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13 March 2018, 06:04 | Susie Olson
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Kyle Busch won the first 75-lap stage of the NASCAR Cup Series race at ISM Raceway, and Kevin Harvick moved up to second in his bid for a third straight victory.
"I've been mad as all get out because this team does a great job", Harvick said earning his 40th-career win. "This organization does a great job and we got fast cars". "To take that away from those guys just really pissed me off last week". We didn't stomp 'em, but we won. That's all that really matters.
Harvick also became the first driver since 2015 to tally three straight wins - Kyle Busch and Joey Logano accomplished the feat that year. Busch would also get by Elliott to finish 2nd.
"I don't think anybody's got anything for Harvick, considering we got our butt beat so bad last week, then we just got beat a little bit this week", said Kyle Busch after leading a race-high 128 laps at Phoenix. He finished 6th and led the most laps that day with 194.
Harvick won the regional race previous year at Sonoma Raceway and has worked to help the driver who finished second (Will Rodgers) find sponsorship.
It wasn't until 2014 when SHR would expand to four cars, bringing in Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. In 31 Cup starts in Phoenix, the California driver has 15 top-five finishes.
Harvick is coming off consecutive victories in Atlanta and Las Vegas and has a record eight Cup victories at the track.
"I didn't jump on the vehicle, but I made it very clear to pat my window and thank it for doing its job this week", Harvick said. After the race at Las Vegas, NASCAR found a broken rear window support brace and a right-side rocker panel extension not meeting NASCAR specifications. He was docked 20 regular points and the team lost 20 owners' points.
Anything short of a win Sunday would've only intensified the chatter that Harvick won at Atlanta and Las Vegas not exclusively because he is a great driver with a superior team, but because crew chief Rodney Childers had somehow sneaked a tricked-up, illegal vehicle through NASCAR technical inspection. The win was a milestone for him in his recovery from serious injuries suffered in a crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"When they get on a tear like this, you just kind of stand back and watch and enjoy the ride", Stewart said.
Time will tell if there was a problem Sunday.
His comeback from a vicious wreck, the kind that can end careers, was completed Sunday when Bourdais showed he's still a victor.
It doesn't matter how it happened, or that Bourdais was gifted the victory, only that he could indeed win again.
"I was very emotional in the vehicle". You may see crew chiefs call for two tire stops or try to win the race on fuel mileage. "Is he this? Is he this?" Harvick had said Friday he would do that (it's very much frowned upon by NASCAR because it potentially could knock the vehicle out of - or in to - compliance) if he won.
"It's been bumpy, it's been tough, it's been everything in between".
It also marked the debut of IndyCar's sleek new race auto, which was created to improve competition and reduce costs and resulted in a race-record 366 on-track passes, and that of impressive rookie Robert Wickens.
Though Harvick has a history of dominating races at ISM Raceway, he would only lead 38 laps en route to his victory. He continues to put the youth movement talk on hold, having led 433 of the series' last 904 laps.
The victory lane interview was vintage Harvick in every sense, filled with pointed barbs that exemplified his don't-back-down mentality.
Snow, high near 35 — TODAY'S FORECAST
As we cool down Tuesday night rain will change to snow and snow showers will continue through Wednesday . Rain showers turn to snow showers through the night, and potentially a light snow by daybreak.
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