Kevin Harvick had sponsor Jimmy John’s on his car this week and proved their slogan to be true. His car was “freaky fast” during The Profit on CNBC 500, Presented by Small Business Fueling America Sunday afternoon from Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.
Harvick picked through the field after starting 13th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. By lap five, he was in the sixth position. On Lap 74, Harvick’s No. 4 passed Joey Logano’s No. 22, who had been the race leader throughout the first part of the race. Harvick didn’t look back after that.
“What a race car!” Harvick exclaimed in a post-race interview on Fox.
Harvick and Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had battled near the end of the race after a couple of restarts but Earnhardt, Jr.’s No. 88 didn’t have enough to overpower Harvick to get to the lead.
Eight cautions littered the race on Sunday with the first a competition caution on lap 35. The race was green for 127 laps before the next caution was called, which was for debris. The first contact caution came on lap 171 when Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil fought for position after a restart and got together causing damage to all race cars. The last caution was for engine trouble for Kurt Busch. He had reported to his team that he thought that he was losing a cylinder earlier in the race and the engine finally gave up on lap 297.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski had the pole for the race but didn’t hold that position for long. However, he maintained a top five position throughout the race. Keselowski had secured the first starting position for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Races at PIR. He was the first driver to get the pole in NASCAR’s new elimination-style qualifying format.
There were 14 different lead changes throughout the race, but it was Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick who had the dominant car in the race and celebrated in Victory Lane. He led 224 laps on the day.
The top ten included Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray. Kyle Larson was the highest finishing rookie in the race who ended in 20th place.
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be Sunday, March 9 for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race will begin at 3 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox and aired on Performance Racing Network (PRN) (www.goprn.com) stations.