Kevin Harvick dominated the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday where he led 224 of the 312 laps and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win in only his second start for Stewart-Haas Racing. The win was Harvick’s fifth at Phoenix.
Harvick, who moved to SHR this year from Richard Childress Racing, climbed to fourth in the championship standings and came one step closer to claiming a spot in the 2014 post-season championship chase. This is Harvick’s first victory and first top-10 finish in 2014.
Speaking to the media after the race, Earnhardt said he was not surprised that Harvick did not slip up during the multiple restarts at the end of the race.
“He's not a rookie,” Earnhardt said of Harvick. “Guy's been around a long time, knows what he's doing. He's won some races here. He feels good and confident about what he's doing here. He won last year here. When you're winning at a place with regularity in recent months, you got a lot of confidence. He wasn't going to be rattled by anything. I would have had to get to his bumper under green to try to get him loose or do something like that, which I might have been able to do. We just ran out of laps He was going to be very, very, very hard to pass. I knew that.”
Earnhardt leads the point standings by 6 points over Brad Keselowski, who finished third.