Monday, March 14, 2016

Harvick Edges Out Edwards in the Desert

Credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs
By Carol D'Agostino

It was a day full of ill-handling cars and blown tires as the NASCAR Spring Cup Series ran the 12th annual Good Sam 500 in Phoenix on Sunday. It was also a day for breaking records. In the end, Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag, narrowly beating Carl Edwards to the finish line.

Harvick's margin of victory - 0.010 seconds - is now the closest in series history at Phoenix International Raceway and the seventh-closest finish in the Sprint Cup Series since electronic timing and scoring began in 1993. The previous record at PIR was 0.13 seconds in 2010 when Ryan Newman edged out Jeff Gordon for the win.

This is Harvick’s first win and fourth top-10 finish this season. This win is his eighth victory and 16th top-10 finish in 27 races at PIR. For Edwards, it was his 13th top-10 finish in 24 races at PIR and his third top-10 finish in 2016.

Although Harvick was clearly dominant throughout the race, leading 139 of the 313 laps, holding off Edwards wasn't easy.

"I knew he was better through Turns 3 and 4," Harvick said. "That was not the car I wanted to see behind me. I knew I could beat him down there. I tried to protect the bottom in 3 and 4, and I just missed the bottom with all of the rubber buildup on the tires.

"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. Once I got there, I knew I needed to get a good run off the corner, or I was going to have to get into his door. It worked out – just barely."

Edwards was obviously disappointed after the race, but enjoyed the hard racing.

“Man, I wanted to win that thing, but you win some, you lose some," Edwards said. "It was a good race. He (Harvick) was pretty fast even on old tires, but I thought once we got clear, I thought, ‘Man I’m only going to get one shot.’ I tried to go to the outside of him, he blocked a bit, and I just didn’t have anywhere to go but to just kind of rub him a little bit."

The official race results are:

1 Kevin Harvick
2 Carl Edwards
3 Denny Hamlin
4 Kyle Busch
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6 Kurt Busch
7 Matt Kenseth
8 Chase Elliott
9 Austin Dillon
10 Ryan Blaney
11 Jimmie Johnson
12 Kyle Larson
13 Aric Almirola
14 Martin Truex Jr.
15 Ty Dillon
16 Jamie McMurray
17 AJ Allmendinger
18 Joey Logano
19 Danica Patrick
20 Matt DiBenedetto
21 Greg Biffle
22 Kasey Kahne
23 Trevor Bayne
24 David Ragan
25 Landon Cassill
26 Michael McDowell
27 Brian Scott
28 Regan Smith
29 Brad Keselowski
30 Chris Buescher
31 Clint Bowyer
32 Joey Gase
33 Michael Annett
34 Josh Wise
35 Casey Mears
36 Cole Whitt
37 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
38 Paul Menard
39 Ryan Newman

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