Kevin Harvick earns third straight NASCAR Cup victory
13 March, 2018, 06:03 | Author: Lula Armstrong
It wasn't until 2014 when SHR would expand to four cars, bringing in Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.
After saying Friday he would jump up and down on the back of the vehicle if he won, Harvick completed his burnouts and pulled over next to his crew to celebrate.
Bourdais snatches victory: Sebastien Bourdais wept as he crossed the finish line Sunday for his second consecutive victory at St. Petersburg. "When you showcase character and grit as a team, as a unit, that's more powerful than any of us being good at what we do". Kyle Busch had the fastest auto for much of the afternoon, leading a race-high 128 laps, before a slow final pit stop gave Harvick the opening he needed to snatch away the lead and build an advantage Busch couldn't overcome with only 53 laps remaining.
"He would say, 'Man, when you're mad, there's just something different about you.' I'm 42, and I've done this for a long time". Last year: Ryan Newman, after starting just 22 and leading just six laps, won the spring race in Phoenix.
"I made it very clear to pat my window and thank it for doing its job", he said.
"Our cars were pretty evenly matched today", said Busch. "But we've won races on pit road, too". Nor does it give back the seven playoff points that were stripped that may be critical come the postseason when Harvick is chasing a second Cup Series championship. I expect them, along with teammate Denny Hamlin, to contend for the lead on Sunday. "To sit down there in the corner and watch these guys race like that was like my short track days".
Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Truex were also in the mix and on lap 208, Hamlin grabbed the lead with Harvick following. "And all you haters - I see you".
Harvick and his number 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team had extra motivation to perform this week.
"I needed a little bit of forward drive there at the end", Elliott said. The remainder of the top 10 finishers were Elliott, Hamlin, Truex, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, and Kurt Busch. "It's the first time in our organization's history that we had all four cars in the top 10".
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 vehicle all day but never one that could stay with the leaders over a long stretch - came out on top.
The team had to decide by Monday if to appeal the L1 penalties.
NASCAR said 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.
Anything short of a win Sunday would've only intensified the chatter that Harvick won at Atlanta and Las Vegas not exclusively because he is a great driver with a superior team, but because crew chief Rodney Childers had somehow sneaked a tricked-up, illegal auto through NASCAR technical inspection. Busch would hold on to win Stage 1.
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. And with the victory, the No. 4 was headed back to the R&D facility.
The 24-year-old Bowman won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500. In 31 Cup starts in Phoenix, the California driver was 15 top-five finishes. The victory also was the milestone 40th of Harvick's Cup career.
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