Harvick goes three in a row with Phoenix win

Speedcafe.com

Monday 12th March, 2018 - 1:05pm

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Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick has won for the third race straight in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, this time taking line honours in Phoenix.

Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) did not dominate proceedings as he did a week earlier in Las Vegas but emerged at the lead after the completion of the final pit stops cycle with 22 of 312 laps remaining.

He had enjoyed one previous spell at the front of the field, from Laps 179 to 194 when he passed Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota).

However, the pivotal move would come later in the race when he overtook Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) for what was fourth position at the time.

Having raced without car chief Robert Smith for the first of two races after a post-Las Vegas penalty, Harvick was in a defiant mood in victory lane.

“I’ve been mad as all get out because this team does a great job,” he said.

“This organisation does a great job and we’ve got fast race cars, and to take that away from those guys just really p###ed me off last week.

“To come here to a racetrack that is so good for us is a lot of fun and everyone was just determined this week and we just wanted to just go stomp them.

“We didn’t stomp them, but we won. That’s all that really matters. Just proud of this team. Put a little fire in our belly.”

Kyle Busch finished 0.774s in arrears in second position, having won Stage 1 and led a race-high 128 laps.

He lost time with a messy final pit stop with 53 laps remaining, but still managed to pass Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and then Elliott before the chequered flag.

Elliott took third from Hamlin and pole-sitter Martin Truex Jnr (#78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota).

Stewart-Haas Racing got all four of its cars into the top 10, with Clint Bowyer sixth (#14 Ford), Aric Almirola seventh (#10 Ford), and Kurt Busch (#41 Ford), who won Stage 2, 10th.

Joe Gibbs Racing did likewise as Daniel Suarez (#19 Toyota) headed Erik Jones (#20 Toyota) in eighth and ninth.

Harvick’s win takes him back on top of the standings after dropping to third mid-week following his penalty, which team owner Tony Stewart indicated post-race would not be appealed.

Round 5 is the Auto Club 400 at California Speedway from March 16-18.

Harvick passes Elliott

Race highlights

Results: TicketGuardian 500, Phoenix International Raceway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 312 38 Running
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 312 128 Running
3 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 312 0 Running
4 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 312 33 Running
5 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 312 3 Running
6 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 312 0 Running
7 10 Aric Almirola Ford 312 0 Running
8 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 312 0 Running
9 20 Erik Jones Toyota 312 0 Running
10 41 Kurt Busch Ford 312 6 Running
11 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 312 23 Running
12 24 William Byron Chevrolet 312 15 Running
13 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 312 0 Running
14 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 312 0 Running
15 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 312 12 Running
16 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 311 0 Running
17 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 311 0 Running
18 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 311 54 Running
19 22 Joey Logano Ford 311 0 Running
20 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 311 0 Running
21 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 311 0 Running
22 38 David Ragan Ford 311 0 Running
23 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 311 0 Running
24 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 311 0 Running
25 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 311 0 Running
26 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 310 0 Running
27 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 310 0 Running
28 43 Darrell Wallace Jnr Chevrolet 309 0 Running
29 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 309 0 Running
30 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 309 0 Running
31 96 DJ Kennington Toyota 309 0 Running
32 34 Michael McDowell Ford 308 0 Running
33 51 Timmy Hill Chevrolet 306 0 Running
34 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 304 0 Running
35 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 292 0 Running
36 21 Paul Menard Ford 189 0 Crash
37 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 23 0 Engine

Standings Updated due to post-race points penalty (25 points) for Chase Elliott and owner

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Kevin Harvick 168 4 3 11
2 Kyle Busch 156 -12 4 0 1
3 Martin Truex Jnr 156 -12 4 0 0
4 Joey Logano 152 -16 4 0 0
5 Ryan Blaney 152 -16 4 0 1
6 Denny Hamlin 137 -31 4 0 0
7 Brad Keselowski 134 -34 4 0 1
8 Kyle Larson 131 -37 4 0 0
9 Clint Bowyer 125 -43 4 0 0
10 Aric Almirola 123 -45 4 0 0
11 Kurt Busch 117 -51 4 0 2
12 Austin Dillon 114 -54 4 1 5
13 Ryan Newman 101 -67 4 0 0
14 Paul Menard 97 -71 4 0 0
15 Erik Jones 93 -75 4 0 0
16 Alex Bowman 91 -77 4 0 0
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 88 -80 4 0 0
18 Darrell Wallace Jnr 77 -91 4 0 0
19 Chris Buescher 75 -93 4 0 0
20 William Byron 68 -100 4 0 0
21 Daniel Suarez 67 -101 4 0 0
22 Trevor Bayne 67 -101 4 0 0
23 Chase Elliott 66 -102 4 0 0
24 Michael McDowell 64 -104 4 0 0
25 AJ Allmendinger 59 -109 4 0 0
26 Jimmie Johnson 59 -109 4 0 0
27 David Ragan 54 -114 4 0 0
28 Jamie McMurray 53 -115 4 0 0
29 Kasey Kahne 52 -116 4 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 43 -125 4 0 0
31 Ty Dillon 37 -131 4 0 0
32 Jeffrey Earnhardt 27 -141 4 0 0
33 Gray Gaulding 25 -143 4 0 0
34 DJ Kennington 19 -149 2 0 0
35 Cole Whitt 18 -150 2 0 0
36 Mark Thompson 15 -153 1 0 0
37 Brendan Gaughan 9 -159 1 0 0
38 Harrison Rhodes 4 -164 1 0 0
39 Danica Patrick 2 -166 1 0 0
40 Corey LaJoie 2 -166 2 0 0
41 Justin Marks 0 -168 1 0 0
42 David Gilliland 0 -168 1 0 0
43 Cole Custer 0 -168 1 0 0
44 Ross Chastain 0 -168 3 0 0
45 Joey Gase 0 -168 1 0 0
46 Timmy Hill 0 -168 1 0 0

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