The last time Kevin Harvick finished worse than second in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event was Oct. 26, 2014 at Martinsville Speedway – seven races and 137 days ago.
Until Harvick’s victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday, no driver had finished six straight races in the top two since Jeff Gordon accomplished the feat in 1996.
“Any time you say Jeff Gordon in a streak, obviously things are going okay,” Harvick said.
Don’t expect him to slow down.
The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet driver heads into Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) as the winner of four of the last five races at the one-mile course. He has won the last three consecutive Phoenix races and boasts an all-time track-record six victories.
“I would definitely classify Phoenix as the race track that’s been the best to us over the last several years, especially last year winning both races” Harvick said. “Just the track, especially since they repaved it has really fit what I like to do. It’s got a lot of the old characteristics in (Turns) 3 and 4, and some new ones in 1 and 2.
“It’s always one that you circle on the calendar as one you should be competitive at and hopefully running for a chance to win.”
Carl Edwards is the only driver other than Harvick to win at Phoenix in the last five races held there. Edwards has yet to post a top 10 this year in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, but is a threat to turn around his performance at PIR. Edwards has two wins, seven top fives, 12 top 10s and three Coors Light Pole Awards in 21 starts at the Arizona track.
At Wednesday’s Goodyear Tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola was asked how any driver was going to beat Harvick at Phoenix.
“Wreck him maybe,” he joked.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to Phoenix handing Kevin the trophy,” Almirola said. “They know he’s a really good bet if you want to go back to Vegas on your way to Phoenix, but besides that, I think we’ll all show up and expect to go race him.”