Kevin Harvick Wins By Inches Over Carl Edwards In Overtime At Phoenix International Raceway

Kevin Harvick Wins By Inches Over Carl Edwards In Overtime At Phoenix International Raceway

by March 13, 2016 0 comments

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kevin Harvick edged Carl Edwards by a mere 0.010 seconds to win the Good Sam 500 in overtime at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

The incredible photo finish is the closest in series history at the raceway. Previously, the record was held by Ryan Newman when he beat Jeff Gordon by 0.13 seconds at the track back in 2010. With the win, Kevin Harvick is now tied with Kyle Busch for the championship point lead. The win is Harvick’s first of the season and his fifth out of the last six races at Phoenix International Raceway. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 139 laps, the most of any driver throughout the afternoon.

“I just like racing here,” Harvick said. “It’s just one of those places where I feel like I’ve been here enough times to where I can move around and find something to make our car work.  We struggled a lot this weekend to get the balance where we wanted to, but we knew the feel that we were looking for, and we got pretty close there in Happy Hour and still in the race, I feel like I was good through (Turns) 1 and 2 and at times, was good through (Turns) 3 and 4, but it was very edgy. Maybe that’s a product of the new package or the tires or whatever it is.”

The overtime finish was set up when Kasey Kahne wrecked in Turn 3, bringing out the caution on lap 308. On the restart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the inside line didn’t get going as well as Kevin Harvick, who was on the outside with Edwards right behind him. Harvick and Edwards separated themselves from the pack, and they went head-to-head on the last lap. As the two drivers exited Turn 4 for the final time, Edwards got underneath Harvick and moved him up the track. Coming to the checkered flag, the two drivers rubbed fenders, and in the end, it was Harvick taking the victory.

“Well, I knew he was better through (Turns) 3 and 4,” Harvick said. “That was not the car that I wanted to see behind me. I knew I could beat him down there and I tried to protect the bottom in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I just missed the bottom with all the rubber build-up on the tires and everything. But, all in all, I knew I was going to be on defense down there. I got up too high and wasn’t able to stay on the bottom like I wanted to and then he got into me, like he should have, and I needed to get a good run off the corner and I was going to have to get into his door and it worked out, just barely.”

Edwards entered the weekend coming off an 18th place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the two-time Phoenix winner is always a threat for the victory in the desert. With the runner-up finish, Edwards jumps up two spots in the championship point standings. He’s now fifth. The strong performance marks Edwards’ third top-10 finish of the season and his 13th at the raceway.  Edwards led 65 laps on Sunday.

“I should’ve wrecked him,” said Edwards jokingly. “No, those guys were doing a great job all day. They hung on with those tires but we were faster so I thought, ‘Man, I’ll just move him out of the way and get by.’ I just didn’t move him far enough and then he got up the door and I thought I was trying to time — I thought ‘I think he’s going to beat me.’ So, I tried to sideswipe him before he got there but I needed to be in front of his front tire. Anyway, just a fun race. Man, I wish we could’ve won that thing.”

Carl Edwards’ Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished third and fourth respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished out the day in fifth. Kurt Busch crossed the line in sixth, followed by Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney.

“I thought it was an improvement all day,” said the highest finishing rookie, Chase Elliott. “First off, my guys have been bringing such fast race cars to the racetrack every week since Daytona, and I haven’t been doing a very good job of getting the finishes that they deserve.  I’m just happy today that we could finally finish one of these things and get a solid top‑10 finish.  I felt like we made gains throughout the day.”

Throughout the afternoon, there were seven lead changes among four drivers. There were only five cautions. Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne all had issues that resulted in tire failures.

Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Auto Club 400 at Austo Club Speedway on Sunday, March 20. The event is the last stop on NASCAR’s west coast swing before heading back to the east coast. Coverage for the race will broadcast live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Good Sam 500 Results:

1.) #4 Kevin Harvick

2.) #19 Carl Edwards

3.) #11 Denny Hamlin

4.) #18 Kyle Busch

5.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

6.) #41 Kurt Busch

7.) #20 Matt Kenseth

8.) #24 Chase Elliott

9.) #3 Austin Dillon

10.) #21 Ryan Blaney

11.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

12.) #42 Kyle Larson

13.) #43 Aric Almirola

14.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

15.) #14 Ty Dillon

16.) #1 Jamie McMurray

17.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

18.) #22 Joey Logano

19.) #10 Danica Patrick

20.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

21.) #16 Greg Biffle

22.) #5 Kasey Kahne

23.) #6 Trevor Bayne

24.) #23 David Ragan

25.) #38 Landon Cassill

26.) #95 Michael McDowell

27.) #44 Brian Scott

28.) #7 Regan Smith

29.) #2 Brad Keselowski

30.) #34 Chris Buescher

31.) #15 Clint Bowyer

32.) #32 Joey Gase

33.) #46 Michael Annett

34.) #30 Josh Wise

35.) #13 Casey Mears

36.) #98 Cole Whitt

37.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

38.) #27 Paul Menard

39.) #31 Ryan Newman


Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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