What we learned during the TicketGuardian 500 — NASCAR Phoenix

NASCAR TicketGuardian 500 Preivew
Chasing 3rd straight win, Harvick talks about penalties
Author

13 March, 2018

The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion had a series high of 19 top-five finishes in 2017. Inspection at NASCAR's Research and Development Center resulted in dramatic penalties after last Sunday's win at Las Vegas.

Despite Harvick's longstanding dominance in the desert - he won six of eight races from 2012-16 - he had not won at Phoenix since March 13, 2016.

"The roof caved in, pulled the back and top of the window down, and that is really the root of the social media outrage that came after the race", Harvick said.

The race is at 3:30 p.m. on FOX. And to take that away from those guys just really (ticked) me off last week.

Logano was asked if he believed NASCAR was influenced by social media.

NASCAR stuck to the letter of its rulebook in determining that virtually any postrace technical violations warrant the loss of any playoff points earned in the event.

A third straight win doesn't absolve NASCAR finding two infractions on Harvick's race-winning vehicle at Las Vegas.

He then lost all of those points - and that could impact whether he advances through playoff rounds. Only two Chevys are now in the top 10 of the NASCAR standings, that being Kyle Larson and Daytona 500 victor Austin Dillon. He finished 6th and led the most laps that day with 194. But he was the class of the field late in the race in winning for the seventh time in the past 12 Phoenix races. But he can't win forever and eventually we'll see a third different victor this season. "That's really all that really matters", he explained.

"Through much of the race today I actually managed to out-race the 4 and beat him. Put a fire in our belly". [It's big] to drive it home for all those supporters out there.

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"To all those haters out there, I see you". Sure, SHR looks like a world-beater with Harvick and the No. 4 team, but his three teammates are all inside the top 11 in the standings with him. Childers was fined $50,000, and vehicle chief Robert Smith was suspended two races.

The team had to decide by Monday if to appeal the L1 penalties. Whatever the call may be, it'll be the #4 vehicle that the rest of field will be chasing, like it has the past two weeks in Las Vegas and Atlanta. The rule requires the rear window to be rigid, and it was obviously flexing during the race. The jack dropped a little too soon while changing the left side tires and caused the No. 18 Toyota to spend additional seconds on pit road. When he finally cooled off Sunday afternoon, he celebrated his third straight NASCAR Cup victory and record-extending ninth at the mile oval southwest of Phoenix.

Harvick got in front of Kyle Busch on the last series of pit stops in the 312-lap race.

Harvick started in the 10 position while Busch began from the No. 7 spot. "That's the type of determination and grit that you want in a race team". Because of the heightened stakes, this triumph was more comparable to winning the season-end Cup Series championship finale.

"It felt like that". Those are the moments that you just love to live in and be a part of and succeed in. "They're mad because you don't have a Winston who is supporting these short tracks like they used to". Our auto got a lot better up there.

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

"I made it very clear to pat my window and thank it for doing its job this week", he said.

"There's not many things that you can do to showcase character", Harvick said.

"Actions speak a whole lot louder than all words I can say this week", Harvick said. Just proud of this team.


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