Kevin Harvick wins at Phoenix for third NASCAR Cup victory in a row

Kevin Harvick hit the NASCAR trifecta by winning Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

Kevin Harvick wins at Phoenix for third NASCAR Cup victory in a row
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's pours out a beer on his rear window in victory lane
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's takes the checkered flag
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
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Skittles Sweet Heat
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Skittles Sweet Heat

Harvick held off Kyle Busch for the victory, the first time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career he has won three consecutive races.

"I've been mad as all get-out because this team does a great job and this organization does a great job and we've got fast race cars and to take that away from those guys just really pissed me off last week," Harvick said in Victory Lane.

"You know, to come here at a race track that is so good for us, is a lot of fun. Everybody was just determined this week. We just wanted to stomp them. We didn't stomp them but we won and that's really all that matters.

"I'm just proud of this team. It put a fire in our belly. Whooo! I'm excited."

Harvick said winning this race felt even better than racing for a a championship at Homestead.

"For all those supporters out there and all you haters - I see you!"

He’s also the first driver to accomplish the feat since Joey Logano swept a three-race round in the NASCAR playoffs in 2015. Harvick dominated in wins in the last two weeks at Atlanta and Las Vegas.

The win is the 40th of Harvick’s career and came without car chief Robert Smith, who was suspended two races after NASCAR penalized Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team last week for rear window and side-skirt violations at Las Vegas.

Chase Elliott finished third, Denny Hamlin was fourth and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top five.

The win is also the ninth at Phoenix for Harvick, the most he enjoys at any series track.

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski both made their pit stops, which allowed to reassume the lead to begin Stage 3. He was followed by Harvick, Truex, Clint Bowyer and Elliott.

On Lap 172, Darrell Wallace Jr. was forced to make a green-flag pit stop to deal with a loose wheel. It was the second time in the race he’s had to do so.

On Lap 178, Harvick finally got around Kyle Busch to take the lead in the race for the first time, impressing some of his competition along the way.

“He slide-jobbed the (expletive) out of him,” Clint Bowyer’s spotter, Brett Griffin, told his driver about the move.

Five laps later, Kyle Busch had still managed to stay within a second of Harvick with Truex close behind in third.

On Lap 190, Paul Menard – who had been running strong again this week – wrecked hard in Turn 2 to bring out the sixth caution of the race. Menard was not injured.

“I think the tire went down. The right-rear tire blew. Not sure what caused it. Maybe bead temp or something,” Menard said. “We will have to go back and look at it. The tire is definitely down. Not sure what came first, the chicken or the egg. It is a disappointing day for sure.”

All of the lead-lap cars hit pit road during the caution, with rookie William Byron coming out with the race lead after utilizing a two-tire stop. He was followed by Aric Almirola (who also took two tires), Kyle Busch, Harvick and Truex. The race resumed with 114 laps remaining.

Erik Jones had to make a second pit stop after receiving some damage from a run-in with teammate Daniel Suarez on pit road.

With 111 laps to go, Hamlin and Harvick caught Byron to race three-wide for the lead as Hamlin emerged with the top spot for the first time in the race.

With just over 80 laps remaining in the race, Harvick kept the heat on Hamlin in an attempt to reclaim the lead. Keselowski, who pit during the stage break, had moved back inside the Top 10.

With 71 laps to go, Kyle Busch was able to power his way around Harvick and into the runner-up position with Harvick settling back into third.

Two laps later, Busch got around Hamlin to reclaim the top spot.

Byron, one of two drivers to take just two tires on his last stop, came down pit road for his green-flag pit stop with 59 laps remaining.

Byron’s move triggered a wave of more green-flag stops, including Elliott, Harvick, Hamlin, Kyle Larson and several others. Leader Kyle Busch finally made his stop on Lap 259.

When the cycle of green-flag stops had completed – Ryan Newman and Keselowski were the last to pit – Harvick had taken over the lead with 23 laps remaining in the race, followed by Kyle Busch, Elliott, Hamlin and Truex.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 312 2:54'37 36
2 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 312 0.774 124
3 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 312 4.244  
4 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 312 7.037 32
5 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 312 7.520 2
6 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 312 8.310  
7 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 312 9.204  
8 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 312 10.002  
9 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 312 13.916  
10 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 312 15.361 5
11 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 312 20.488 22
12 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 312 21.585 14
13 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 312 22.944  
14 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 312 24.153  
15 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 312 25.155 10
16 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 311 1 lap  
17 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 311 1 lap  
18 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 311 1 lap 52
19 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 311 1 lap  
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 311 1 lap  
21 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 311 1 lap  
22 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 311 1 lap  
23 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 311 1 lap  
24 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 311 1 lap  
25 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 311 1 lap  
26 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 310 2 laps  
27 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 310 2 laps  
28 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 309 3 laps  
29 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 309 3 laps  
30 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 309 3 laps  
31 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 309 3 laps  
32 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 308 4 laps  
33 51 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 306 6 laps  
34 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 304 8 laps  
35 00 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 292 20 laps  
36 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 189 123 laps  
37 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 23 289 laps  
shares
comments
Kurt Busch stays out, steals Stage 2 win at Phoenix

Previous article

Kurt Busch stays out, steals Stage 2 win at Phoenix

Next article

Kyle Busch finishes second again: "It's starting to get frustrating"

Kyle Busch finishes second again: "It's starting to get frustrating"
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020