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NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400: Harvick advances to playoff spot

Kevin Harvick broke a winless streak of 65 races and held on to take the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday to get into position for a NASCAR playoff berth.

Drivers risk everything in the 200-lap 400-mile race for a chance to take home the Michigan Heritage Trophy if the NASCAR Cup Series began his August schedule by returning to Brooklyn, Michigan.

These are Michigan International Speedway’s top moments:

Sunshine, blue skies

After a rain delay halted the action for more than an hour, drivers were finally called to start their engines, thanks to some improvised handiwork from a series of dryers.

And they race!

Bubba Wallace took the early lead as the drivers took off.

Ready for the day

Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric went to the garage after a massive multi-car accident left several drivers, including Aric Almirola and JJ Yeley, up in smoke.

“Infinite” was the word Busch used to describe his level of frustration on a scale of 1-10.

hum along

There’s just something so serene about the sound a speeding car makes when it jumps into top gear, and Denny Hamlin nearly ran his odometer (we’re just kidding) when he hit 202 mph on a trip. Hamlin was in sixth place on lap 55.

Ross Chastain led after Stage 1.

Caught up!

On the second stage, Hamlin sped past smoothly on lap 80 and took the lead on the outside of the track as the two rounded a corner.

Things got worse for Chastain, who was forced to serve a penalty after some pit problems.

going up in flames

The yellow flag came out on lap 98 after Cole Custer’s No. 41 car blew up a front tire, which went up in flames. Fortunately, Custer was able to escape before taking damage.

Back and forth

Harvick, Bell, Hamlin. All three jockeyed intensely for position as the stage 2 checkpoint approached.

Despite valiant efforts from his opponents, Hamlin stayed out front to take the stage 2 victory.

Call on the wall

Christopher Bell did everything he could to get past Hamlin but ended up with his front bumper buried in the wall after an overly aggressive trick.

Slow down your roll

Hamlin, who was in the lead for most of the way, fell behind after being awarded a penalty in one of his last pits.

My time to shine

Harvick took full advantage of the open opportunity, making his way into first place and pulling away from the field with ease.

On to the standings

Harvick led the entire road for the last 25 laps and at one point had a 4.5 second lead over the second place racer. Harvick was the first driver to cross the checkered flag and make his way to the playoff standings.

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Kyle Busch

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