Kevin Harvick makes NASCAR history at Phoenix


Harvick overcame a week of added scrutiny and outdueled Kyle Busch to win the TicketGuardian 500 on Sunday at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

He playfully patted the back window and pointed at it in a nod to social media photos of his buckled rear window in Las Vegas.

Asked if the auto fell off later in the race, Truex said, "On that (one) long run, we just got really tight and lost our track position". "This organization does a great job and we've got fast race cars". "There were times in the race where we were really good and just lost some track position there with about 100 or 80 to go". We didn't stomp them, but we won. "Just really proud of everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota team". "It put a fire in our belly". Harvick felt unfairly maligned by the penalty that all but stripped him of his victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week. The Stewart Haas Racing star took the lead with 22 laps to go and cruised to the victory over Kyle Busch. It was Harvick's ninth career win in the Valley, more than any other driver in NASCAR history.

NASCAR's attempt to keep an even playing field resulted in an angry Kevin Harvick.

Kyle Busch's problem on the money stop ensured that there would be a chase to the finish line. He goes right back to the rear windshield, where the penalties came.

Chase Elliott finished third followed by Denny Hamlin and pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. On the flip side, Kyle Busch led a race-high 128 laps. He ended up fourth in the stage, and regained the lead when the drivers who didn't pit for the caution came in for fuel and tires after the segment. Overall, he has an average finish of 7.8 in his four starts in the desert.

Also the victor in Atlanta after crashing and finishing 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500, Harvick is the first driver to win three straight Cup races since Joey Logano in 2015.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate William Byron led the first Cup Series laps of his career (15 laps) Sunday en route to his best finish on the season (12th). Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney won just one race each in 2017, but it would not be a shock if either of them beat Brad the punch to get a victory first.

Larson passed Martin Truex Jr. on the first lap, lost the top spot to Truex on the first pit stop, and jumped ahead again off the restart. ISM Raceway features a unique oval shape track, particularly on turns 1 & 2.

Last summer, he entered the K&N West race at Sonoma, Calif., and won the event. The two had a series of entertaining battles, with Harvick also dueling Elliott and Denny Hamlin.

Harvick had the playoff points - used once the playoffs start and rolled over from one cutoff to the next until the season finale - stripped by NASCAR for failing inspection after last week's race at Las Vegas.

Truex ran a top speed of 136.643 miles per hour in his lap of 26.288 seconds to edge Kyle Larson by.058 seconds.

Harvick, a former series champion, will return to his hometown having won three of the first four races in the Cup series this season. About bringing more eyeballs, just by his presence, to the up-and-coming drivers in the series and about helping the local short-track racing scene.

In addition to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 11, the weekend will also feature the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 on Friday, Nov. 9 and the NASCAR Xfinity Series 200 on Saturday, Nov. 10.