- Sports Staff
NASCAR Sports Update: Harvick denies Busch victory in Bristol Night Race (9/19/20) By: Josh Scott
Kevin Harvick held off Kyle Busch by .31 seconds to win the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. The win is Harvick's ninth, a career-best, of 2020 and 58th of his Cup Series career. The victory is also Harvick's third career win at Bristol. "The Closer" has now won eight or more races in two of the last three seasons. Despite charging to the front after starting from the back of the field, Busch is still searching for his first win of 2020.
Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones finished 3rd, rookie Tyler Reddick fourth, and Aric Almirola fifth. Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Michael McDowell rounded out the top 10. Reddick, Preece, and McDowell all achieved career-best finishes at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile".
Harvick led a race-high 226 laps, but it was Elliott and Busch who captured stage wins with Elliott winning Stage One and Busch, Stage Two.
The first round of the Playoffs comes to an end as the Bristol Night Race marks the conclusion of the Round of 16. The standings after the 500-mile race are as follows:
Those listed above have moved on to the Round of 12, the second out of four total rounds in the NASCAR Playoffs. Harvick, who won at both Darlington and Bristol, and Brad Keselowski, who captured victory at Richmond, automatically guaranteed themselves passage into the next round. William Byron, rookie Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney, and Matt DiBenedetto were the four drivers eliminated from championship contention on Saturday night. Blaney finished 13th, along with DiBenedetto 19th and Custer 23rd. Byron finished 38th after crashing out of the race on lap 232.
The Cup Series begins the Round of 12 with a trip to Las Vegas next Sunday. The race will mark NASCAR's second visit to the 1.5-mile track in 2020. Martin Truex Jr is the defending race winner. The South Point 400 begins at 7 p.m. next Sunday on NBCSN.