AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kevin Harvick had a nice send-off with Richard Childress Racing, winning his penultimate race with the team at Phoenix International Raceway.
Back at Phoenix four months later, Harvick stamped his arrival at Stewart-Haas Racing by winning the second race with his new team — and doing it on the same weekend he celebrated his 13th wedding anniversary with his wife, DeLana.
Disappointed at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 23 after a last-lap crash, Harvick bounced back quickly by charging to the front and dominating the rest of the way Sunday to win consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at PIR with different teams.
“Man, this is awesome,” he said.
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Harvick won the fall race after Carl Edwards ran out of fuel at the white flag.
He needed no help in Sunday’s The Profit on CNBC 500.
“It took long enough,” said Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas, joking. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) were up to.”
Harvick had the fastest car in practice and kept it rolling in the race. He led 224 of 312 laps on the mile track and pulled away on several late restarts for his fifth Sprint Cup victory at PIR, surpassing Jimmie Johnson for the most victories at the track.
Not bad for someone who is still trying to feel his way around with a new team and new crew chief Rodney Childers.
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, pole-sitter Brad Keselowski was third and Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano placed fourth.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw finished 11th and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 17th of 43.
A series of cautions came out late in the race and Harvick easily pulled away each time.
“I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive around the racetrack when they have (the car) dialed in like they did today,” Harvick said. “We were able to put it all together.”