Kevin Harvick leads final practices before Phoenix race
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kevin Harvick led the final two practice sessions before Sunday’s playoff race at Phoenix Raceway.
Harvick is an eight-time winner at Phoenix. He’s already clinched a spot in next week’s championship race, so he does not need to win Sunday to make it to the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Kyle Busch was second fastest, and he has also already locked in to the finale.
Martin Truex Jr. was fourth fastest, and he’s got the third spot in the championship race.
Sixth fastest was Jimmie Johnson, who is ranked last in the eight-driver field and needs to win Sunday to defend his Cup championship.
Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski were eighth and ninth fastest. Pole-sitter Ryan Blaney was 10th.
Chase Elliott was the slowest playoff driver at 17th.
There are five drivers vying for one position in the finale during Sunday’s race. Keselowski can make it in on points, while the others likely need to win the race.