Kevin Harvick leads the way in final Cup practice at Phoenix

Kevin Harvick’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session was cut short but it didn’t affect his speed.

Kevin Harvick leads the way in final Cup practice at Phoenix
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Skittles Sweet Heat
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro AXALTA
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops

Harvick completed a sweep of Saturday’s two practice sessions at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, including the leading way in the final session with an average lap speed at 134.544 mph.

Harvick posted the lap right at the start of the session and was forced to sit out the final 15 minutes because his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford twice failed pre-qualifying inspection on Friday. He also topped the charts in ten lap averages.

His dominance in Saturday’s practices in both short and long runs impressed four-time Cup champion and Fox TV analyst Jeff Gordon.

“I just don’t want to see someone who is fast,” Gordon said. “I want to see someone who is fast and consistent and that’s Kevin Harvick right now. He’s both.”

Harvick, who will start 10th in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500, ended Saturday’s final session also fastest among those drivers who ran at least 10 and 15 consecutive laps.

Jamie McMurray was second-fastest in single-lap runs in the session (134.504 mph), pole-winner Martin Truex Jr. was third (134.454 mph), Aric Almirola (134.213 mph) and Alex Bowman completed the top-five (134.193 mph).

Harvick’s teammate, Almirola, said his No. 10 Ford was “really good.”

“I think we still need a little bit more to be has good as (Harvick). He’s really strong,” Almirola said. “We unload every Friday with no notebook. We don’t really know what to do for us and we kind of gauge ourselves off our teammates.

“We saw that at Atlanta and we’re seeing it again this weekend. I feel as we build a notebook, we’ll unload better and that will allow us to get even better throughout the weekend.”

Completing the Top 10 were Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin.

Matt DiBenedetto was also forced to sit out the final 15 minutes of the practice session for twice failing pre-qualifying inspection on Friday.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 47 26.757     134.544
2 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 51 26.765 0.008 0.008 134.504
3 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 56 26.775 0.018 0.010 134.454
4 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 48 26.823 0.066 0.048 134.213
5 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 47 26.827 0.070 0.004 134.193
6 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 51 26.830 0.073 0.003 134.178
7 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 49 26.842 0.085 0.012 134.118
8 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 50 26.858 0.101 0.016 134.038
9 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 43 26.867 0.110 0.009 133.993
10 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 51 26.868 0.111 0.001 133.988
11 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 56 26.895 0.138 0.027 133.854
12 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 50 26.913 0.156 0.018 133.764
13 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 60 26.938 0.181 0.025 133.640
14 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 39 26.940 0.183 0.002 133.630
15 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 45 26.946 0.189 0.006 133.601
16 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 45 26.972 0.215 0.026 133.472
17 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 44 26.978 0.221 0.006 133.442
18 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 67 26.981 0.224 0.003 133.427
19 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 50 27.015 0.258 0.034 133.259
20 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 43 27.028 0.271 0.013 133.195
21 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 42 27.063 0.306 0.035 133.023
22 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 50 27.070 0.313 0.007 132.989
23 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 42 27.078 0.321 0.008 132.949
24 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 27 27.096 0.339 0.018 132.861
25 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 38 27.145 0.388 0.049 132.621
26 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 40 27.146 0.389 0.001 132.616
27 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 52 27.173 0.416 0.027 132.484
28 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 36 27.227 0.470 0.054 132.222
29 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 54 27.252 0.495 0.025 132.100
30 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 23 27.298 0.541 0.046 131.878
31 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 55 27.325 0.568 0.027 131.747
32 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 32 27.542 0.785 0.217 130.709
33 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 26 27.562 0.805 0.020 130.615
34 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 35 27.595 0.838 0.033 130.458
35 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 29 27.732 0.975 0.137 129.814
36 51 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 15 28.669 1.912 0.937 125.571

 

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