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NASCAR Cup Series | Results and 3 takeaways from Saturday’s All-Star Race

Kevin Harvick: Kids think the NASCAR All-Star Race trophy is out of the movies

Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Harvick says that all the kids think the trophy is Lightning McQueen's Piston Cup from the "Cars" movies.
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Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Harvick says that all the kids think the trophy is Lightning McQueen's Piston Cup from the "Cars" movies.

Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR All-Star Race on Saturday, the second in his career, but there are other implications from the event as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Saturday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

1. Harvick's dominance is on the brink of legendary status

First the facts: Harvick has won five of this season's first 12 Cup Series races, plus the All-Star Race (which doesn't count for playoff points or stage wins). Even though Saturday night's win at Charlotte Motor Speedway won't count for anything other than his $1 million prize, it does solidify what we already knew about Harvick. He's far and away the best driver this season. If Harvick wins the Coca-Cola 600 next Sunday, he'll have two streaks this year of three consecutive wins. The last driver to accomplish that? Just some guy named Dale Earnhardt back in 1987.

2. Could we have seen a glimpse of NASCAR's future?

There were a lot of conflicting reports following Saturday's race, and almost all of them dealt with the unconventional new rules package NASCAR implemented for just this event. The package used restrictor plates for the first time at CMS, and the overall combination of rules made the cars slower, less stable and more tightly packed. As a result, you saw more passes for the lead Saturday than in the previous four All-Star Races combined. But is that package good for NASCAR going forward? We won't know for a while, but there's definitely the potential for this package to reappear, perhaps on a more permanent basis.

3. What last season can teach us a third of the way through the season

At this point last season, we knew Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch would be good. We didn't know how good though. Obviously they went on to finish 1-2 in the championship race, which backed up some of what we knew early. But in May, it wasn't evident those two would race for a title. With Harvick, he's even further along the path than Truex was last season. He's currently leading the Cup Series in wins, Top 5's, stage wins and laps led. If we thought Truex would coast to the championship race with his first 12 races in 2017, isn't it fair to just about lock Harvick into the championship race at Homestead? That time is sooner than you might think.

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon arrives with members of the Carolina Panthers in tow during driver introductions on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Saturday At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.

Lap length: 1.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 93 laps, 0 rating, 0 points.

2. (19) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 93, 0, 0.

3. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 93, 0, 0.

4. (14) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 93, 0, 0.

5. (21) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

6. (11) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

7. (16) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

8. (20) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

9. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 93, 0, 0.

10. (17) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

11. (2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 93, 0, 0.

12. (9) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

13. (12) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

14. (1) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 93, 0, 0.

15. (6) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 93, 0, 0.

16. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 93, 0, 0.

17. (5) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, accident, 76, 0, 0.

18. (15) Kurt Busch, Ford, accident, 74, 0, 0.

19. (3) Clint Bowyer, Ford, accident, 74, 0, 0.

20. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, accident, 74, 0, 0.

21. (18) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, accident, 68, 0, 0.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano believes they will be crashing some stuff during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 123.071 mph.

Time of Race: 1 hour, 38 minutes, 50 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.325 seconds.

Caution Flags: 8 for 0 laps.

Lead Changes: 12 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M.Kenseth 0; R.Stenhouse 1-5; K.Harvick 6-30; M.Truex 31; Ky.Busch 32-50; B.Keselowski 51; M.Truex 52; B.Keselowski 53-54; M.Truex 55-69; K.Larson 70-74; D.Hamlin 75-81; K.Larson 82; K.Harvick 83-93

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): K.Harvick, 2 times for 34 laps; Ky.Busch, 1 time for 18 laps; M.Truex, 3 times for 14 laps; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 6 laps; K.Larson, 2 times for 4 laps; R.Stenhouse, 1 time for 4 laps; B.Keselowski, 2 times for 1 lap; M.Kenseth, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: K.Harvick, 5; Ky.Busch, 3; C.Bowyer, 1; A.Dillon, 1; J.Logano, 1; M.Truex, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. Ky.Busch, 503; 2. J.Logano, 491; 3. K.Harvick, 484; 4. B.Keselowski, 396; 5. Ku.Busch, 393; 6. C.Bowyer, 386; 7. D.Hamlin, 380; 8. M.Truex, 376; 9. R.Blaney, 365; 10. K.Larson, 336; 11. J.Johnson, 286; 12. A.Bowman, 271; 13. C.Elliott, 266; 14. R.Stenhouse, 265; 15. A.Dillon, 241; 16. R.Newman, 225.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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