Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — As the cars rolled out onto the grid last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, most drivers said Kevin Harvick had the car to beat. 312 laps later they were correct.
Harvick won in dominating fashion with his sponsor Jimmie Johns and the words “Freaky Fast” on the side of his car. That is what he was. Harvick charged to the front and led 224 laps on the day and no one could touch him.
It was the first win in the #4 car, now driving for Stewart-Haas Racing and secures him a spot in the Chase at the end of the season, assuming more than 15 drivers do not win a race.
Harvick started the day 13th, after just missing the final stage of the new knockout qualifying. It took him 74 laps to take the lead away from Joey Logano just after passing his teammate Brad Keselowski.
The race would see a bunch of late race cautions, but each time, Harvick easily pulled away on the re-start. Dale Earnhardt Jr., fresh off his media tour for winning his second Daytona 500, would finish second, while Keselowski, who won the pole came home in third. Rounding out the top five would be Logano and Jeff Gordon.
*** News and Notes ***
Kurt Busch made it official this week that he will be driving for Andretti Autosport in this years Indianapolis 500 and then fly over to Charlotte that night to run the 600 mile race for NASCAR. If all goes as planned, he will be the fourth driver to do so, joining Robby Gordon, John Andretti, and Tony Stewart.
Looking for that GoDaddy car this weekend….well the #10 of Danica Patrick will sport some new colors, white and blue for Aspen Dental, part of a two race deal, that will appear again over Labor Day in Atlanta.
Jeff Burton will return to the track driving the #66 for Michael Waltrip Racing…a car that will share duties with him and Michael Waltrip at select races this year.
Martin Truex, Jr. will make his 300 start in Las Vegas this weekend.
*** Vegas this weekend ***
A packed house always greats drivers as they roll into Las Vegas. This is the 17th race out in Las Vegas, with Jimmie Johnson leading all drivers with four wins. Five times the driver that has won in Las Vegas has went on to win the Championship.
The crystal ball this week has Kyle Busch finding victory lane over Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. Other interesting notes include that Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski only have two top 10’s in 10 starts combined. Also do not be surprised if Danica Patrick has a top 15 run…she has run well in Vegas, despite finishing 33rd in her only Sprint Cup start last season.