Kevin Harvick pulled off the weekend sweep at Phoenix International Raceway winning both the Busch and Cup series events. Harvick made a late race pass with nine laps to go to secure the lead, and easily drove on to win his first Cup event this ...
Kevin Harvick pulled off the weekend sweep at Phoenix International Raceway winning both the Busch and Cup series events. Harvick made a late race pass with nine laps to go to secure the lead, and easily drove on to win his first Cup event this season.
"It's pretty awesome for this GM Goodwrench Chevrolet," said Harvick. "We didn't ever give up. We didn't have the best car all day today but we were the best car when it counted."
It was a great night for Richard Childress Racing; all three Chevy's finished in the top-9. Team owner, Childress, was not there to bask in the spoils. He is in Africa big game hunting.
"All's I know is since he's been gone we've been undefeated. I don't know what that means," joked Harvick.
Tony Stewart was forced to start last after a pre-race tire snafu and motored his way back to a second place result, "I am really proud of this team.it was just good all night. We had to fight all night but it was a good effort."
Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer complete the top five.
"I'm happy about getting the point lead," said Kenseth. "That's pretty cool."
Kyle Busch started from the pole but it was Greg Biffle who led through the first caution until lap 48; when Kyle Busch made the pass for the lead. It was the younger Busch out front when the second yellow waved on lap 54.
The leaders came in for service with Biffle grabbing the lead for the restart on lap 54. Roush teammate Mark Martin passed the No. 16 Ford on lap 66 and quickly grabbed a one second advantage over the field.
Martin was still the leader on lap 88 when the third caution fell after Scott Riggs smacked the wall in the No. 10 Dodge. Biffle came out first after pit stops taking the top spot on the restart at lap 93.
On lap 100, a multi-car crash involving Elliott Sadler, Joe Nemechek, Michael Waltrip, David Stremme, Reed Sorenson and Kyle Petty brought the red flag out, in a separate incident on the same lap Kyle Busch spun after making contact with Casey Mears.
After a 9 minute, 10 second stop of the racing action the field got back going under caution. Biffle was still the leader when the field went back to green flag racing on lap 105.
Martin got around Biffle for the lead in the dogleg on lap 106 and led through a series of green flag pit stops that commenced on lap 167. The No. 6 Ford was still out front when the fifth caution came out on lap 200 for debris.
The leaders pitted but it was a disastrous stop for Martin, who had to return to pit road a second time to tighten his left rear tire. That gave the lead to the No. 07 Chevy of Clint Bowyer; sending Martin to 16th on the restart on lap 204.
Bowyer was leading on lap 213 when the sixth caution emerged after JJ Yeley spun collecting Brent Sherman and Denny Hamlin in the process. Most of the leaders did not pit with Bowyer retaining the lead on the restart at lap 217.
Stewart quickly got Bowyer taking the lead on 219. The seventh yellow came on lap 223 when Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin, Riggs, Jeff Burton, Scott Wimmer and Petty were involved in a multi-car crash. . Biffle led on the restart at lap 230 and led until lap 303 when Harvick made the pass for the lead. Biffle ran out of gas with two to go, as did Martin as Harvick came around to the checkered flag.
There were seven cautions for 29 laps and 11 lead changes among 20 drivers.
Matt Kenseth takes over the lead in series rankings. Jimmie Johnson (-9), Kasey Kahne (-51), Mark Martin (-66), Tony Stewart (-77), Jeff Gordon (- 173), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (-173), Kevin Harvick (-174), Kyle Busch (-208) and Casey Mears (-273) complete the top ten.
Notably, only the top-16 drivers are in the point window to be contenders in the Chase for the Championship.