Kevin Harvick wins third straight NASCAR race

Posted March 13, 2018

He had barely stepped out of his race auto Sunday at ISM Raceway after winning his third consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race after a rough week when he started with the zingers. "Any time you can reach out and grab motivation, for me, that's just a piece of the puzzle".

"If it is such a big deal, why is my crew chief still here?"

Harvick, whose team were hit with an L1 penalty on Wednesday after his Las Vegas-winning auto was found with two violations stemming from a rear-window malfunction, took the lead away from Ryan Newman on lap 291 (of 312) and was able to hold off Kyle Busch for his ninth career victory at Phoenix.

"I've been mad as all get out because this team does a great job", Harvick said earning his 40th-career win. His post-race penalty at Vegas notwithstanding, Harvick has been untouchable for the better part of a month.

"Actions speak louder than any words I can come up with, " Harvick said.

After saying Friday he would jump up and down on the back of the vehicle if he won, Harvick completed his burnouts and pulled over next to his crew to celebrate.

After saying Friday that he would jump up and down on the back of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford if he won, Harvick simply patted the back window in a nod to social media photos of his buckled rear window in Las Vegas. Busch's team dropped the jack and had trouble with the right rear tire on the stop with 53 laps left, allowing Harvick - who pitted three laps earlier - to slip ahead. We didn't stomp 'em, but we won. Hendrick Motorsports has the next three spots, with Kyle Larson second, Chase Elliott third and Tucson driver Alex Bowman fourth.

Bourdais snatches victory: Sebastien Bourdais wept as he crossed the finish line Sunday for his second consecutive victory at St. Petersburg.

Larson was third in the stage, followed by Denny Hamlin and Truex.

Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Junior rounded out the top five.

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"I needed a little bit of forward drive there at the end", Elliott said.

"Obviously our pitstop wasn't stellar, and then I got back up pretty good. It's the first time in our organization's history that we had all four cars in the top 10". Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola wound up sixth and seventh, respectively.

"We can afford to spend $170 million to move the frontstretch from there over to there", Stewart said.

Kyle Busch won the first 75-lap stage, while Kurt Busch picked up the victory in stage two.

Kyle Busch and Eric Jones of JGR have shown the best consistency of the Toyotas. The penalty for the broken window bracket, in addition to a side skirt issue, was very costly for the team.

"How many appeals have you seen overturned?" he explained.

The team was found to have violated Sections (dealing with rear window support) and 20.4.18 (rocker panel extensions). NASCAR inspected his Ford and discovered a violation that cost him seven playoff points and 20 regular season points. Crew Chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, Car Chief Robert Smith was suspended, and the Playoff benefits for the Vegas win were stripped away. Wickens went off course, Rossi slid back to third and Bourdais sailed by for the 37th victory of his career. After a Daytona 500 crash, "Awesome Bill" reeled off four straight at Rockingham, Richmond, Atlanta and Darlington before later winning the season finale at Atlanta, falling short in the greatest points battle in Winston Cup history.

Harvick is the first driver to win three straight Cup races since Joey Logano in 2015.

One name is the man to beat whenever the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Phoenix, Kevin Harvick.

The Canadian dominated the race, leading 69 of the 110 laps, and the win was in his grip until two late cautions set up NASCAR-style late restarts, and contact with Alexander Rossi on the final restart of the race ruined his day.