JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Race 4 of 33: Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile tri-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Sunny; 88 deg.
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Harvick’s finish: 3rd
Kevin Harvick earned his 16th top-five finish at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) on Saturday. He started on the outside pole in the No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet and ultimately drove to a third-place finish in the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200, earning his 173rd NXS career top five and continuing his streak of 27 consecutive top-10 finishes in the series.
While Harvick ran inside the top five for the majority of the race, he battled a tight race car in the early going. Crew chief Dave Elenz made adjustments on each of the team’s three pit stops to help dial in the TaxSlayer.com Chevy. The car seemed to be more to Harvick’s liking by the midway point of the race, but while the car was consistent on long runs, it didn’t quite have the speed that the driver and team were hoping for.
During the long green-flag run in the final 57 laps, Harvick drove the No. 88 Chevy from fourth to third and fought off a late-race challenge from Austin Dillon to cross the finish line in third.
Joey Logano won the 200-lap event, followed by Matt Kenseth, Harvick, Dillon and Erik Jones.
Kevin Harvick, driver No. 88 TaxSlayer.com team
“I’m really proud of everybody at JR Motorsports and everybody on our TaxSlayer.com team for staying in there and working hard. We knew the 22 and the 20 had really fast cars yesterday and we knew we needed to try to make up a little ground, but just didn’t quite get there. Our car didn’t really have a tremendous amount of falloff, we just didn’t have the speed that the 22 and the 20 had. To come out here and have a first and a third in my first two races is something that I’m really proud of the team for. I’m really proud of how we’ve started the season with a completely new group of people and everybody trying to get their feet on the ground. Everything’s headed in the right direction. We will keep building on that and continue to push forward and try to make things better every week.”