cozy 9-second lead over Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer before the caution.
Bowyer, now the driver for the entry Tony Stewart used for his final NASCAR victory last year at the track, was second and Brad Keselowski third as Ford cars went 1-2-3.