Kevin Harvick notches second straight victory, fourth in a row at Phoenix International Raceway


Kevin Harvick’s torrid run through the Sprint Cup Series continued with a dominant win in the 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Harvick, who started from the pole position for the first time on the 1-mile oval, scored his second consecutive victory after winning last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was his fourth straight win at Phoenix and fifth in six races. He has a record seven wins at the track.

Harvick, who led 224 of 312 laps, has seven straight top-two finishes (four wins and three seconds) dating to his 2014 championship season.

How Harvick won: After falling from first to fourth on a two-tire stop under yellow, Harvick seized first from Brad Keselowski just past the midpoint of the race and fended off runner-up Jamie McMurray after a restart with 15 laps left in scoring his 30th victory in NASCAR’s premier series.

Ryan Newman was third, followed by Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch.

Fast forward: In his first race since serving a three-race suspension, Busch ran as high as second after starting eighth in the No. 41 Chevrolet. Before the race, he addressed the domestic abuse allegations that led to his punishment. … Jeff Gordon ran as high as third and took ninth after opening the season with two pole positions but finishes of 33rd, 41st and 18th in the first three races.

In reverse: Dale Earnhardt suffered his first DNF since Aug. 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. A flat right rear because of a melted bead sent his No. 88 Chevrolet into the wall and caused a caution on lap 181. It was the first finish outside the top 40 for Earnhardt since he was last at Texas Motor Speedway last April. … Brian Vickers crashed on the second lap, scuttling the promise of a 15th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his return from missing the first two races with heart surgery. Vickers finished outside the top 40 Sunday. … Sam Hornish Jr. spun on lap 116 (also because of a melted bead on the right-rear tire of his No. 9 Ford), ensuring his worst finish of his first four starts with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Quote of the day: Kurt Busch in postrace Fox interview: “It means I’ve got a strong team. Personally, it’s great to get back to them and produce a result like this on the first day back. … I can’t thank them enough for believing in me. The truth will be shown later on. The way we raced today was with heart. I thought there was enough goodwill in the back to bring home a win, but Kevin’s tough.”

Notables: Tony Stewart was on the verge of scoring his first top 10 this season when he spun on lap 236, appearing to lose control of his No. 14 Chevrolet while battling Justin Allgaier for position. Stewart crashed again with 24 laps remaining and finished outside the top 30 for the fourth consecutive time to open the 2015 season.Jimmie Johnson made contact with Vickers on the second lap and spent much of the rest of the race out of contention.

What’s next: The series heads to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., next weekend. There will be no repeat winner – last year’s race was won by Kyle Busch, who is sidelined with a broken right leg and fractured left foot.

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.