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Kevin Harvick wins in photo finish at Phoenix

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For the second time in just the first four races, the race winner edged out the runner-up by one one-hundredth of a second. Kevin Harvick held off Carl Edwards after a restart to take the victory in the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Denny Hamlin finished third followed by Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Two rookies, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, had top 10 finishes. Elliott was eighth and Blaney tenth.

Harvick was in control a good portion of the day, leading for 139 of the race’s 300 laps. As the race wound down, he was maintaining a second-and-a-half lead over Earnhardt. With six laps remaining, Kasey Kahne slammed into the wall bringing out a caution.

When the green flag came out, Edwards got under Harvick while attempting to make the pass for the lead. The cars were side-by-side when Edwards banged into Harvick’s left side, but Harvick hung on by hitting Edwards back to claim the photo finish victory.

“He got into me, like he should have,” said Harvick from Victory Lane. “I knew I needed to get a good run off the corner and I was going to have to get into his door and it worked out, just barely.”

Edwards led for 65 laps throughout the race, while Busch was in front for 75 laps. Only 17 cars finished on the lead lap.

Harvick’s victory was his sixth in the last eight races in Phoenix. He had led 74 percent of the laps over the past four. On Sunday, he led only 48 percent of the race.

“I just like racing here,” he said. “It’s just one of those places where I feel like I’ve been here enough times where I can move around and find something to make our car work.”

The series stays in the Pacific Time Zone next Sunday when the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California hosts the Auto Club 400.

The final order of finish is here.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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