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Harvick Wins Phoenix For Second Victory In Row

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 15 2015

Kevin Harvick rolled to another win on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

RacinToday.com

Kevin Harvick survived a couple of late restarts and tires older than many of those chasing him to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

The victory was the second in a row and gave the defending series champion two victories and two runner-up finishes in the first four races of the 2015 season. Harvick led a race-best 224 laps in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

“I think when you look at the start of this year,” Harvick said, “we know each other so much better. We have a lot of things different than what we had last year and we had that experience of everything that we did to race for the championship. So, I just feel like the bond between this team is really special. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and myself and the engineers and everybody gets along so good. It’s almost scary how well things are going. You don’t want to talk about it too much because you want it to keep going. But I’m just really proud of these guys on this team and everything that they do.”

Jamie McMurray of Chip Ganassi Racing finished second while Richard Childress Racing’s Ryan Newman was third.

The race was decided when Harvick was able to inch away from McMurray during a restart with 12 laps to go. His margin of victory was 1.15 seconds.

“The restarts were just really slippery and I learned that in the race yesterday,” Harvick said. “You had to really maintain your entrance speed and really slide the thing through the center of the corner to try to help keep it pointed up off. But I just want to thank the fans. This is a really special place of all these West Coast race for us to win. I want to thank everybody who helps us on this car and everybody at SHR for uh, man. These things are incredible and really fun to drive.”

McMurray, who, like Harvick, did not pit for tires during the final stop, said he was cool with the outcome.

“We ran 5th and 8th all day long. Matt McCall (crew chief) made a really good decision at the end to stay out and got us on the front row,” he said. “That was a fun battle with Kevin. Those are the kinds you wish you could do over again, because I would have slid up earlier. It’s similar to plate racing with the engine package we have now, where if you don’t get the guy cleared he can kind of stall you out a little bit. And I saw Kevin coming and I thought I could slide up in front of him, but I also knew it was for the win and that we would probably have wrecked there. But it was a good team effort with great pit stops all day. Our team is as good or better than where we left off last year, and it’s a great feeling.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – CampingWorld.com 500

Phoenix International Raceway

Avondale, Arizona

Sunday, March 15, 2015

1. (1) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 312, $263090.

2. (3) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 312, $194931.

3. (5) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 312, $167690.

4. (9) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 312, $132900.

5. (8) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 312, $132690.

6. (6) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 312, $145721.

7. (15) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 312, $121025.

8. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 312, $135038.

9. (10) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 312, $133666.

10. (12) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 312, $116438.

11. (20) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 312, $130066.

12. (14) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 312, $93430.

13. (7) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 312, $79180.

14. (21) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 312, $95130.

15. (11) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 312, $118041.

16. (4) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 312, $123216.

17. (22) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 312, $112038.

18. (28) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 312, $103613.

19. (32) Aric Almirola, Ford, 312, $116091.

20. (24) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 312, $101588.

21. (13) David Ragan, Toyota, 312, $120171.

22. (33) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 312, $78505.

23. (25) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 312, $92855.

24. (30) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 312, $112263.

25. (39) Cole Whitt, Ford, 312, $89538.

26. (23) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 312, $85655.

27. (19) Greg Biffle, Ford, 312, $108438.

28. (36) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 309, $118755.

29. (29) David Gilliland, Ford, 309, $94602.

30. (26) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 309, $78405.

31. (40) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 309, $76240.

32. (38) Brett Moffitt, Ford, 309, $73555.

33. (37) Mike Bliss(i), Ford, 308, $73430.

34. (41) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 307, $74805.

35. (35) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 307, $73180.

36. (34) Josh Wise, Ford, 306, $73030.

37. (42) Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, 306, $72898.

38. (43) Alex Kennedy #, Chevrolet, 304, $68327.

39. (17) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, Accident, 282, $91469.

40. (27) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 277, $86600.

41. (18) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 230, $83469.

42. (31) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 202, $52255.

43. (16) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 179, $68155.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 105.753 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 57 Mins, 01 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.153 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 10 for 53 laps.

Lead Changes: 8 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Harvick 0; J. Logano 1-25; K. Harvick 26-118; B. Keselowski 119-170; K. Harvick 171-188; J. Logano 189-198; K. Harvick 199-294; J. McMurray 295; K. Harvick 296-312.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Harvick 4 times for 224 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 52 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 35 laps; J. McMurray 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 182; J. Logano – 160; M. Truex Jr. – 155; K. Kahne – 132; A. Allmendinger – 127; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 126; J. Johnson – 124; R. Newman – 123; B. Keselowski – 116; M. Kenseth – 113; P. Menard – 112; C. Mears – 111; D. Hamlin – 108; A. Almirola – 105; C. Bowyer – 101; G. Biffle – 101.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 15 2015
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