Restarting second, Harvick edged ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Bowyer into Turn 3. And despite his apparent edge on the No. 14 throughout the 133-lap race, Harvick lost the top spot off Turn 4.
And four laps later, the rain hit, the race was over and his bid for a sixth points-paying win in 2018 was closed early.
“We raced pretty hard,” Harvick said of the restart battle with Bowyer. “I got fairly loose up underneath him. I drove it in there, he drove it in there, I slid the back and he got me sliding enough to where he cleared me.
“I don’t think I would’ve raced anybody any different.”
The close racing between teammates was symbolic to how SHR capped off the day in Michigan. Joined by Kurt Busch, SHR swept the top three spots while Aric Almirola ran 11th. Additionally, the trio topped a day of Ford dominance, leading 103 of 133 laps.
At the start of the day, Harvick kept Toyota’s Kyle Busch and Chevrolet’s Kyle Larson on his mind, as the latter won the prior thee Michigan races and Busch has four victories this year. Though they came up through the pack, they were unable to pierce the SHR threesome.
“If they get to the back of the pack, they’re going to be driving through the pack,” he said. “It wasn’t really any surprise to me.
“I’ve been on both sides of this. If you’re going to have racing luck work against you, you want to at least stay on your own team. It worked the other way at Dover. [Bowyer] was kind of in the same position, we went back green. Today it worked out for him.”
For Harvick, who hasn’t won at Michigan since 2010 with Chevrolet, still, credits Ford to his ability to stay up front during the rain-punished event.
“It’s a really big honor to drive the Roush Yates engines when you get to a place like this,” he said. “You can be a lot easier on your car. Obviously, they’re doing a great job with their cars. They like to make big horsepower and put a lot of effort into this particular race.”