Kevin Harvick nabs 9th win of season to roll into 2nd round
Busch furiously tried to catch him as the two weaved their way through lapped traffic, but Harvick held firm in the No. Only six cars finished on the lead lap in a tepid event at the 0.533-mile bullring revered for bumping and banging. Track officials sold all 30,000 tickets allowed — making Bristol one of the largest sporting events since the pandemic — and the spectators crowded the fence as Harvick celebrated his second win of the playoffs. Erik Jones, who is not eligible for the playoffs, finished third for Joe Gibbs Racing and was followed by rookie Tyler Reddick and playoff contenders Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer. Denny Hamlin, considered the closest challenger to Harvick this year, closed out a sub-par opening round of the playoffs with a 21st-place finish.
NASCAR docks 20 points from Newman, Buescher for violations
BROOKLYN, Mich. – NASCAR has docked Ryan Newman and Chris Buescher 20 points each and confiscated their spoilers prior to Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR said the two violated a rule stating that except as specified, spoilers must be used exactly as supplied from the manufacturer. Each car is also being sent to the rear for the start of the race. Other penalties include a loss of 20 owner points and a $25,000 fine. Newman and Buescher are both without a victory this year, and both were outside the top 20 in points even before these penalties.