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April 7, 2019
Kevin Harvick caught a break when an accident caused a caution as he was serving an early penalty at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick’s car failed inspection three times before the race. One of the punishments was that he had to drive down pit road at the start. It was almost certainly going to put him several laps down, but the accident on the second lap bought him time. Harvick fell only one lap off the pace because of the caution.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Kevin Harvick caught a break when an accident caused a caution as he was serving an early penalty at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Harvick’s car failed inspection three times before Sunday’s race, and one of the punishments was that he had to drive down pit road at the start. It was almost certainly going to put him several laps down, but the accident on the second lap bought him time.

Harvick fell only one lap off the pace because of the caution that started when William Byron, who started second, wiggled into Aric Almirola and Almirola hit the wall.

Kyle Busch tried to slow down and avoid the congestion but was plowed from behind by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Busch went to pit road for repair, Almirola took his car to the garage and the race was only minutes old. Almirola was knocked out of the race and will finish last, while Stenhouse dropped seven laps off the pace while getting his repairs.

Chase Elliott started from the pole and led the first 39 laps but was involved in a second caution. Ryan Preece had a cut tire that made him spin, and Elliott was hit from behind by Corey LaJoie as they tried to avoid Preece. It caused Elliott to spin and damage his power steering. Elliott dropped to ninth.

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2 p.m.

Kevin Harvick has been penalized before the start of Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway because his car failed inspection three times.

His engineer was ejected from the event and Harvick lost his 13th-place starting position. He must start at the back of the field at the .533-mile bullring and immediately serve a pass-thru penalty on pit road. It will be nearly impossible for Harvick not to be lapped during the sequence.

NASCAR moved the start of the race up by eight minutes in preparation for potential rain during the event.

Chase Elliott and William Byron will lead the field to green in an all-Hendrick Motorsports front row. The organization is still seeking its first win of the season, as is manufacturer Chevrolet.

Through seven races this season, only Joe Gibbs Racing in Toyotas and Team Penske in Fords have won Cup events.

Kyle Busch is the defending race winner, and his Gibbs teammate Erik Jones is racing for a $1 million donation to Children’s Miracle Network through the Ace Hardware Foundation if he wins.

Darrell Waltrip will give his trademark “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity! Let’s go racing, boys!” call to start the race from the flagstand. Bristol made him the honorary starter to recognize his upcoming retirement as Fox Sports’ lead analyst.

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