Harvick shakes off cheating scandal to win pole at Phoenix

Annette Crawford
November 15, 2018

The next restart took place with 20 laps to go as Kyle Busch led Almirola, the latter needing to win to advance to the Championship Round.

Stage #2 began with Elliott and Kurt Busch on the front row, the latter eventually pulling ahead for the lead.

What could have made the race truly intriguing is if Busch had opted to relinquish the lead to Almirola on a restart with 12 laps remaining. Truex enters as the defending champion and race victor.

"I'd like to think it gives us a lot (of momentum), but I don't know, talk is cheap", Busch said.

"Denny came out of nowhere and cleaned us out", said Kurt Busch. I flat out got cleaned out.

"Obviously, I ran through all the scenarios in my mind of what could happen and what had to happen for each vehicle, but it was much more stressful than I thought", Stewart told on his "Happy Hours" show Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. So, after all that I was like, 'I just want this day to be over'. "They've had such a strong year and would've been a real threat down @HomesteadMiami". Thanks to Monster Energy and everybody that put their talent into that 41 auto.

"You just hope you're going to find yourself in position to have another shot at it like we did past year", Hemric said after he finished second Saturday.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 4, in Fort Worth, Texas.


But, joining Busch in that title showdown will be the other two members of the "Big Three" of 2018. It was an outstanding season for Chase Elliott, as he found victory lane three times, with his first career victory coming at Watkins Glen, before picking up two wins in the round of 12 at Dover and Kansas. "It's guaranteed if you get to Victory Lane and you're still in it (the playoffs)". "The 00 (Cole Custer), they're licking their chops because they won by (15.4) seconds past year so I'm sure they're feeling good". We could run with those guys. But if you stay away from that penalty, you never know. He was also docked enough points to bring him down to only three above the cutline going into Sunday's race.

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Aric Almirola, who needed a victory to qualify for the finale, had a shot. Among the drivers who haven't qualified for Homestead are Kyle Busch and reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr., who stood by his vehicle and watched as it took his team four tries to pass pre-qualifying inspection. Don't go to the media and blast NASCAR because you did make a mistake. "The whole year counts". The 312-lap race will only have a total of 31.2 points up for grabs in this category. It pays to win.

The drivers have an average age of 23 and have combined for nine wins since February, with Hemric the only winless among driver among them.

Aric Almirola was close enough to taste the victory that would have assured him of a Championship 4 berth and knocked Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick out of the final four.

Brad Keselowski finished second, while Kyle Larson finished third.

"We kept ourselves in position all day, and there at the end, it was just like everybody wrecking and all over the place", Harvick said.

NASCAR also suspended Harvick's crew chief, Rodney Childers, and auto chief, Robert Smith, for the final two races of the season, as well as docking Harvick 40 points. I can promise you, I haven't watched Phoenix tape when I flew out here. "There's nothing my team could do different, so there's really nothing to get depressed about".

"This year there isn't a number or officiating on the offset of the decklid and spoiler together on the vehicle". You look at all the teams we're racing and they've got four, five, six, seven years working together, so what we've accomplished in one year is a hell of a lot.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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