Kevin Harvick Owns 2018
Kevin Harvick is coming off back-to-back dominant wins, first leading 181 of 325 laps at Atlanta and then 214 or 267 laps to win at Las Vegas. He's led nearly half of the laps run this season after not leading at all in the season-opening Daytona 500.
No driver has won 2 of the first 3 races of the season since Jimmie Johnson in 2010, the last of his streak of 5 straight championships. Before that, it was a fairly common occurrence.
But what isn't common is a driver winning 3 of the first 4 races of season. The last to pull that off, nobody has done it since Bill Elliott in 1992, who won 4 of the first 5 races, but only won once more after that (the season finale). Harvick will race against Elliott's son, Chase, on Sunday.
Harvick will also be going for his 3rd straight win, a mark that only Kyle Busch and Joey Logano (both in 2015) have done since 2010.
This is the 5th time that Harvick has won consecutive races in his Cup career. He's finished 2nd the last 2 times he's gone for a 3rd straight win.
Kevin Harvick Also Owns Phoenix
Harvick has a great chance to pick up his 3rd straight win, since the series heads to his best track, Phoenix. Harvick is an 8-time winner at the track, he hasn't won more than 3 Cup races at any other track. He's won 5 of the last 9 races at the track, and in dominating fashion.
Harvick could join some select company with a victory on Sunday. Only 8 drivers have ever won 9 or more times at a single track. 6 of them are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the other 2 aren't yet eligible, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
Ending Droughts in the Desert
Phoenix might seem like an odd place to end droughts, but it has recently been the site of lengthy winless streaks coming to an end. Last year, Ryan Newman snapped a 127-race drought with his victory in this race. It was the 6th time in the last 10 years that a driver snapped a winless streak of at least 70 races at Phoenix.
One driver looking to snap a long winless streak is Clint Bowyer. A teammate of Harvick's, Bowyer hasn't won since October 13, 2012 at Charlotte. If he snaps the 188-race winless streak, it'd be the 3rd-longest span between wins in series history. One of the longer streaks belongs to defending series champion Martin Truex Jr., who was winless for 218 races between 2007 and 2013.
Some other notable drivers on long winless streaks including Aric Almirola (129), Jamie McMurray (151), Paul Menard (235). That doesn't include Chase Elliott, who is winless in 80 career starts.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - Phoenix
• Kevin Harvick: 8 career Phoenix wins (no other driver has more than 4); finished no worse than 6th in his last 9 races at track (2.4 avg finish)
• Joey Logano: 5.7 Avg finish this season (best in series); 15.2 last season (his worst since 2012)
• Kyle Busch: finished 7th or better in last 5 Phoenix races; hasn't won at track since Nov. 2005 (23 starts since)
• Chase Elliott: finished 2nd in last Phoenix race (1 of 7 career 2nd-place finishes, no wins)
• Martin Truex Jr.: finished 3rd in last race at Phoenix; had 1 top 5 in first 23 career races at track (a 5th in Nov. 2009)
• Jimmie Johnson: on career-long 26-race winless streak; 10 straight races without top-5 finish ties 2nd-longest streak of career
• Denny Hamlin: wrecked out at Phoenix last year (finished 35th) after leading race-high 193 laps
• Kurt Busch: finished outside top 20 in both Phoenix races last season (7th or better in previous 5 at track)
• Kyle Larson: finished 40th in last Phoenix race (blown engine) after finishing 3rd and 2nd in previous 2 races at track
• Aric Almirola: never finished better than 9th in 14 career Phoenix starts
--- ESPN Stats & Info ---