After a good rain delay the Monster Energy series finally got to race at Atlanta for 500 miles of action. The race only had 36 drivers in it which had not been seen since 1996. Martin Truex Jr. wound up starting in the back as he could not get his car past inspection and did not even take a qualifying lap.
Ryan Newman started the race off leading laps and then Kyle Busch got to lead a few as Kevin Harvick then got hot and took over the race lead. Jeffery Earnhardt around lap 30 blew a tire and got the car to pit road to not bring out the caution. Around lap 31 it was competition caution time. During this time Martin Truex Jr. on his super fresh tires moved his way back into the top ten.
As the green flag racing continued it was nothing but the Kevin Harvick show as he was leading lap after lap after lap. Around lap 81 it was pit stop time for Ryan Newman as he blew a tire and lost a flap on his car. He did not bring out the caution and easily won the first stage. Cars pit and Kevin Harvick makes a second pit stop to start at the end of the lead lap.
The second stage with Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch getting to lead laps as Kevin Harvick was moving his way back to the front of the field. Around lap 126 it was green flag pit stop time. After they were over Kevin Harvick was back to the race lead. At lap 159 we finally get to the caution as Jimmie Johnson spins out. The caution brought in the leaders with Brad Keselowski winning the race off pit road. When the race restarted Kevin Harvick just could not go and wound up dropping back to fifth as Brad Keselowski easily won the second stage. The leaders pit with Kurt Busch winning the race off pit road.
The third stage started with Kurt Busch in the race lead. Around lap 201 Kurt goes high which causes Brad Keselowski to get the lead of the race. Around 15 laps later and it was green flag pit stop time. Denny Hamlin and a few more cars stay out to attempt to make it on one less pit stop. At lap 225 Denny Hamlin finally pits giving Kevin Harvick the race lead. With around 75 laps to go we get a new fresh round of green flag pit stops. With 73 laps left Harvick pits. This put Denny Hamlin back in the race lead. With 51 lap left he finally made his last stop of the race. This put Kevin Harvick back to the race lead and had a massive 10 second lead over Brad Keselowski.
With 40 laps left we get the final round of green flag pit stops. With 36 laps left A.J. Allmendinger winds up with tire problems and makes it to pit road. On the next lap Kevin Harvick passes Denny Hamlin to take the race lead. We finally get the caution as Trevor Bayne blows up. In the back Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Darrell Wallace Jr. get some damage from it. Leaders pit and Kevin Harvick wins the race off pit road.
The race restarts with Kevin Harvick easily getting the race lead as Joey Logano lost a bunch of spots with a poor restart. The rest of the way went caution free as Kevin Harvick easily won the race.
“I love racing here,” said Kevin Harvick.
“Had a really strong day on pit road,” said Brad Keslowski. He also stated that Kevin was in a league of his own.