Harvick wins third straight race, ninth at Phoenix

Florence Fletcher
March 12, 2018

According to the latest oddsmakers at YouWager, Kevin Harvick is the favorite to win this race, has he has +250 odds.

The 2018 NASCAR season rolls on Sunday with the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. There's nothing better to be a part of than something like that.

"When you get into those playoff moments, you have all the guys, everybody looking at the race vehicle, that determination of every last detail - there's a lot going on in life in general, and it's hard to do that every week", Harvick said. "Parking that thing in victory lane is the most powerful thing, most powerful message you can send, and says the most about our organization and our team". "We'll just have to go into next week and see what we can do there", he said.

17 laps later, he came down pit road for his final stop and that's where he believes the race was lost. Busch's team dropped the jack and had trouble with the right rear tire on his stop with 53 laps left, allowing Harvick - who pitted three laps earlier - to slip ahead en route to his 40th Cup victory. We lost the race on pit road today, but there's been races where I've won it on pit road too.

Harvick took the lead with 22 laps left when Ryan Newman finally made his last stop on the sunny afternoon after morning rain.

Byron and crew chief Darian Grubb improved the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet throughout the race, but Byron was no match for Harvick. "To sit down there in the corner and watch these guys race like that was like my short track days".

The race consists of 312 laps on the one-mile track and is broken into three stages separated at laps 75 and 150. After technical violations marred his victory last week in Las Vegas, Harvick was the fastest in practice Saturday and steadily worked his way to the front after starting 10th. The company is working hard to discover the subtleties of the new Camaro ZL1 race auto while dealing with a new organizational model that has all four crew chiefs in the same building.

Stewart said he won't appeal. In fact, Roberts says Hamlin will finish ahead of Harvick on Sunday. And with the victory, the No. 4 was headed back to the R&D facility.

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Harvick began the streak at Atlanta after crashing and finishing 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500.

The last driver to pull off a three-peat was Joey Logano three seasons ago.

Kevin Harvick got right to the point when a NASCAR media official tried to open a news conference with a comment about his record success at ISM Raceway. He also won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race here in 2014, leading 114 of 126 laps. The win in the IndyCar season opener was the 37th career victory for the Frenchman, who ranks sixth on IndyCar's all-time list, and was a milestone in his recovery from serious pelvic injuries suffered in a fiery crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin and pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

"I needed a little bit of forward drive there at the end", Elliott said. Just a good game plan and good execution by everybody.

Alex Bowman overcame electrical problems to finish 13th.

Don't put any stock into Bowman's first four starts here, when he drove for BK Racing and Tommy Baldwin in cars that were not competitive. "My helmet blower quit, everything quit".

"In Atlanta, we kind of chalked it up to Kevin being probably the best driver at Atlanta, and we just thought it was Atlanta and he is typically fast there", said Logano.

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