NASCAR Phoenix: Kevin Harvick shades Carl Edwards to take win

Kevin Harvick held off a charging Carl Edwards to pinch victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix in one of the closest finishes in history

NASCAR Phoenix: Kevin Harvick shades Carl Edwards to take win

Harvick was forced to defend his lead in overtime on old tyres, and after a lot contact he snuck over the line to win what was his 500th consecutive NASCAR start.

Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin came third ahead of Kyle Busch, while Dale Earnhardt Jr slumped from second to fifth late.

Earnhardt and Harvick stayed out on old rubber while the rest pitted under a caution, leaving them vulnerable at the restart.

But Harvick is a master of Phoenix, and his eighth win at the circuit was hard-fought.

The Stewart-Haas driver, who started 18th, slowly made his way up through the field in the opening part of the race and climbed into the top three on lap 83.

However, he had to be patient as Busch, Edwards and Earnhardt all enjoyed stints in the lead, before he jumped past Edwards on lap 169.

Edwards regained the lead through the pits under caution, but the fast-starting Harvick quickly got back past.

His road to victory looked clear in the final laps until Kasey Kahne's crash caused a caution.

He and second-placed Earnhardt opted to protect what they had and rejected the chance to stop for fresh tyres, bringing Edwards back in contention.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver surged past Earnhardt, but Harvick kept him at bay despite victory seemingly heading Edwards' way.

Edwards ran consistently high throughout the race after starting second, and he led for 59 laps after getting past Earnhardt on lap 110.

He fell back behind Earnhardt in the final third of the race, but surged past him in overtime in pursuit of Harvick.

Earnhardt had, perhaps, the fastest car on the grid just two days after a poor performance in qualifying, which left him 26th.

He quickly gained places in the early stages, took the lead from polesitter Busch on lap 75 and built a comfortable lead.

But a brake issue in his second stint hampered his charge and saw him fall back through the field, although he recovered well at Phoenix - where he has won three times before.

Busch faded after a promising first half of the race, when he made a mistake in the pitlane.

He overshot his garage and sunk from second to 18th, although he also showed blistering pace to rejoin the top five.

He finished ahead of Earnhardt, his brother Kurt Busch and 2002 Phoenix winner Matt Kenseth.

Jimmie Johnson, who was forced to start last after a crash in qualifying left him in his backup car, finished 11th.

RESULTS - 313 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 2h45m53.s
2 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.010s
3 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.370s
4 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.478s
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.647s
6 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 0.705s
7 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 1.065s
8 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1.272s
9 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 1.429s
10 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 1.535s
11 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1.718s
12 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 2.051s
13 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 2.571s
14 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 2.725s
15 Ty Dillon Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 2.764s
16 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 2.914s
17 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 5.686s
18 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 1 Lap
19 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
20 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 1 Lap
21 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 1 Lap
22 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1 Lap
23 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 2 Laps
24 David Ragan BK Racing Toyota 4 Laps
25 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 5 Laps
26 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 5 Laps
27 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 5 Laps
28 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 5 Laps
29 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 6 Laps
30 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford 6 Laps
31 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 6 Laps
32 Joey Gase Go FAS Racing Ford 8 Laps
33 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 10 Laps
34 Josh Wise The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 10 Laps
35 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 45 Laps
36 Cole Whitt Premium Motorsports Chevrolet Overheating
37 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford Accident
38 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Accident
39 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Accident


shares
comments
Las Vegas NASCAR: Brad Keselowski charges to win after penalty

Previous article

Las Vegas NASCAR: Brad Keselowski charges to win after penalty

Next article

Fontana NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson snatches victory in overtime

Fontana NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson snatches victory in overtime
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

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 organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on 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
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

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

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021