Kevin Harvick wins third straight NASCAR race

Kevin Harvick wins third straight NASCAR race

Which in some ways made for an uneven playing field Sunday afternoon.

"To see him (Almirola) up there, I saw Clint up there, Kurt winning a stage, that's really the most important thing because that progression as a race team, when everybody ups the ante on the vehicle, you learn something from each auto and each person", said Harvick. "This organization does a great job and we got fast cars". And to take that away from those guys just really (ticked) me off last week. The American said he not spoken to Wickens but imagined that Wickens was upset with him. He didn't want to rehash a Friday news conference at which he calmly delivered heavy criticism at NASCAR, which he accused of letting social media influence a penalty he felt was inappropriate for the violations.

Busch dominated towards the end of Stage 1 and won it going away to secure an all-important playoff point, his first of the year.

The rain moved east from the Phoenix area Sunday. "There were times in the race where we were really good and just lost some track position there with about 100 or 80 to go". "But we've won races on pit road too". That's all that really matters. He then gave a fiery interview in victory lane where he admitted he was angry over the accusations that Stewart-Haas Racing had deliberately cheated. "Put a fire in our belly". [It's big] to drive it home for all those supporters out there.

Harvick talks about trying to find things to motivate him. He was docked 20 regular points and the team lost 20 owners' points. The rule requires the rear window to be rigid, and it was obviously flexing during the race.

Harvick was penalized the seven playoff points he earned for winning the Las Vegas race and its first two stages.

Kyle Busch, who led a race-high 128 laps, was frustrated with second place as he blamed a late pit stop on the runner-up spot.

A motivated Harvick is a scary thought for the rest of the drivers, so maybe they should make sure he enters next week in a better mood. Defending Cup champion Martin Truex Jr.

The trend continued on Sunday at ISM Raceway, where Almirola ran seventh as all four SHR cars finished in the top 10 for the first time in the organization's history. The championship certainly pays better and creates more lasting memories, but Harvick had that bullheaded attitude of not going to be denied.

Coming off victories in Atlanta and Las Vegas, Harvick got in front of Busch on the last series of pit stops on the mile oval. Newman's win was a bit of a surprise, but a Chevrolet winning the race was not.

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"It felt like that".

"When you have Kyle Busch sticking his finger out of the window with his thumb up talking about having fun and sending messages on the radio, you know everybody is having fun", Harvick said. "You can't even explain them unless you're a part of them, because they're just so rewarding".

Busch took the lead from Kyle Larson on Lap 56 after Larson had led every green-flag lap.

"Everybody just came here mad, chip on their shoulder, wanting to do exactly what we did today", Harvick said.

While Harvick celebrated his win he also reflected on how it feels to see his teammates performing well.

"Everything inside the vehicle quit", Bowman said.

Instead, Harvick just stood on the window of the driver-side door and tapped the rear window.

"I could tell that myself and Kyle and Denny were going to be the top three", said Bakersfield native Harvick.

Harvick clearly enjoyed the moment. "That's probably what I'm most proud of".

"There's not many things that you can do to showcase character". "When you have all the guys and everybody looking at the race vehicle and the determination for every last detail".

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