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Kyle Petty: Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell biggest losers at Darlington

Stephen Samraby:Steve Samra09/05/23

SamraSource

Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell
© Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Petty singled out two drivers in the NASCAR Playoffs as the biggest losers from Sunday’s Darlington race.

Evidently, the NASCAR on NBC analyst believes Kevin Harvick and Michael McDowell got the short-end of the stick at The Lady In Black, as he explained following the event.

“Big losers for me, Kevin Harvick. Had a great run going. Just bad timing. Misfortune. Came down pit road as the caution came out, and caught him behind,” explained Petty. “Michael McDowell. I don’t think they’ll recover from that. So there were winners. There were losers. But the playoffs are on.”

First off, it looked like Harvick was in position to win at Darlington. He was running down race leader Tyler Reddick as the laps dwindled, but an ill-timed caution as he was headed to pit road for his final stop ruined his night. Harvick was penalized, and never could make the ground back up and get back to the front. Instead of Victory Lane, Harvick ended up finishing P19 by the end of the night.

Meanwhile, McDowell struggled throughout the race, but was finally churning out some good laps and making his way up the field when he was collected in a wreck that had nothing to do with him. Now following a P32 finish at Darlington, the Furniture Row Racing wheelman will likely have to win his way into the Round of 12.

Time will tell if either Ford driver can capitalize and move up the standings over the next two races, but Kevin Harvick and Michael McDowell will be hoping there isn’t much more adversity moving forward for them.

Kyle Larson wins Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, advances to Round of 12

Continuing, Kyle Larson won at Darlington in the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, and will advance to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs. It marked the first time Larson has ever won at Darlington and it is his first Southern 500. 

An old-fashioned battle between two of NASCAR’s best young drivers, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson. Let’s not forget Chris Buescher put his nose into this thing to prove he was still the hottest car in the field. 

However, the night, and the win at the Southern 500, belonged to Kyle Larson. This is his third win of the season and earns him a spot in the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs.

Kyle Larson started off the season strong. He looked like he was the short track king with strong performances at Las Vegas and Phoenix as well as Richmond and Martinsville. However, the team stopped being so dominant after he won the All-Star Race. 

Reddick gave a hard effort at the end of the race. It just didn’t look like he had the air or the speed to catch Larson at the very end of the race. The 45 team had a good points day but came up short of the win and will be wondering what more they could have done.

On3’s Jonathan Howard contributed to this article.