After almost ten weeks off, NASCAR returned on Sunday with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. Kevin Harvick won the race, edging out Alex Bowman down the stretch.

The win marked Harvick’s fiftieth Cup Series victory of his career, and his first this season. In commenting on winning his fiftieth Cup Series race, Harvick is proud of the honor. “It’s a pretty big honor to win 50 races in this deal and I just have to thank all my team guys and everybody for what they’re doing,” he said. “We’re bringing home the trophy. It doesn’t seem real.”

There was one notable difference in Sunday’s race and that was there were no fans present. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, as sports start to return, the majority of leagues have opted to hold events without fans and Harvick commented on that notable difference as well. “I just want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do,” Harvick told Fox Sports. “Then we won the race and it’s dead silent out here. We miss the fans.”

With the win, Harvick now sits first in the Cup point standings, holding his mark from when the season was postponed. 

Sunday’s race was the first following the season’s hiatus and due to this break, NASCAR’s schedule has been reshuffled. The next race will take place on Wednesday with the Toyota 500, also at Darlington. As it stands right now, there will be 17 more races in the regular season(with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 ending the regular season on August 29). It has not been announced whether or not there will be any fans present for the remainder of the season, but with the return of NASCAR, it seems we are slowly nearing the return of all sports in the United States.

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