Kevin Harvick Captures Stage 1 of Folds of Honor 500

Written by Adrian Beecher
​Hampton, GA – Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Jimmie Johns Ford won stage 1 of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after leading 65 of the 85 stage laps. He continued to follow up his performance in Saturday’s Xfinity race, putting 17 cars a lap down in the first stage.

Here’s how it all went down in Stage one in Atlanta.

Kyle Busch started off the pole in the No. 18 Snickers Almonds Toyota and would lead the field to the drop of the green flag to get the 2018 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 underway! However, Ryan Newman in the No. 31 Liberty National Chevrolet would make the pass of Busch in turn one and lead the first lap of the race.

Newman would lead until lap 18, where Busch would regain the top spot. On the ensuing lap, Kevin Harvick would pass Newman and then get to work on Busch. On lap 20, Harvick would make the pass to take the top spot. Six laps later, Harvick had a two and a half lead on Busch in 2nd.

All the while, as the yellow flag flew on lap 30, Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 5-Hour Energy Toyota had made his way through the field from his 35th starting place, all the way up to 6th.

After yellow flag pit stops, Harvick was still out in front with Kyle Busch in second, Newman in 3rd, Kurt Busch in the No. 41 Monster Energy Ford in 4th and Truex Jr, in 5th.

On the restart, however, Kyle Busch had an awful restart and dropped quickly to 7th. On the flipside, fellow Toyota driver, Truex Jr. had made his way up to 2nd just six laps into the restart.

On laps 75, with just ten laps left in the stage, Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Hass Automation Ford made the pass of Truex Jr. for the 2nd position. However, Harvick continued to dominate and had a 4.368-second lead. That didn’t deter Bowyer though, who cut 1.2 seconds off Harvick’s lead after one lap in 2nd place.

On lap 80, Ryan Newman, who was running 13th at the time had to come down pit road to get new tires as he hit the outside wall. This put Newman a lap down.

As the stage came to an end, it was Kevin Harvick in the lead with Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Lowes for Pro’s Chevrolet being the lucky dog as the last car a lap down. In total after Johnson got his spot back, 19 cars would be left on the lead lap after just 85 laps ran.

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