NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte look at turning points in Phoenix race


Quite a bit had to happen in the late stages of Sunday’s Cup race at ISM Raceway for Kevin Harvick to secure his third consecutive win.

Harvick got a little bit of help from Kyle Busch and his pit crew.

On NASCAR America, analysts Steve Letarte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat down to look at the key turning points in the 312-lap race.

One of them was Busch’s last pit stop during the final stage.

Busch was leading with 53 laps to go. Chase Elliott and Harvick had already pitted. Letarte questioned the decision by Busch’s team to stay out a few laps longer than them.

“I’m asking myself, ‘Why? Why are they continuing to run?'” Letarte said.

He then reacted to Busch’s unusual entrance to pit road.

“It seems like he was going to run his lap, but then with traffic around him he comes to pit road and then disaster on top of that,” Letarte said.

As Busch’s pit crew attempted to change his left side tires, the jack dropped unexpectedly.

“Extra laps on the track and a slow pit stop. … The 18 of Kyle Busch, perhaps the best car on the race track now has lost valuable track position,” Letarte said.

Before the pit stop, Busch had a .7 second advantage over Harvick. When he left pit road, Busch was 3.3 seconds behind Harvick.

That lost track position was insurmountable. Harvick’s margin of victory was .744 seconds.

Watch the above video for more analysis of the race’s turning points.