Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, proved once again that not only is Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) one of his favorite tracks, it is also the track where he has scored the most victories in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) career. Credited with leading four times for a total of 70 laps, Harvick scored his fourth win of the 2013 season and his fourth win at the track in the desert west of Phoenix, Arizona.
“We were all pushing it on gas there to try to just put enough in it to get to the end so that we could gain all the track position we could under green,” said Harvick. “I saw (then race leader) Carl Edwards slowing with about maybe a lap and a half, two laps to go. Richard (Childress) came across the radio and said he was slowing down. I’m like ‘dang we might still be in this thing.’ Just have to thank all the guys on my Budweiser Chevrolet. The car was rocking all day. Just wound up in Victory Lane where it needed to be.”
The victory keeps Harvick third in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Chase), just 34 markers behind the leader, with one race remaining in the season. It also brought the total wins for Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR National Touring Series competition to an impressive 200 trips to Victory Lane.
Kasey Kahne, No.5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, finished second after leading twice for a total of 41 laps. Kahne moved up one position to12th in the standings heading into the final event.
Jimmie Johnson came into the PIR race with a seven point lead in the Chase as he pursues his sixth NSCS championship, and finished third behind the wheel of the No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS. After starting on the pole, the five-time champion overcame two close calls to lead just one lap in the 312-lap/312-mile/500K race. The team rallied back and now heads to the finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with a 28-point lead. Johnson needs a 23rd place finish or better to clinch the title; 24th or better if leading one lap or 25th or better if he leads the most lap.
“I knew I had a great race car and that makes life a lot easier,” said Johnson. “I really had to fall back on my dirt driving skills racing out here in the desert all the years that I did. All those incidences were close. The second one, I thought I was hitting the wall so I was glad that we got it gathered back up and got it going. Then the No. 20 (Matt Kenseth) wasn’t having the best day, so after that issue we came to pit road and left and I expected him to be ahead of me and he was behind me. So at that point I knew I was in good shape relative to the championship battle; knew I had a good car, knew I could get through traffic, and I knew it was just about getting points on him at that point.”
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and remains fifth in the standings as the 2013 closes next weekend.
Kurt Busch brought the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS, to the checkered flag in fifth place to maintain 10th in the standings.
|4||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Chevrolet|
|6||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet|
|8||56||Martin Truex Jr||Toyota|
|12||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Ford|