Jamie McMurray

Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman climb up NASCAR record book

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A bit overlooked from last weekend’s race at ISM Raceway was that both Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman moved up a spot for most consecutive Cup starts.

Both started their 580th consecutive Cup race last weekend. That moved them ahead of Ken Schrader (579 career starts) into ninth on the all-time list. Kevin Harvick has 572 consecutive starts. He’s set to pass Schrader at Kansas in May.

Next for Johnson and Newman is Mark Martin, who made 621 career Cup starts.

Jeff Gordon is the record holder with 797 consecutive starts. At this point, both Johnson, who is 42 years old, and Newman, who is 40, would need six years to reach Gordon’s mark.

To put the streak Johnson and Newman have compiled into perspective, rookies William Byron and Darrell Wallace Jr. would each need to not miss a race for 16 years to match them (provided there continues to be 36 points races a year). Both Byron and Wallace will need 22 seasons to match Gordon’s mark.

Most consecutive Cup starts 

797 – Jeff Gordon

788 – Ricky Rudd

704 – Bobby Labonte

697 – Rusty Wallace

655 – Terry Labonte

648 – Dale Earnhardt

628 – Jeff Burton

621 – Mark Martin

580 – Jimmie Johnson

580 – Ryan Newman

579 – Ken Schrader

572 – Kevin Harvick

571 – Matt Kenseth

548 – Jamie McMurray

521 – Tony Stewart

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Say it again: Defiant Kevin Harvick wins at Phoenix for 3rd in a row


Kevin Harvick scored his third consecutive victory Sunday, earning his ninth career win at ISM Raceway and sending a message to those who questioned his team after its recent penalty.

Harvick’s victory comes after his team was penalized this past week for a failed window brace and a side skirt not made of aluminum. Harvick lost all seven playoff points he earned at Atlanta. After exiting his car, Harvick leaned over to pound the rear window of his car.

 “I’ve been pissed is what I’ve been,” Harvick said to Fox after the win. “I’ve been mad as all get out because this team does a great job. This organization does a great job and we’ve got fast race cars. And to take that away from those guys just really pissed me off last week. To come here to a race track that is so good for us is a lot of fun and everyone was just determined this week and we just wanted to just go stomp them. We didn’t stomp them, but we won. That’s all that really matters. What a badass team right there!

“This really felt more important than winning at Homestead, racing for a championship, just to drive it home for all those supporters out there. And all you haters (smiles and points), I see you.”

MORE: Phoenix Race results 

MORE: Points report

Harvick, 42, becomes the first driver age 40 or older to win three consecutive races since Harry Gant won four in Sept. 1991 at age 51. Harvick is the first driver to win three Cup races in a row since Joey Logano won three consecutive races in the second round of the 2015 playoffs.  Harvick’s win also is his seventh in the last 12 races at the Arizona track.

Kyle Busch finished second Sunday. Chase Elliott placed third and was followed by Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

Stewart-Haas Racing placed all four cars in the top 10 for the first time with Harvick (first), Clint Bowyer (sixth), Aric Almirola (seventh) and Kurt Busch (10th).

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 winner: Kurt Busch

How Kevin Harvick won the race: He took his time, worked his way to the front and took control of the race in the second half after leap-frogging Kyle Busch on a green-flag pit stop.

Who had a good race: Kyle Busch scored his second consecutive runner-up finish. … Chase Elliott’s third-place finish marked the first top-five result of the season for Hendrick Motorsports. … Aric Almirola finished seventh and has not placed worse than 13th in any of the first four races this year. … Daniel Suarez finished a season-best eighth. … William Byron finished a career-best 12th and led his first laps in Cup.

Who had a bad race: Paul Menard’s race ended early when his car broke loose after the bead on his right-rear tire melted, causing it to break loose and back into the SAFER barrier. he finished 36th. … Darrell Wallace Jr. finished 28th, slowed by two separate loose wheels during the race. … Jamie McMurray placed 26th for his second consecutive finish outside the top 25.

Notable: Kevin Harvick’s win marks the third time a driver has won three of the first four races in a season. Only one driver has won four of the season’s first five races (Bill Elliott in 1992).

Quote of the day: “All you haters, I see you,” Kevin Harvick said after the win.

Next: The Cup series races at Auto Club Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on March 18.

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Brad Keselowski wins DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway

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Brad Keselowski won the DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway, visiting Victory Lane in his first Xfinity Series start of the year.

The Team Penske driver led 67 of 200 laps to score his 37th Xfinity Series victory.

He beat pole-sitter Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray.

Keselowski put himself in position to win during green flag pit stops when he beat Bell off pit road with 32 laps to go. He then cycled through to the lead.

He bounced back from committing a speeding penalty on Lap 49.

“I felt like the car was better than me today,” Keselowski told Fox Sports 1. “Justin Allgaier quite honestly out drove me most of the day. At the end we connected it with great pit stops, great pit work and good strategy. Got out there on brand new tires and just barely got by Christopher there and I knew once we got by ourself the car would probably carry me a little bit.”

Allgaier, the defending winner of the race, led a race-high 76 laps.

The race began at 4:15 p.m. ET and was stopped twice for rain.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell earned his third consecutive top five … Jamie McMurray finished fifth in his first Xfinity start since 2013 … Kaz Grala led eight laps, the first laps of his career, and finished 12th … Elliott Sadler finished ninth after starting from the rear (engine change). He is the only driver to finish in the top 10 of all four races … Austin Cindric finished 16th. This was the first race in which he didn’t wreck while driving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: David Starr brought out the first caution on Lap 27 when his engine expired. He finished 39th … Matt Mills got into the Turn 2 wall, bringing out the caution on Lap 84. He finished 38th.

NOTABLE: There has been no repeat winner through four races … The race ended with a 104-lap stretch under green, the second longest to end a race at ISM.

POSTRACE INSPECTION: Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch each had one unsecured lug nut. The penalty for that is a fine.

WHAT’S NEXT: Auto Club 300 at Auto Club Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on March 17 on FS1.

Race results, Xfinity point standings after DC Solar 200

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Brad Keselowski beat Justin Allgaier and Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway.

It is Keselowski’s 37th Xfinity win.

The top five was completed by Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray.

Keselowski led 67 of 200 laps in a race that was halted twice for rain.

Click here for race results.


After his fourth straight top 10 to begin the year, Elliott Sadler has a one-point lead over teammate Tyler Reddick.

Justin Allgaier completes a JR Motorsports’ sweep of the top three spots. He is seven points back from Sadler.

The top five is completed by Bell (-8) and Daniel Hemric (-21).

Click here for the full point standings

Xfinity race in Phoenix resumes as Kyle Busch wins Stage 2

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The DC Solar 200 resumed from a second red flag period with a one-lap shootout to end Stage 2, won by Kyle Busch.

Busch beat out Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Truex.

The race was halted on Lap 87 of 200, three laps from the end of the stage

The red flag was issued during a caution for a Matt Mills‘ accident.

The first red flag period came after the end of Stage 1 and lasted for over one hour.