NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kevin Harvick Leads Sprint Cup Phoenix Happy Hour

In both of the Sprint Cup Series practices on Saturday it was a Stewart-Haas Racing car that led the way in preparation for the Good Sam 500 on Sunday. In the first session it was Kurt Busch who paced Kevin Harvick. In Happy Hour it was the opposite, the No. 4 car was faster than the No. 41 machine.

Harvick, the seven-time Phoenix winner, has been among the quickest cars all weekend long, though qualifying 18th on Friday. In Happy Hour his speed of 136.317 mph just outlasted his teammate as the top 11 drivers were within a tenth of a second from one another.

SHR cars have been atop of the leader board in all three practices this weekend.

Pole-sitter Kyle Busch was third fast in the final practice with Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five. The No. 24 car was also in the top-five on speed over five consecutive laps.

Outside of Busch, the other three Joe Gibbs Racing cars struggled in the final practice. On Friday all four teams qualified inside of the top-six, but on Saturday Denny Hamlin was 11th, Carl Edwards 15th and Matt Kenseth was mired down in 22nd.

Jimmie Johnson rebounded to 13th in a backup car after having his steering wheel come off on Friday in qualifying, causing him to pound the Turn 1 wall. He will have to start the 312-mile race from the back.

The winner of the last event at the 1-mile oval Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished the last practice in 14th. The No. 88 had a dismal Friday, qualifying 26th.

BK Racing with David Ragan and Matt DiBenedetto have surprised many this weekend, finishing Happy Hour in 19th and 20th respectively. They could be a team to watch on Sunday.

After having an eventful Friday, Kasey Kahne had the best 10-lap speed at 26.60 seconds. The Busch brothers were in the top five in that category as well as Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr.

 

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