All conversations about Phoenix International Raceway begin and end with Kevin Harvick.
Four years ago, Harvick trailed Jimmie Johnson on the active wins list at the 1-mile track. Johnson once led with four wins, now Harvick overwhelms everyone with eight, including five of the last six.
It could have been six of six if not for rain ending last year’s fall race after 219 laps while Dale Earnhardt Jr. led.
Harvick and Johnson are the only active drivers who have reached eight wins at a track, with Johnson doing it at Dover (10), Martinsville (9) and Charlotte (8).
The last driver not named Harvick or Johnson to win consecutive Phoenix races was Earnhardt, who won in 2003 and 2004 when it only held one race a year.
Here is who is hot and cold entering Sunday’s Can-Am 500.
Who is hot
- Clinched spot in Championship 4 with Martinsville win.
- Finished top 10 in five of the last seven races.
- Four hundred and fifty-five laps led in the 2016 Chase, 266 in the regular season.
- Four Phoenix wins but last came in 2009, finished 11th at Phoenix in March
- Finished fifth at Martinsville and Texas.
- Top-10 finishes in eight of the last nine races.
- Finished top 10 in four of the last five races at Phoenix.
- Finished fourth in the last two Phoenix races.
- Clinched spot in championship race with Texas win.
- Only three top-10 finishes in the last 10 races, but one was a win at Texas.
- Three wins this season is most in a season since he had nine in 2008.
- Finished second at Phoenix in March, losing by 0.010 seconds (closest-ever margin of victory there).
- Led race-high 178 laps and finished second at Texas.
- Finished in the top 10 in 18 of the last 22 races.
- Top-10 finishes in five of the last six races at Phoenix, 18th in March.
- Best Phoenix finish is third, twice.
Who is cold
- Finished 20th or worse in four of the eight races of the Chase, had only two finishes outside top 20 in the regular season.
- All four wins came from a start of 11th or worse.
- Twenty-five top-10 finishes in 2016, most of all drivers. No top fives since
- Has never been eliminated from a Chase Round.
- Won six of last eight Phoenix races.
- Last two finishes are worst results in the last nine races.
- Only four top 10s in the last 13 races.
- Has four straight top 10s at Phoenix.
- Top-10 finishes in 13 of the last 16 races.
- Finished top three in four of the last eight races at Phoenix.
- Finished third at Phoenix in March.
Other notes of interest entering the Can-Am 500:
- Kevin Harvick has won six of the 10 races at Phoenix since its 2011 reconfiguration; finished first or second in
eight of the 10 Phoenix races since 2011.
- The last non-Chevrolet team to win at Phoenix was Carl Edwards in 2013 when he drove a Ford.
- Nine of the last 12 Phoenix races were completed in under three hours.
- Five cautions at Phoenix in March was the fewest in a full-distance race at Phoenix since the 2011 reconfiguration.