DARLINGTON, S.C. – The Latest on NASCAR's return at Darlington Raceway (all times local):
Kevin Harvick screamed in celebration as he crossed the finish line and then performed a traditional, smokey burnout.
His 50th career Cup Series victory felt like a lot like the others — until he climbed out of his No. 4 Ford.
“Dead silence,” he said, looking at the empty stands. “It is weird just because there’s nobody up there.”
Harvick won NASCAR’s return race, taking the checkered flag at Darlington Raceway 71 days after the series’ last event.
Harvick took the lead from Alex Bowman on a late restart and pulled away over the final 30 laps. Bowman finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin. Harvick is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in each of the Cup Series' five races this season.
He made the series' resumption look like a Sunday drive in what surely will go down as one of the strangest races in NASCAR history. Masks, social distancing, remote broadcasting and a fan-free speedway were among the most noticeable differences in the return.