NSCS: Freaky Fast at Phoenix; Harvick Looking for Continued Dominance in the Desert

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, Southwest 0 Comments

AVONDALE, Ariz. — official series release — Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America photo —

Kevin Harvick is pretty much as close to an automatic bet as you can get at Phoenix International Raceway.

On Sunday, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will go for his fifth straight win at the one-mile track in Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM).

With a visit to Victory Lane, Harvick would join NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (Richmond, 7) and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, 7; North Wilkesboro, 5) as the only drivers to win at least five consecutive races at a single track.

Currently third on the Chase Grid, 10 points above the cutoff line, Harvick is trying to advance to the four-driver Championship Round race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to defend his title from one season ago (where he won the final two races in order to clinch the crown). Regardless of how the rest of the field performs at Phoenix, Harvick can clinch a Championship Round berth with a finish of second or better; third and at least one lap led; or fourth and the most laps led.

Harvick owns a track-record seven wins at Phoenix. He has the second-best average finish (11.0), driver rating (108.3), average running position (9.4) and average green flag speed (126.523 mph) at the Arizona oval.

And if you think that’s good, his strength at the ‘Jewel in the Desert’ isn’t solely limited to the Cup ranks. The Bakersfield, Calif. native scored a NASCAR XFINITY Series win at PIR in April of 2006, as well as four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories at the one-mile oval.

The track was reconfigured in the summer of 2011, and five of Harvick’s seven Cup wins at Phoenix have come on the new configuration.

For more information on Phoenix International Raceway, visit www.phoenixraceway.com.

CREDIT: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

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