Carl Edwards’ Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig wasn’t kidding when he told the driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion that he only had a lap-and-a-half left in the gas tank and to save as much as possible, but Edwards’ car just couldn’t make it to the finish line. What’s worse was he was leading the race with one lap to go when the tank went dry. That allowed Kevin Harvick to drive right past Edwards and take the win Sunday night in the Advocare 500 in the Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway.
Edwards went from leading the race to coasting to a 21st place finish.
Several lead changes occurred during the race with different race and pit strategies playing out, but the strategy executed by Harvick’s team seemed to work to the best advantage.
Matt Kenseth had a rough day – one that he would probably like to start over again. He had an ill-handling race car all day long and Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff commented at one point during the race that he wasn’t going to touch it as the changes he was making was just making it worse. Kenseth would finish in the 25th spot on the day, 29 points out of first place.
Championship points leader Jimmie Johnson had a couple of close calls Sunday – one happening on the first lap of the race where Joey Logano fought a loose race car and clipped the left rear of Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy. The action caused Johnson to lose the groove, and a couple of spots, but no damage. Later in the race, Johnson and Edwards got into each other when Harvick went on the bottom of the turn to make it three-wide and Johnson clearly got sideways, but corrected it without any damage. The only damage done was the loss of a few spots on the track. That wouldn’t keep Johnson down as he would finish in the third place position.
Eight caution flags waved. Four cars were collected in the fifth caution which ended Cole Whitt’s day and caused damage to cars driven by Danica Patrick, David Reutimann and Justin Allgaier. Reutimann slammed the wall hard in the seventh caution. The trunk of his car became the back seat as he got loose in the corner and hit the outside wall. He would come out of the infield car center shaken up, but no injuries.
Harvick won the race, while rest of the top ten looked like this: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kurt Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman.
There were 23 lead changes amongst 13 drivers.
Johnson leads the championship points over Kenseth by 28 points while Harvick lurks in third place, six points behind Kenseth.
Do you think Homestead-Miami Speedway can take this heat? You won’t want to miss the end of this season and the last race of the Chase in the Ford Ecoboost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. ET.