By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
With a top-10 finish at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick tied a decades-old record set by Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.
Harvick ran inside the top-10 throughout most of the Ruoff Mortgage 500k. During the final Stage, the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang was inside the top-five. On restarts, Harvick often was swallowed up by his competitors. A late-race spin by Chase Elliott set up a three-lap run to the finish.
On the restart, Harvick fell behind Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch. Once up to speed, he was able to hold off Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver took the checkered flag in sixth while his teammate, Chase Briscoe, became the 200th driver to score a win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
The sixth-place finish tied a record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at a single track for the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion. It was Harvick’s 18th consecutive top-10 finish at Phoenix Raceway. His streak started in 2013 and includes six victories.
Harvick tied Seven-Time Cup champions, and NASCAR Hall of Famers, Earnhardt and Petty. Both Earnhardt and Petty accomplished the feat at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Earnhardt’s streak started in 1983 and ended in 1992 with three victories. Petty’s streak went from 1968 to 1977 with nine victories.
“It was a good day for us,” explained Harvick. “Restarts weren’t 100% our strong point. We had a bit of a brake shake issue that kept pulling the car to the right under braking so I couldn’t get into corners like I wanted to. Still a good day and the car ran good. I just couldn’t really connect all the corners altogether through the day. Putting a SHR car in victory lane and running inside the top-five all day for us is always a good day.”
Harvick qualified for the race at Phoenix in 16th. He maneuvered his way into the top-10 before the end of Stage 1. Harvick continued to climb up the running order, finishing Stage 2 in third. He earned 11 points between the two Stages.
In addition to tying a NASCAR record, Harvick’s sixth-place finish was his 415th top-10 in the Cup Series. It marked his best finish of the 2022 season, bettering a seventh place at Auto Club Speedway.
The top-10 moved Harvick up from 16th to 10th in the points standings. He’s 25-points behind leader Logano. Harvick’s 14-points above the playoff cutline.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Harold Hinson / Harold Hinson Photography.