Mike Joy dubbed Kevin Harvick as the “Cactus King”, and this race proved to be his personal playground. Harvick led the most laps with 139 while battling the likes of Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr towards his eighth win overall atPhoenix International Raceway, most all time at the track. But it was the second overtime of the season what was the most memorable. A caution by Kasey Kahneforced overtime with six laps to go and the finish no one expected.
Carl passed Harvick towards the checkered flag as they both traded paint. As they bumped each other, Harvick managed to beat Carl by 0.1 of a second, making it the closest finish in PIR history. It is most likely the closest finish overall this season whenDenny Hamlin beat Martin Truex Jr by .011 seconds in the Daytona 500. This gives Harvick his first win of the season taking the Good Sam 500 and tying him with Kyle for the points lead. Harvick is the all time leader in laps led at PIR with 1,454.
Possibly the most disappointed is Kyle after winning the pole. Kyle had won the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 on Saturday and once again tried to pull off a sweep. He led the first 75 laps until crew chief Adam Stevens called for two tires, which he was unable to lead after that. Another mishap led to running over his air hose on pit road, causing a long pit stop and finishing fourth.
Carl led 65 laps and Hamlin came back from a loose tire violation to finish third, with Dale Jr fifth after leading 34 laps. Kurt Busch finished in the top 10 for the fourth straight week in sixth, and Matt Kenseth finally got his first top 10 finishing in seventh.Chase Elliott got his second top 10 scoring eighth, Austin Dillon ninth and Ryan Blaney 10th.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law