NASCAR IS BACK!!!!

The drivers and teams are ready to go, officials have increased the safety measures, and the fans are watching from home; but the engines will be fired once again after two months of being locked down due to the global pandemic.

The drivers and teams have had no practice; in fact, they will not even see the car until they climb in behind the wheel and qualifying was set by random draw with Brad Keselowski sitting on the pole and Alex Bowman starting alongside on the front row.

Normally, each team has 22 crew members at the track, but under the new rules NASCAR is allowing only 16 crew members per team at the track. Teams have been given a designated track arrival time where they are screened before moving on to their haulers. The drivers will remain in their motor homes, which are not in the lot but scattered about the track, until the last moment when they will go directly to their cars.

NASCAR has hired a infectious disease specialist to aid them in ensuring the return to racing is as safe as it can be.

The stands are empty, but the drivers are ready to take on the “Lady in Black” and earn their stripes at Darlington Raceway for the Real Heroes 400.

FOX broadcasters Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Jeff Gordon will be broadcasting from the Steve Burns Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina while the drivers race in Darlington, South Carolina.

Much has changed in the world over the past couple of months, but the traditions continue in NASCAR with the opening prayer, the singing of the National Anthem by Darius Rucker, and the command to start engines by health workers all from different locations around the country.

Kyle Busch drew fourth for a starting position, but his team had some inspection issues and “The Candy Man” will be starting the race from the back of the field.

The drivers will be carrying the names of health workers on their windshields for the race today.

On an 85 degree day in Darlington, stage one will be 90 laps, stage two will be 95 laps and stage three lasting 108 laps for a total of 293 laps around the 1.38 mile track.

The starting line up for the Real Heroes 400:
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
Matt DiBenedetto
Kyle Busch – moved to the back of the field
Aric Almirola
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Jimmie Johnson
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Matt Kenseth
Clint Bowyer
Cole Custer
Martin Truex Jr
Austin Dillon
Bubba Wallace
William Byron
Corey LaJoie
Erik Jones
Ryan Newman
Kurt Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher
Ryan Preece
Garrett Smithley
Quin Houff
Christopher Bell
Tyler Reddick
JJ Yeley
Michael McDowell
Joey Gase
Ty Dillon
John Hunter Nemechek
Brennan Poole
Reed Sorenson
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod
Josh Bilicki

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with Keselowski getting out front for the lead.

Before the first laps is completed, Ricky Stenhouse gets turned around and hits the inside wall, causing significant damage to his car and brings out the first caution flag of the race. Taking his car to the garage, Stenhouse’s car has flames coming from the back of the car.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap seven and holds on to his lead with Kevin Harvick in second. Kyle Busch has moved up to 30th place after starting in last place.

Lap eight, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, and Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 15, Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a lead of three quarters of a second on Kevin Harvick with Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Alex Bowman rounding out the top five. Kyle Busch has moved up to 25th. There are 38 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 25, Brad Keselowski has led every lap so far after winning the pole; Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamllin, Jimmie Johnson, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

After no practice time or qualifying, NASCAR is calling for a competition caution that will freeze the field and allow the teams to make any adjustments that normally would have been made during practice.

Lap 30, the competition caution comes out. Once the pits are open, the top 20 drivers will come down pit road, then on the next lap the remaining drivers will come down pit road. The drivers will be able to reclaim their original spot unless there is a pit road penalty. The teams will make a second trip down pit road in the same order for a total of two pit stops under the caution.

Lined up once again, Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 40 and continues to lead the race. This is the seventh Darlington race in a row that Brad Keselowski has led.

Lap 41, Jimmie Johnson challenges Brad Keselowski for the lead but Keselowski holds on to the top spot. There are 31 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 45, Alex Bowman passes Brad Keselowski for the lead with Jimmie Johnson taking second; Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 53, Alex Bowman has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds in front of team mate Jimmie Johnson. There are 31 cars on the lead.

Lap 55, the top three drivers – Alex Bowman Jimmie Johnson and William Byron are all Hendrick Motorsports drivers with team member Chase Elliott in seventh.

Kyle Busch has moved up to 18th.

Lap 64, Alex Bowman continues to lead the race with a lead of three seconds over Jimmie Johnson; William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 70, Alex Bowman has a lead of over two seconds on Jimmie Johnson; William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five. In his return to the track, Ryan Newman is in tenth place, nearly 10 seconds back. There are 30 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 77, Jimmie Johnson has cut the lead to Alex Bowman down to less than half a second after Bowman had gotten out to a three second lead.

With the aid of a slower car, Jimmie Johnson gets around team mate Alex Bowman to take the lead on lap 80.

Kyle Busch has gotten around big brother to take 16th place.

With five laps remaining in stage one, Jimmie Johnson lead the race with team mate William Byron in second; Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

On the final lap of stage one, leader Jimmie Johnson gets loose and hits the wall to bring out the caution flag.

William Byron wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
William Byron
Denny Hamlin
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Tyler Reddick
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Newman

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two and goes nose to nose with Alex Bowman. Harvick takes the lead. Kyle Busch is now in the top 10 in eighth place.

Lap 99, Kevin Harvick is in the lead; Alex Bowman, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Chase Elliott was caught speeding on pit road and had to start the stage from the back of the field.

Lap 105, Kevin Harvick ahs pulled out to a half second lead on Alex Bowman; William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 109, Kevin Harvick now has a lead of over a second on Alex Bowman.

