Phoenix NASCAR: Kevin Harvick takes dominant win
|Sunday, March 2nd 2014, 23:19 GMT|
Kevin Harvick claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory for Stewart-Haas at Phoenix in only his second event with the squad.
Ex-Childress driver Harvick was only 13th on the grid after narrowly missing out on a spot in the pole shootout when the series' new knockout qualifying format made its debut on Friday.
He showed his pace by topping both Saturday practice sessions, and wasted no time in surging to the front on race day.
Harvick took the lead on lap 74, and ultimately led 224 of the 312 laps.
His main rivals were Penske's front row qualifiers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, plus Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr.
But Harvick always had just enough in hand to keep all pursuers at arm's length, and was helped by their habit of jostling with each other at restarts and letting him escape.
He ultimately beat Earnhardt to the win by half a second, as Keselowski pipped Logano for third.
Jeff Gordon slipped past Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman to secure fifth at the final restart.
Results - 312 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 2h51m23.000s 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +0.490s 3. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +1.361s 4. Joey Logano Penske Ford +1.661s 5. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet +2.849s 6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet +3.328s 7. Ryan Newman Childress Chevrolet +4.238s 8. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford +4.347s 9. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota +5.214s 10. Jamie McMurray Ganassi Chevrolet +5.490s 11. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet +6.885s 12. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota +6.885s 13. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +7.411s 14. Casey Mears Germain Chevrolet +7.726s 15. Aric Almirola Petty Ford +8.235s 16. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +8.381s 17. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +8.753s 18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford +9.229s 19. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota +12.309s 20. Kyle Larson Ganassi Chevrolet +12.521s 21. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford +1 lap 22. Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Ford +1 lap 23. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet +1 lap 24. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet +1 lap 25. Brian Vickers Waltrip Toyota +2 laps 26. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Chevrolet +2 laps 27. Cole Whitt Swan Toyota +2 laps 28. David Ragan Front Row Ford +3 laps 29. David Gilliland Front Row Ford +3 laps 30. Justin Allgaier HScott Chevrolet +3 laps 31. Reed Sorenson Baldwin Chevrolet +4 laps 32. Brian Scott Childress Chevrolet +4 laps 33. Michael McDowell Leavine Ford +5 laps 34. Michael Annett Baldwin Chevrolet +5 laps 35. Ryan Truex BK Toyota +5 laps 36. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +6 laps 37. Blake Koch Front Row Ford +6 laps 38. Travis Kvapil Go FAS Ford +10 laps
39. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +20 laps* 40. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota +20 laps Retirements: Alex Bowman BK Toyota 230 laps Parker Kligerman Swan Toyota 226 laps Morgan Shepherd Shepherd Toyota 28 laps
*Not running at end