KEVIN HARVICK & FORD PERFORMANCE
AVONDALE, AZ, March 12, 2018 – Kevin Harvick made Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history by winning three Cup races in a row. A feat only accomplished 23 times in the NASCAR Series. No. 4 Harvick, in his Ford Fusion powered by the Ford FR9 engine, recorded his 40th career MENCS win and fifth win with Ford Performance.
“Congratulations to Kevin, Tony, Gene and Ford Performance on the win,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This win showcases all the dedication and effort that was put into the off-season building winning race cars and engines. We take great pride in partnering with Ford on the design and development of the Ford FR9 engines and this weekend we were blessed with two big wins. It’s an honor to work with the employees of Ford Motor Company, all of our Ford Performance Race Teams and our dedicated staff at Roush Yates Engines.”
In Victory Lane Harvick made the following remarks, “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. Just proud of this team.”
Harvick did what had not been done since 2015 by Ford teammate Joey Logano and won three MENCS races in row. Coming off back-to-back wins in Atlanta and Las Vegas, Harvick took the checkered flag in Phoenix .774 seconds in front of Kyle Busch to record his third consecutive win of the 2018 season.
“We’ve been really fortunate that everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing is building us really good cars and the guys at the engine shop are giving us good engines, everyone is just doing their jobs and flowing good,” commented Rodney Childers in Victory Lane. “It means a lot to me to be in Victory Lane. To have three in a row is incredible and is something I never really dreamed about.”
The No. 4 drove a patient, but aggressive race, pacing the Ford Fusion with the field to make the right moves at the right time. After a late race run of green flag pit-stops the No.4 was in fifth place. Harvick then retook the lead with 22 laps to go and never looked back to record his ninth win in the desert at the TicketGuardian 500.
It was a stellar race for Stewart-Haas Racing. All four of the SHR cars finished in the Top-10; Harvick P1, No. 14 Clint Bowyer in P6, No. 10 Aric Almirola in P7 and Stage 2 winner No. 41 Kurt Busch in P10.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Brad Keselowski weathered a rain delayed race in the desert to win the DC Solar 200 in his first NXS start of the season. Team Penske No. 22, Keselowski picked up his second victory at the one-mile track and the 37th NXS of his career.
Keselowski, starting from the inside of the front row, driving the Ford Mustang, gained the lead from the pole sitter, Justin Allgaier for the first time on lap twelve. The No. 22 leveraged the Ford FR9 Carbureted engine to win the race after working his way back through the field after serving a pit-road speeding penalty and waiting out two rain delays. Keselowski retook the lead for the final time on lap 179 on his way to leading 63 out of the 200 lap race at ISM Raceway.
“Brian Wilson made some great adjustments to the car and the weather kind of came to us with what we needed for how our car was handling,” Keselowski commented after the race. “It is good to see that work out for everyone at Team Penske with the Fitzgerald Glider Ford Mustang. It was a solid team effort. I am really proud of them.”
Stewart-Haas Racing, Cole Custer finished P8 and NXS newcomer, Kaz Grala from JGL Racing finished an impressive P12.
The NASCAR Western Swing will make its final stop at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA this weekend. Reference the full 2018 schedule on www.roushyates.com.
14 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 320 WINS – 283 POLES!