April 22, 2006
Kevin Harvick Wins at Phoenix(Filed under: Race Recap)
After a week off for Easter NASCAR comes to Phoenix and the drama continues, with Kevin Harvick finally putting Richard Childress and the Goodwrench Chevy in victory lane. Harvick has been on a roll lately and finally put it all together for the win. He came on strong late and passed Greg Biffle, who later ran out of gas, and nobody had anything for him.
As the final laps closed a number of cars ran out of gas, including Biffle and Mark Martin. Biffle ran strong and up front all night but his car faded near the end of a long run and running out of gas was a nail in his coffin, leaving him with an 16th place finish. Biffle just can't seem to close the deal this year. Martin had a let down of a night with an incredibly strong car. A bad pit stop put him back in the pack and then he ran into the back of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and managed to squeeze his car through a closing gap. He had battled back to the top 5 and was fighting Mat Kenseth and Tony Stewart for second when he ran out of gas and had to settle for 11th.
Tony Stewart continues to show his dominance as he went from deadlast to first. He didn't hold the lead for long, but he had the patience and the muscle to do it and finished strong in second. Matt Kenseth was quiet all day and managed a third place finish, enough to push him past points leader and 7th place finisher Jimmie Johnson and into the points lead.
Aside from the win, Childress cars all finished in the top ten with rookie Clint Bowyer finished 5th after running up front all night and Jeff Burton came out of the pack to finish 9th. Kasey Kahne had a quiet night but finished strong in 6th, adding to an impressive year. There were high hopes for Carl Edwards this year, but he hasn't been able to live up to the hype. He ran into someone on pit road and got shuffled back, but actually managed to come back for a 4th place finish, a much needed shot in the arm. Bobbie Labonte put together another strong run and finish for Petty Enterprises with an 8th place finish.
And look who rounded out the top 10: Jeff Gordon. Gordon was nowhere all night long, but he managed a strong finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., wasn't so lucky with a battered racecar and a 23rd place finish. Though they're sitting in 6th and 7th place in points, which must feel a whole lot better than last year.
Kyle Busch, who made headlines last week for getting a traffic violation, started on the front row but got shuffled back after speeding on pit road and then ran a little too hard with Casey Mears and spun out and hit the wall. Kyle showed that typical Busch attitude by running his flattened car into Mears during the red flag, and action that later cost him five laps and a trip to the NASCAR hauler for a little chat.
Posted by kevin at April 22, 2006 10:13 PM
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