Kevin Harvick pulled out a surprising win after Carl Edwards ran out of gas with just over a lap to go at NASCAR at Phoenix 500 on Sunday. It was Harvick's second win of The Chase.
Edwards was coasting to victory when his car began to slow, and Harvick quickly took advantage and seized the victory. After leading for 36 laps, Edwards' gas issues forced him to fall back to a disappointing 21st-place finish.
That has to sting.
Here are the final results:
Click here to see the full results, per NASCAR.com.
Harvick entered the race third in the Sprint Cup standings. His opportunistic win won't allow him to overtake Jimmie Johnson for first or Matt Kenseth for second, but heading into the last race in The Chase, Harvick is definitely in the mix.
Here's a look at the standings after Sunday's race.
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings|
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2,321|
Stay close, for you never know what might happen. That was certainly an effective theory for Team Harvick on Sunday. His car was fast all day and his consistent run kept him in position to take advantage of Edwards' miscue.
He doesn't have a great chance to catch Kenseth or Johnson, but he's still alive and that's more than every other driver in The Chase.
Johnson showed his success isn't just about having an amazing car.
On two instances he nearly crashed. He showed great control and instincts in saving himself from disaster. Had he not made those saves, things could be a lot tighter in the standings heading into Homestead, Fla., on Sunday. It was truly amazing he finished third considering what could have been.
Matt Kenseth finished 23rd after a day where he and his entire team seemed out of sync. There were pit issues and other miscommunications. Some may blame Kenseth for racing in a Nationwide event on Saturday for the discombobulation.
We'll never know for sure, but it would seem that a man in an intense battle with Johnson for precious points in the standings would be focused on the bigger picture. I'm just saying.
It all comes down to the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17. Johnson will try to protect his 28-point lead over Kenseth and claim his sixth Sprint Cup championship. Can he do it? We'll have to wait until Sunday to find out.