Kevin Harvick The Favorite at Phoenix

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is considered a favorite nearly every time he visits Phoenix International Raceway, and Sunday’s Good Sam 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is no exception.

 

He has an unmatched and impressive list of accomplishments at Phoenix and would like to add to that list Sunday and, if possible, punch his ticket to the 2016 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

 

Harvick’s numbers at Phoenix include a series-high seven Sprint Cup wins, including four of the last five and five of the last seven. He is the only Sprint Cup driver to win four consecutive races at Phoenix. He won the November 2013 race, swept the 2014 races and won in March 2015 before ending the streak with a second-place finish in November. Only five drivers have won consecutive Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and Harvick is the only driver to win consecutive races twice. He swept both races in 2006 to go with his back-to-back wins in 2014.

 

According to NASCAR loop data, he is the only driver to score a perfect 150.0 driver rating on three different occasions at Phoenix. Harvick scored his first perfect rating at the mile oval in November 2006, when he started second and led 252 of 312 laps on his way to victory lane. He accomplished the feat a second time in winning the November 2014 race, which he started third and led 264 of 312 laps. His third perfect score came in March 2015, when he won the pole, led 224 of 312 laps and beat Jamie McMurray to the finish line by 1.153 seconds.

 

Harvick’s Sprint Cup pole in March 2015 was his first at Phoenix. It came with a lap of 25.577 seconds at 140.751 mph.

 

Outside of the Sprint Cup Series, Harvick has five NASCAR touring series wins, including four in the Camping World Truck Series and one in the Xfinity Series. The 2014 Sprint Cup champion won the Truck Series events at Phoenix in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009. He scored his lone Xfinity win at Phoenix in 2006.

 

In his most recent Sprint Cup visit to the mile oval, Harvick delivered a dominant performance and looked to be in position to add an eighth Sprint Cup win to his Phoenix resume. He started eighth and led 143 of 219 laps, but the performance was foiled when rain brought out a caution as he was leaving pit road with Dale Earnhardt Jr. just slightly ahead on the racetrack. The race was called short of its schedule distance due to weather with Harvick finishing runner-up.

 

Harvick and the No. 4 team hope to return to their winning ways at Phoenix this Sunday and secure their position in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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Speedway Digest Staff

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