Harvick Edges Victory in Desert

Kevin Harvick continued his dominance at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Harvick wins the Good Sam 500 by edging out Carl Edwards by .010 seconds in NASCAR overtime.  This became the closest race in Phoenix International Raceway’s history, edging out the 2010 margin of .013 seconds. The race went 313 laps for 313 miles.

 

Harvick explains the final lap of the race “I felt like coming off of Turn 4 I had some momentum but I needed to do everything I could to try to scrub some momentum off of his car, and it just worked out timing, and I needed to get away, and by the time he realized that I had that momentum and he tried to do the same thing, scrub the momentum off my car, we were too far towards the start-finish line.  It all worked out.  Sometimes I can tell you that you plan it all that way, but sometimes you're just lucky as hell.”

 

Harvick continued to praise the low downforce package. “I think as drivers and as a sport, that's really the benefit -- one of the benefits of the low downforce package and the tire situation.  The tire situation being the biggest thing is so you have those different strategies with the late cautions to where you have two tires, you have no tires, you probably have four tires, I'm sure, to have the comers and goers and the exciting finishes.”

 

Edwards, finished second, was impressed by the efforts of his team. “Well, I'm really proud of my guys for giving me a shot to win the race.  We were a third-place car there at the end.  Dale and Kevin were both really fast.  Caution came out, Dave rolled the dice, and we got a shot at it.  We made him work for it.  That's more than we've been able to do here the last few times.  Just a lot of fun.  I really wish it would have worked out a little bit differently, but it's a good race.  I ran into him about as hard as I thought I could without wrecking him, and it ended up being a drag race.  It was kind of fun coming to the line because I thought, man, I got him, and then he doored me real hard and then he got a little run and then I tried to door him and slow him down, but it just didn't work.”

 

The caution waved five times for 30 laps during the race because of tire issues. Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., all experienced tire issues. Goodyear states that tire problems were because of melted beads due to brake heat.

 

The Sunoco Rookie of the year battle is shaping up to be between Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. Elliott and Blaney both finished in the top-10 of the Good Sam 500.  Elliott, in his first start at Phoenix, was excited about his finish today. “First off, my guys have been bringing such fast race cars to the racetrack every week since Daytona, and I haven't been doing a very good job of getting the finishes that they deserve.  I'm just happy today that we could finally finish one of these things and get a solid top-10 finish.  I felt like we made gains throughout the day.  The guys did a great job on pit road picking up spot there.  Alan made good adjustments and gave up a couple spots on that last restart, but I was proud of the effort and hopefully we can take it and try to get a little better in Fontana.”

 

The race went on for 2 hours 45 minutes and 43 seconds. The average speed of the race was 113.212 mph. There were no issues in post-race inspection, but the cars of Harvick and Edwards will be taken back to the R&D Center.  Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch unofficially lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points followed by Jimmie Johnson, who is 14 points behind.

 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for the final race of the West Coast Swing. The first practice will begin on Friday March 18 at 1:30 pm Eastern on Fox Sports 1. 

Caleb Whisler

I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.