Sports

Harvick battles for third straight NASCAR Cup victory

Harvick battles for third straight NASCAR Cup victory

The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion had a series high of 19 top-five finishes in 2017.

Stewart probably wouldn't have minded if Harvick had jumped on the rear decklid of his vehicle in celebrating the win.

"I could tell that myself and Kyle and Denny were going to be the top three", said Bakersfield native Harvick. Logano will start fifth, and Harvick 10th. "Parking that thing in victory lane is the most powerful thing, most powerful message you can send, and says the most about our organization and our team".

Harvick took the lead for good with 22 laps remaining in the TicketGuardian 500, emerging as the victor in a fierce late-race battle among Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott.

"I made it very clear to pat my window and thank it for doing its job this week", he said. He was seventh two weeks ago at Atlanta as Harvick smoked the field.

"The run was flawless for me, made the pop, he defended the position, in doing so, he put me in the marbles pretty late in the corner, " Rossi said. A pit stop error with a jack going down on Busch's auto on his final stop, cost him three seconds. "But we've won races on pit road, too". His teammate Chase Elliott has three top-10 finishes in Phoenix and finished 2nd in the Fall race last season. "To sit down there in the corner and watch these guys race like that was like my short track days".

Truex started from the pole and was a top-five performer for nearly the entire 312-lap race in his No. 78 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry.

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. I think you get the questions from people: Is he going to be the same?

"Just a solid day for us, not a great day and not what we were hoping for", Truex said.

"Obviously our pitstop wasn't stellar, and then I got back up pretty good".

It was the first time all four SHR cars had placed inside the top 10 in the same race.

His older brother Kurt Busch won Stage 2 when a late caution shook up the running order after pit stops, and the elder Busch - who had a good auto all day but never one that could stay with the leaders over a long stretch - came out on top.

NASCAR said Wednesday that inspectors at its research and development center in North Carolina found the Ford violated a rule requiring rear window support braces holding the glass rigid, and another requiring the right rocker panel extension to be aluminum.

The No. 4 team won the race at Vegas, but will not get the benefits of that win for the NASCAR Playoffs (a total of seven playoff points for winning the race and both stages). Vehicle chief Robert Smith was suspended for two Monster Energy Series races, and will wrap up the suspension at Auto Club Speedway.

Busch dominated towards the end of Stage 1 and won it going away to secure an all-important playoff point, his first of the year. Wickens went off course, Rossi slid back to third and Bourdais sailed by for the 37th victory of his career.

Kyle Busch and Eric Jones of JGR have shown the best consistency of the Toyotas.

Harvick began the winning streak at Atlanta after crashing and finishing 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500.

"To come here to a race track that is so good for us is a lot of fun and everyone was just determined this week and we just wanted to just go stomp them", said Harvick after the win.

But at 42, Harvick is just slightly younger than Johnson in the oldest Cup regular driver standings.


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