Red was the color of the day at Phoenix International Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. Red is the car color of the top two race finishers – Harvick record-high PIR race winner Kevin Harvick No.4 Budweiser Chevrolet – his sixth PIR Cup victory and second this year; and the color of the flag displayed for debris cleanup after the crash of Clint Bower No.15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, Kyle Busch No.18 Banfield Pet Hospital and Cole Whitt No.26 16T fuelxx/Tapout Muscle Recovery Toyota.
PIR has been described as Harvick’s ‘Personal Playground.’ This victory marked the sixth time motorsports artist, Bill Patterson, has painted Harvick’s car in Gatorade Victory Lane. Harvick’s first win in 2006 was the first time PIR had Patterson do the iconic paintings, which are hung at PIR offices.
After winning, Harvick did a championship-caliber burnout, nearly eclipsing his red Chevrolet. And he had reason to celebrate. Harvick’s victory kept him in the Chase, barely, with 4102 points, and last of the top four to make The Chase. For Homestead, he and the other three contenders will reset their points at 5000.
Harvick said “Wow. I guess that is what it feels like to hit a walk off in extra innings here. This thing both races here has just been bad to the bone. This place has just been phenomenal for me personally and for this team this year. To do that in front of all your almost hometown fans and all these people who have been rooting for me since the mid-90’s is pretty unbelievable. This win has to stack up there in the top five for sure. Mostly for the fact that our backs were against the wall and there was really only one way in and that was to win the race.”
Ryan Newman No.31 CAT Mining Chevrolet edged up on the last lap to make The Chase with his eleventh place finish, which gave him 4103 points.
Denny Hamlin No.11 FedEx Ground Toyota leads The Chase with 4112 points, followed by Joey Logano No.22 Shell Pennzoil Ford at 4111.
Those not making The Chase: Jeff Gordon No.24 Axalta Chevrolet, who finished second with 4102 points; Matt Kenseth No.20 Dollar General Toyota, finishing third with 4100 points; Brad Keselowski No.2 Miller Lite Ford in fourth place/4095 points; and Carl Edwards No.99 Fastenal Ford, finishing fifteenth/4088 points.
The last Chase Race is Sunday 16 November 2014 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.