(Via LAT Photographic)
The only word to describe Kevin Harvick in Atlanta was dominant. What else is there to say? He led 293 of the 325 laps, and looked to capture his first victory of this season.
That was until he ran into a pit road speeding penalty. Speeding penalties today were like cautions last week. There were so many, and it took out a lot of drivers, including big names Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch. With about 13 laps to go, Austin Dillon’s battery in the 3 car died, and the yellow flag came out.
Harvick (as well as the rest of the leaders) pitted, and Harvick won the race off pit road. It looked almost certain that he would continue his domination to a win and a berth in The Chase. However, that all changed during the caution, as it was announced that Harvick had suffered our old friend, a speeding penalty.
He went from dominating the race to barely on the lead lap. From there on out, it was between Larson and Keselowski, who actually took over the lead from Harvick briefly earlier. (And by the way, after that Keselowski had to re-pit because he had a lugnut loose on his left tire). The two drivers competed for first, going back and forth.
With about 2 laps remaining, Larson decided to go into the turn high. Keselowski realized this, going low and passing him. Keselowski then fended off Larson for the white and checkered flags, taking home the win, and getting back into The Chase.
That being said, this isn't all surprising, as this race took place in Atlanta. Why is Atlanta relevant here? Well, as we all know very well, Atlanta is a famous city for teams (or drivers) blowing near-insurmountable leads.