William Byron has a flat tire and gets into the wall, bringing out the caution flag on lap 110.

The drivers come down pit road for fresh tires. Darlington is tough on tires and the drivers come down to get fresh tires whenever possible.

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 115 with Harvick edging out Alex Bowman for the lead.

FOX broadcaster Mike Joy announces that NASCAR is in the number spot for trending on Twitter.

Lap 118, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Kurt Busch; Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Kevin Harvick has never finished outside the top 10 at Darlington.

Daniel Suarez brings out the fifth caution flag of the day when he spins out with a flat tire on lap 124.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr, BJ McLeod, and Jimmie Johnson are all out of the race with Quin Houff 82 laps down in his first race at Darlington.

Even though they have been on the track for about 10 laps, the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires. Kevin Harvick with the number one pit stall wins the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 130 and jumps out to take the lead; Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 135, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Alex Bowman; Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Lap 141, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over a second on Alex Bowman; Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Lap 146, halfway, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Alex Bowman.

Denny Hamlin has some debris on his front grille – a banner fell off the wall. He will have to get the debris off quickly or his car will overheat and blow the engine. Hamlin pulls up to Clint Bowyer’s bumper and gets the debris loose. But part of the debris caught onto Tyler Reddick’s car.

Lap 154, Kevin Harvick continues to lead the race with a lead of nearly two seconds on Alex Bowman; Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 154 for track repairs – workers are pulling the remainder of the sign off of the wall.

Kyle Busch has some damage to the right front side of his car and it is causing a tire rub.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and fresh tires. The teams were issued a total of 12 sets of tires for this race.

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski in second.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 161 with Harvick edging out Brad Keselowski for the lead.

The top five are Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch. There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 165, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Brad Keselowski; Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 170, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over a second on Brad Keselowski.

Garrett Smithley is out of the race.

The caution flag comes out with 13 laps remaining in stage two after Christopher Bell gets slideways down the track and taps the inside wall.

Brad Keselowski has debris on his grille.

After a slow pit stop from Kevin Harvick’s team, Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.

Lap 175, JJ Yeley is the leader.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 176 with Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr swapping the lead back and forth.

With seven laps remaining in stage two, Brad Keselowski leads the race; Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Ryan Preece
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones

Alex Bowman wins the race off of pit road followed by Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 293 and edges out Alex Bowman for the lead.

Lap 195, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 200, Brad Keselowski is in the lead with Alex Bowman in second less than half a second behind; Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 205, there are 31 cars on the lead lap with four cars out of the race.

Lap 210, pole sitter Brad Keselowski has returned to the top spot with Alex Bowman in second; with Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin rounding out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 212 for a spin out by Chris Buescher that resulted in some car damage.

When the caution flag was coming out, Joey Logano was attempting to come down pit road. Logano got back on the track and stayed on the lead lap.

After a couple of slow pit stops, Kevin Harvick reclaims the top spot by edging out Brad Keselowski to win the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 219. Harvick and Keselowski go nose to nose before Harvick pulls out in front of Keselowski for the lead; Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 225, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over half a second on Alex Bowman; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 232, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead over Alex Bowman to a second; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr reports that he has a loose wheel and has to come down pit road; but later reports that the issue is getting better.

With 59 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick pulls out to a lead of over a second and half on Alex Bowman; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 240, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to nearly three seconds on Alex Bowman; Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Forty five laps remain in the race, Kevin Harvick has a three second lead on Alex Bowman; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Ryan Newman brings out the tenth caution flag of the race when he gets loose and spins out with 41 laps remaining in the race.

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road, followed by Alex Bowman.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 34 laps remaining in the race. After going side by side with Alex Bowman for a couple of laps, Kevin Harvick gets out in front for the lead; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road with 27 laps to go for a possible loose wheel. Busch goes a lap down.

Twenty five to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over half a second on Alex Bowman; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones round out the top five. Jones is reporting a possible tire or vibration issue with his car.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over a second on Alex Bowman. Harvick has finished the first four races of the season in the top 10, but has yet to earn a win in the 2020 season.

Fifteen to go, Kevin Harvick continues to stretch out his lead over Alex Bowman; he now has a two second lead on Bowman.

Ten to go, Kevin Harvick’s lead is now over two and a half seconds on Alex Bowman; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

At 48, returning driver Matt Kenseth is the oldest driver in the field. He has not run a Cup race in over a year.

There is more sign debris on the track and has attached itself to the front end of Clint Bowyer’s car.

Five to go, Kevin Harvick holds on to his two second lead on Alex Bowman.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag with a lead of over two and a half seconds.

After four races and 10 weeks off, Kevin Harvick wins he race…and career win number 50. Harvick becomes the fourth different race winner in the five races of the 2020 racing season.

Unofficial results of the Real Heroes 400:
Kevin Harvick
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt Kenseth
Austin Dillon
Aric Almirola
Brad Keselowski
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Newman
Ryan Blaney
Clint Bowyer
Joey Logano
Ty Dillon
Ryan Preece
Bubba Wallace
Cole Custer
Michael McDowell
Christopher Bell
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Busch
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Reed Sorenson
Joey Gase
Corey LaJoie
Chris Buescher
Timmy Hill
Josh Bilicki
William Byron
Quin Houff
Garrett Smithley
Jimmie Johnson
BJ McLeod
Ricky Stenhouse Jr