AVONDALE, Arizona — Kevin Harvick kept his Phoenix International Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup winning streak alive Sunday with a victory in the CampingWorld.com 500.
He earned a fourth consecutive win and seventh of his career at the track, including five in the past six races in Avondale.
“This is a really special place — all these West Coast races — for us to win,” said Harvick, a native of Bakersfield, Calif.
The victory also extended Harvick’s string top-two finishes to seven, dating back to the final three races of 2014.
“It’s almost scary how well things are going,” Harvick said. “You don’t want to talk about it too much because you want it to keep going, but I’m just really proud of these guys on this team and everything that they do.”
Jamie McMurray finished second, Ryan Newman third and Kasey Kahne fourth.
“It was a really good day for our Cessna/McDonald’s Chevy,” McMurray said. “We ran fifth to eighth all day long. (Crew chief) Matt McCall made a really good decision at the end to stay out and got us on the front row. That was a fun battle with Kevin.”
The top-four finishers were among those who stayed out during the second-to-last caution, the ninth of the race, with 24 laps remaining in the 312-lap event.
Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Harvick and Kurt Busch ran one-two, with Harvick leading, after Busch took second from Joey Logano on a restart just past the 200-lap mark. They occupied the top two spots until Busch gave up second to pit during the ninth caution.
Busch was able to drive back into the top five to finish fifth in his first race after having his NASCAR suspension lifted.
“It means I’ve got a strong team,” Busch said. “And personally, it’s great to get back to them and produce a result like this on our first day back. It’s a quality car.”
Harvick and Joey Logano combined to lead all laps before yellow-flag pit stops on lap 119. Logano took the lead from pole-sitter Harvick at the start of the race, but Harvick retook the spot on lap 28.
Brad Keselowski became the third driver to lead the race by taking two tires and getting off pit road first on lap 119. Harvick restarted fifth and Logano eighth.
Harvick retook the lead 45 laps later. Logano wasn’t able to follow Harvick back to the front under green, but he retook the lead by taking two tires during the next caution on lap 181. Harvick, on four, was able to get back by him on lap 199.
Keselowski finished sixth, and Martin Truex Jr. was seventh. Logano passed both Kyle Larson and Jeff Gordon on the final lap for eighth. Larson wound up ninth and Gordon 10th.
“That is not quite where we wanted to be there at the end,” Logano said. “Todd (Gordon, crew chief) made a gutsy call there at the end to put four on it, and we were back to 16th there with 12 to go and really, at that point, he was leaving it up to me to be aggressive, and we were able to pass a lot of cars to get up to eighth.
“Getting a top-10 is great, but we want to win some more. We just didn’t quite have the speed.”
NOTES: Kevin Harvick led the most laps for the third consecutive race at Phoenix. … Only four drivers led laps — Kevin Harvick (224), Joey Logano (35), Brad Keselowski (52) and Jamie McMurray (1). … After a pit-road speeding penalty and a blown right-rear tire, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished outside the top five for the first time in 2015. He wound up last in the 43-car field. … Tony Stewart was inside the top 10 and having his best race of the season before wrecking on lap 237 and again with 24 to go. He finished 39th. … Logano dominated and won the Xfinity Series race at Phoenix on Saturday. The top four in that race were Sprint Cup regulars — Logano, Matt Kenseth, Harvick and Austin Dillon.