By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Credit: PhoenixRaceway.com
Today we are racing in the desert short track racing at Phoenix. We have a huge battle to open the track with Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and even Kyle Larson. Just from the opening laps we are going to be in for some awesome racing. The drivers wanted some fall off on the tires so that they could have more control of their cars. This slows the pace down some as well. Kyle Busch got into the wall but thankfully no tire rub on his car. Ricky Stenhouse Jr brought out our first caution and made for a busy pit road. Multiple penalties were issues from too fast exiting as well as over the wall too soon for one crew. We get back to racing and they fan down into turn one. This leads to another incident on the track that collects Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski. Giving us almost a green, white, checkered to end stage one. Kevin Harvick got the lead from the Ricky Stenhouse Jr incident and kept it to win his first stage win at Phoenix.
We start stage two and multiple decisions were made when it came to pitting or not. Only about ten drivers stayed out after stage one, while everyone else came down pit road. Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott continue to battle in stage two. Austin Dillon brings out the first caution. On the restart Martin Truex Jr made a huge move and went from further back straight to the front. This extremely short burst of speed only last just a little bit then Chase Elliott retook the lead. However, Chase Elliott will suffer a loose wheel and have to make pit stop and is one lap down. This moves Brad Keselowski into first place for the end of stage two. We have an awesome battle going on for the last two positions in the top ten. Brad has gotten his first stage win of this season.
We open the third and final stage where the action will only increase. Brad Keselowski leads us to the start of this stage, but things change when caution comes out for a possible blown engine on Quinn Houff. This bring Martin Truex Jr to the front of the pack after starting in the back. He has fought his way up through the pack and had some great pit stops. Joey Logano then went to battle with Martin Truex Jr and took the lead. Kevin Harvick made up a lot of ground on Joey Logano and passed him to take the lead. Kevin Harvick does not keep the solid run for long due a caution coming out when Erik Jones hit the wall. On the restart Kyle Larson pulled a Martin Truex Jr move and takes the lead. We then experienced back to back cautions. That would not be the end of the cautions. We would see a couple more before heading to overtime. Joey Logano had a great last restart and was able to hold off Kevin Harvick for his second win of this season.