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The Pit Stop


November 11, 2012 7:06 PM

Kevin Harvick Wins As Fists Fly In Phoenix

Kevin Harvick Phoenix 2012.jpgKyle Busch set a new track record speed in getting the poll as Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski were fighting for the championship. The race include a late race wreck which then caused a brawl behind the pit wall.

At the start of the race Kyle Busch was leading laps as the Martin Truex Jr. who started in second place just was slow. As the laps piled up he dropped to the back and then the car was down pit road on lap 11 to try to fix it.

The first caution came out on lap 17 for Mike Bliss that hit the wall. The caution brought in some of the lead laps cars with Brad Keselwoski needing a push off pit road. That caused Jimmie Johnson to beat Brad Keselowski off pit road. After the race restarted Brad quickly gained a few spots while Jimmie Johnson did not.

Then both cars started to slowly march up through the field. At lap 41 Brad Keselowski was already up to tenth. The caution finally came out at lap 52 as David Gilliland hit the wall hard after having a tire problem.

The caution brought in the leaders with split tire strategies occurring and Mark Martin won the race off pit road as he took on only two tires. When the race restarted Mark Martin could not keep the race lead and Kyle Busch took the lead back. Both Jimmie and Brad though slowly began to move up through the field again. At lap 103 Brad Keselwoski was seventh while Jimmie Johnson was in 13th. Eight more laps go by and Jeff Burton comes in a few laps early for a pit stop. Denny Hamlin was a hot car at this time and was able to get right behind Kyle Busch for the race lead. Denny then took over the race lead on lap 118.

Four more laps go by and green flag put stop started. Denny Hamlin finally pitted on lap 129 putting Brad Keselwoski in the race lead. Brad Keselowski finally pitted at lap 133 putting Jimmie Johnson in the race lead briefly, but he had to pit and could not lead a lap and Denny Hamlin was back Into the race lead.

At lap 150 Brad Keselowksi was in the top five while Jimmie Johnson was in the top ten. The caution finally came out at lap 167 for debris. This caution brought in the leaders with Kyle Busch winning the race off pit road with a two tire stop. Both Brad Keselwoski and Jimmie Johnson took four tires on the stop.

As the race restarted Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselwoski were both slowly moving up through the field again while Kyle Busch was leading more and more laps. Brad Keslewoski though got enough that at lap 209 he passed Ryan Newman for second place. Jimmie Johnson at the time was around seventh place at the time.
Brad then started to chase down Kyle Busch and with 86 laps left Brad was right behind Kyle for the race lead. Six more laps go by and Brad got the race lead again. A couple more laps go by and Jimmie Johnson brings out the caution as the car blows a tire and he smacks the wall hard. The damage was so hard he had to go behind the wall for repairs.

The leaders pitted and Kyle Busch won the race off pit road with Brad Keselwoski coming off fourth. As the race restarted Kyle Busch started to break out to a nice sized lead while Brad Keselwoski was stuck in third. Then Kevin Harvick made a bold move and took over second place. Kevin did not have it for long and Denny Hamlin was back into second. Brad rotted in third until the next caution came for David Ragan and his hard crash. Some cars pitted which included Brad Keselowski who took only two tires.

As the race restated Brad Keselowski restarted the race in eighth while Kyle Busch led more laps. It was only a short green flag run and Tony Stewart spins out with 32 laps left. The green flag dropped with 29 laps left and Brad Keselowski slowly marched up through the field. With 13 laps left Sam Hornish Jr. cuts a tire and smokes big time. Another lap goes by and the caution comes out for his car.

The green flag dropped with eight laps left and Kevin Harvick got the best of the restart to get the race lead. Jeff Gordon then cuts a tire and hits the wall due to help from Clint Bowyer, but does not bring out the caution. With two laps left the caution did come out for the wrecking cars of Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, and Joey Logano.
This brought out the red flag.

Jeff Gordon gets out of his car and then a fight breaks out between the crews of Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer. Then Clint Bowyer runs over to the hauler of Jeff Gordon team trying to get a piece of him that does not occur.
"It's kind of crazy the champion will take you out like that, said Brian Pattie who is the crew chief for Clint Bowyer.
"He(Clint Bowyer) run us over," said Alan Gustafson.

At the Jeff Gordon Hauler NASCAR was speaking to Jeff Gordon and his crew chief with four policemen on the outside to escort Jeff to his bus.

After the yellow flag came back out it was green white checker finish time. Kevin Harvick was able to slip by Kyle Busch as Danica Patrick spins out with some help from Jeff Burton and somehow does not bring out the caution. The white flag drops and at the end of the lap as Kevin Harvick wins the race a mega wreck occurs. Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch and more were were involved. Brad Keselwoski wound up with some damage on the passenger side of the car while Danica Patrick who was going super slow to the start finish line got some major damage from this wreck.

Kevin Harvick stated it is hard for them to be right pertaining to throwing out the caution. The win snapped an over 40 race winless streak for Kevin.

Brad Keselowski stated that the same thing could happen to him pertaining to Jimmie Johnson and his tire problems. He also stated that racing was "borderline ridiculous at times." Brad was able to leave the race with a massive 20 point lead over Jimmie Johnson for the championship.

"Anything can happen down there(Miami-Homestead)," said Jimmie Johnson. He stated that he had a vibration in the car but did not know where it was coming from. He also stated that the championship in completely out of his control.

"I pretty much had it," said Jeff Gordon after he finally left his hauler. He stated that Clint Bowyer ran into him many times this year.

"I barely touched him," said Clint Bowyer. "I didn't even need to pass him."

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