2014 Phoenix II Race Report – Harvick Wins!
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway by winning the Phoenix 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was the 24th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fifth this season.
Harvick started third and led three times for a race-high 264 laps around the 1-mile oval to bring his laps-led total at Phoenix to a series-best 978. It was Harvick’s 27th career Sprint Cup win, his fourth this season and his series-leading sixth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix.
Most importantly, the victory punched Harvick’s ticket to the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick is one of only four drivers from the original field of 16 Chase drivers who made it through three elimination rounds to contend for the title in the series finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick will battle Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, with the highest finishing driver in the 400-mile race at Homestead being crowned 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh in the Phoenix 500k to record his 11th top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 22nd.
Jeff Gordon finished 1.636 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Logano, Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were 12 caution periods for 58 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.
The Sprint Cup season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN, beginning with a prerace show at 2 p.m.