Kevin Harvick Takes The Win At The Good Sam 500

Kevin Harvick survived a full-contact side-by-side duel with Carl Edwards on the final lap Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, claiming his first victory of the season in a photo finish. Harvick led the field on the day’s final restart and pulled away before a fast-closing Edwards reeled him in and tapped the rear bumper of Harvick’s Number-4 Chevrolet entering Turn-4 on the final lap. Edwards pulled alongside and leaned hard on Harvick as they exited the corner. Edwards and Harvick bumped again as they took the checkered flag with Harvick nosing ahead at the finish. The official margin of victory was a mere one one-hundredths of a second – identical to Denny Hamlin’s dramatic win over Martin Truex Junior in last month’s season-opening Daytona 500.

Harvick dominated the second half of Sunday’s race, leading all but eleven of the final 150 laps including the last seventy-nine trips around the one-mile desert oval. Hamlin finished third and pole sitter Kyle Busch was fourth after leading seventy-five laps. With Edwards’ runner-up showing, Joe Gibbs Racing grabbed three of the top four spots. Dale Earnhardt Junior completed the top five … In its third race, NASCAR’s new low-downforce rules package produced just seven lead changes among four drivers: Busch, Earnhardt, Edwards and Harvick.

Sunday’s race included five cautions for thirty laps … Kasey Kahne’s late-race accident in Turn-3 brought out the day’s final yellow flag which extended the race one lap past its scheduled distance.

Next Stop Phoenix International Raceway

Next stop Phoenix International Raceway  for Sunday’s Good Sam 500, fourth race of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series and the second of three straight in the western United States. Brad Keselowski was victorious last weekend in Las Vegas and will arrive in Phoenix in search of his first Cup Series win on the one-mile oval. He has one victory there in the X-FINITY Series, in 2014.

Teams will get ninety minutes of practice Friday morning before qualifying late this afternoon. Ryan Newman holds the track record for poles with four including three straight from 2002 through 2004 … Kevin Harvick rolls into the weekend as a favorite to notch his first victory of the young season. The 2014 champion has won five of the last seven Cup Series races contested at P-I-R, including a streak of four straight that was halted by Dale Earnhardt Junior last fall. Harvick leads all drivers with seven wins in Phoenix, three more than his nearest challenger – Jimmie Johnson.Kyle

Kyle Busch has opened with a strong defense of his 2015 championship, posting three straight top-five finishes and leading the early-season standings by seven points over Harvick and Johnson – who are tied for second place.

Busch has one Cup Series win at Phoenix, in 2005. He’s won eight times in the X-FINITY Series and is entered this weekend to make his bid for a ninth victory.


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