He gets first win with Stewart-Haas Racing by dominating race and excelling on restarts
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kevin Harvick picked up at Stewart-Haas Racing where he left off at Richard Childress Racing, making it two Sprint Cup victories in a row at Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick dominated The Profit on CNBC 500, leading a race-high 224 of 312 laps Sunday in winning in his second start in the No. 4 Chevrolet co-owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas.
"This solidifies so many things, so many decisions," said Harvick, who joined SHR this year after 13 seasons with team owner Richard Childress. "What a race car."
With the victory, Harvick virtually qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, joining Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished runner-up at Phoenix.
"I thought we was running him down the last few laps, but we were just too far away," Earnhardt said. "Great job by Kevin. We ended up where I thought we should finish. We were a little faster at the end, but (Harvick) was stellar."
Brad Keselowski finished third, followed by Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon.
It was the 24th career victory in NASCAR's premier series for Harvick, who is familiar with fast starts in a new Cup car. He also won in his third Cup start with RCR, triumphing March 11, 2001, at Atlanta Motor Speedway after being tabbed to fill the ride after the death of Dale Earnhardt. He scored his last win with RCR last November at Phoenix and has triumphed at the 1-mile oval in three consecutive seasons.
Harvick weathered four yellow flags in the final 75 laps, easily pulling away on each restart.
SPECIAL VISITOR: Super Bowl-winning QB hangs out with Kahne
Keselowski started from the pole position, but Team Penske teammate Logano took the lead on the outside of the first lap. Logano led 70 laps before Harvick took command of the race.
"(Harvick) was really fast here in the fall (last year). He's really figured something out here," Logano said. " ... I was really happy with my restarts. ... I went to school behind him for quite a while but couldn't make the pass."
Danica Patrick finished six laps down in 38th after spinning with a flat tire to cause a caution on lap 189. Patrick was involved in a crash 18 laps earlier with Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil.