NASCAR Cup Series | Results and 3 takeaways from Sunday's race at Phoenix – Charlotte Observer


Kevin Harvick won the TicketGuardian 500 on Sunday, his third consecutive win, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday?s TicketGuardian 500 race at ISM Speedway:

1. Will Harvick ever lose again?

Of course the answer is yes, but at this point it doesn?t seem like it. One of the oldest drivers in the sport is performing at the highest level of his career right now ? and that includes his championship-winning season in 2014. Harvick is consistently one of NASCAR?s best drivers, and last season he was one of the last four drivers competing for a championship. But this … this is a whole ?nother level. If he?s able to keep this up all season, it?ll be tough for anyone to stand in the way of his second championship trophy.

2. The Fords aren?t going anywhere

At first, maybe it was just a waiting game with the new Chevy that was allowing Ford to dominate. Or some championship rust from the Toyotas. Neither is the case. As long as Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney are running with Ford, it should compete for a manufacturer?s championship ? and race wins every week. The other manufacturers will catch up and start winning more races in short order, but even then, the Fords aren?t going away any time soon.

3. This is the balance of young and old we need

All the buzz coming into the 2018 was about young drivers: Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Bubba Wallace, William Byron and so many others. Then … those guys didn?t perform consistently. Until this week, it has been mostly veterans, all season long. But this Sunday, really for the first time on an even track (aka not Daytona), we had a solid blend of old and new drivers. Yes, Harvick (who is 42) won, but Elliott, nearly 20 years younger, came in third. Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones also finished in the Top 10, but a stable of veterans were there, too. Eventually the time will come when those young?uns will have to surpass their elder teammates, but finishes like this are at least a step in the right direction.

Pit2

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) pits on the 31st lap during Sunday?s race.

Rick Scuteri AP

TicketGuardian 500 results

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (10) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 312 laps, 53 points.

2. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 312, 52.

3. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 312, 39.

4. (6) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 312, 40.

5. (1) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 312, 41.

6. (19) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 312, 32.

7. (22) Aric Almirola, Ford, 312, 30.

8. (15) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 312, 29.

9. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 312, 29.

10. (23) Kurt Busch, Ford, 312, 40.

11. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 312, 26.

12. (11) William Byron, Chevrolet, 312, 25.

13. (4) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 312, 24.

14. (17) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 312, 23.

15. (25) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 312, 35.

16. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 311, 21.

17. (18) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 311, 20.

18. (2) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 311, 27.

19. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 311, 20.

20. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 311, 17.

21. (20) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 311, 16.

22. (16) David Ragan, Ford, 311, 15.

23. (29) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 311, 22.

24. (26) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 311, 15.

25. (30) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 311, 12.

26. (8) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 310, 11.

27. (36) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 310, 0.

28. (27) Darrell Wallace Jr, Chevrolet, 309, 9.

29. (24) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 309, 8.

30. (28) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 309, 12.

31. (34) D.J. Kennington, Toyota, 309, 6.

32. (31) Michael McDowell, Ford, 308, 11.

33. (35) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 306, 0.

34. (32) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 304, 3.

35. (37) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 292, 2.

36. (14) Paul Menard, Ford, accident, 189, 1.

37. (33) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet, engine, 23, 1.

Pit1

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (15) pits during Sunday?s race.

Rick Scuteri AP

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 108.078 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 53 minutes, 13 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.774 seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 36 laps.

Lead Changes: 15 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M.Truex 0; K.Larson 1-30; M.Truex 31-33; K.Larson 34-57; Ky.Busch 58-123; B.Keselowski 124-128; Ky.Busch 129-147; Ku.Busch 148-153; Ky.Busch 154-178; K.Harvick 179-194; W.Byron 195-209; D.Hamlin 210-242; Ky.Busch 243-260; B.Keselowski 261-267; R.Newman 268-290; K.Harvick 291-312

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): Ky.Busch, 4 times for 124 laps; K.Larson, 2 times for 52 laps; K.Harvick, 2 times for 36 laps; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 32 laps; R.Newman, 1 time for 22 laps; W.Byron, 1 time for 14 laps; B.Keselowski, 2 times for 10 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 5 laps; M.Truex, 2 times for 2 laps.

Wins: K.Harvick, 3; A.Dillon, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. K.Harvick, 168; 2. Ky.Busch, 156; 3. M.Truex, 156; 4. R.Blaney, 152; 5. J.Logano, 152; 6. D.Hamlin, 137; 7. B.Keselowski, 134; 8. K.Larson, 131; 9. C.Bowyer, 125; 10. A.Almirola, 123; 11. Ku.Busch, 117; 12. A.Dillon, 114; 13. R.Newman, 101; 14. P.Menard, 97; 15. E.Jones, 93; 16. A.Bowman, 91.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.


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