Kevin Harvick had to hold off charging Jamie McMurray on the final restart with 12 laps left to notch his fourth straight victory at the one-mile track. But he did it.
The box score will show that the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ led 224 of 312 laps, but McMurray took his best shot on the Lap 301 restart, driving hard to the inside of the race winner and, for the briefest of moments, clearing Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet off Turn 2.
But the driver who has become an all-but-irresistible force in NASCAR’s premier series fought back to the outside, cleared McMurray’s No. 1 Chevrolet and cruised to the finish line 1.153 seconds ahead of the race runner-up.
The victory was Harvick’s second straight this season, his fourth straight at Phoenix and the 30th of his career. Harvick has won five of the last six races at the one-mile track in the Sonoran Desert — seven overall — and his string of seven straight top-two finishes in the Sprint Cup series, dating to last season, is the longest since Richard Petty rattled off 11 consecutive top-results in 1975.
“When you said the Richard Petty part, that just gives me chills,” Harvick said after the race.
The last driver to win four straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the same track was Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte in 2004-05.
Furthermore, with two victories and two second-place finishes this season, Harvick leaves Phoenix with a 22-point lead over Logano in the series standings.