Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kevin Harvick started 18th and finished seventh, collecting four bonus points.
● After 10 laps, Harvick had his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang up to 12th.
● Cracked top-10 on lap 24 with pass of Matt DiBenedetto.
● “Need some drive off turn two. Too tight through the center off (turn) three,” said a ninth-place Harvick during competition caution on lap 31.
● Pitted on lap 32 for four tires and fuel. Made a right-rear chassis adjustment and removed some tape from grille. The quick pit work gained Harvick five spots.
● Lined up fourth for lap-36 restart, but was sixth by lap 40.
● Grabbed fifth from Denny Hamlin on lap 46.
● “Those first 10 laps I was pretty loose, but then it came into it pretty well,” said Harvick about his Jimmy John’s Ford during a caution on lap 47.
● Harvick stayed out during the caution period and restarted fifth on lap 51.
● “Really loose,” said Harvick on lap 63 while running seventh.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with some tire pressure adjustments at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-190):
● Harvick started seventh and finished sixth, collecting five bonus points.
● The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang held steady in seventh through a caution on lap 90.
● Lined up eighth for lap-99 restart and, after falling back to 10th at one point, got back up to seventh place by lap 114.
● “Loose off of (turn) two,” said Harvick on lap 131 after getting passed by Martin Truex Jr.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 140 for four tires and fuel.
● After pit stops had cycled through by lap 158, Harvick was back to seventh.
● Passed Corey LaJoie for sixth on lap 167.
● “The longer I run, the tighter it gets to the center (of the corner),” said Harvick on lap 183 while running sixth.
● “I’ve got no bite off the exit of (turn) two. Getting that way of (turn) four too,” said Harvick prior to the end of the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a right-rear chassis adjustment upon conclusion of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 191-312):
● Harvick started sixth and finished sixth.
● The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang was fifth by lap 200 but dropped to ninth by lap 203. Harvick was in a three-car battle with Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell for seventh.
● Harvick passed Bell for eighth on lap 207.
● “I can’t put the throttle down on exit on either end,” said an eighth-place Harvick on lap 248.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 252 for four tires, fuel and a right-rear chassis adjustment.
● By lap 255, pit stops had cycled through and Harvick had gained a spot to run seventh.
● “It definitely felt better on exit,” said Harvick about his Jimmy John’s Ford during a caution on lap 262.
● Crew chief Rodney Childers took advantage of the caution and brought Harvick to pit road on lap 265 for four tires and fuel.
● Lined up seventh for lap-269 restart.
● Passed Bubba Wallace on lap 273 to take sixth.
● “It’s looser, longer,” said Harvick on lap 282 about his racecar.
● Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a right-rear chassis adjustment during a caution on lap 284.
● Was fifth for lap-288 restart but fell to eighth by lap 291.
● Grabbed seventh from William Byron on lap 298.
● Harvick passed Kyle Larson for sixth on lap 306 and held the spot through the end of the race.
● Harvick earned his fourth top-10 of the season and his series-leading 26th top-10 in 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
● This was Harvick’s 16th straight top-10 at Phoenix. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since a lone 13th-place finish in March 2013.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the Instacart 500k to score his 28th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Phoenix. His margin over second-place Joey Logano was 1.698 seconds.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 45 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Phoenix with a 39-point advantage over second-place Brad Keselowski.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We struggled on the restarts and we just could never get the track position. After seven or eight laps, it felt like our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang was good enough to run in the top-three, but we could never get going on the restarts to be able to get that track position.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 21 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.