Harvick Hammers Out His Fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix Victory
AVONDALE, Ariz. - Kevin Harvick rolled to his second straight and third victory in his past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) events by leading 224 of 312 laps and sailing his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 car beneath the checkered flag 0.490 of a second ahead of a charging Dale Earnhardt Jr., in the Hendrick Motorports No. 88 March 2.
The triumph marked Harvick's fifth victory, eighth top-five and 12th top-10 finish through 23 NSCS Phoenix starts. He's registered 24 victories in 468 NSCS series starts.
The first-year Stewart-Haas Racing driver took over the lead for the fourth and final time on Lap 248 by passing Clint Bowyer in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15.
Harvick led more than 200 single-race laps for the fourth time in his 14-year career en route to charting his 24th victory in his 468th series start.
"Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It's been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys have put in, but what a racecar. I'm just really happy and thank everybody at the Hendrick engine shop and all these cars sharing information," Harvick said in Victory Lane.
Despite his glamorous laps led total, Harvick had to battle Earnhardt Jr., his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano after three caution restarts in the final 25 laps.
"It did (make me nervous) because the No. 22 (Logano) was able to time the restarts there and I knew that what was going to happen was he was going to take a shot down low. So, I tried to do the best I could. Dale Junior, racing there for second, was a lot of fun," Harvick added.
The performance helped him move to fourth in the NSCS standings. He advances to the March 9 400-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway race ranked fourth in the series standings and 11 points behind championship leader Earnhardt Jr.
Brad Keselowski, who started from the pole position and placed third, is second in the standings and six points off the lead. Logano crossed the finish line fourth and Jeff Gordon closed out the race top five in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24.
The series makes its fourth visit to Kentucky Speedway June 28 to anchor a three-race weekend that opens with the June 26 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 and also features a 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series event June 27.
Tickets, campsites and infield Fan Zone passes are on sale now and can be purchased through this website, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting our ticket office at 1 Speedway Dr., in Sparta, Ky., just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.
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