Kevin Harvick Closes In On The Championship Contenders With AdvoCare 500 Win

By Christy Valdez
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Harvick‘s time with Richard Childress Racing may be coming to an end, but Harvick went to make the best of Phoenix to continue his last few races with RCR on a good note.

Harvick went on to capture the win at the Advocare 500 after taking the lead within the final two laps and catching a break when Carl Edwards ran out of fuel. The win at Phoenix gave Harvick his fourth win of the season and second in the chase.

After running out of gas and just two laps from sweeping both Phoenix races, Edwards ended up crossing the finish line in 21st.

Fellow chaser Kasey Kahne finished in second followed by Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch to close out the top five.

Matt Kenseth, who had a bad day at Phoenix, finished in 23rd.

With only one race left until the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned, the championship scenario has changed following the race at Phoenix. What seemed as a very close and tight two-man race may have changed completely.

After being one of the two most dominant drivers all season and going into Phoenix just seven points behind Johnson in the championship hunt, the Advocare 500 may have just thrown Kenseth’s whole season out the window. He raced all day with what seemed like a horrible car and had a bad pit stop that pushed Kenseth’s championship hopes back to 28 points behind Johnson.

Johnson, in contrast to past visits to Phoenix, managed to turn the day into a top five result. Now he heads into Homestead with a much bigger lead than what he had going into Phoenix.

With Kenseth now 28 points behind Johnson, Harvick is in position to possibly challenge both Johnson and Kenseth for the title, if both drivers make mistakes. Harvick could even better Kenseth for second in the points at Homestead.

It will all come down to Homestead if Johnson will be on his way to title number six or if Kenseth could catch up and recover to win the 2013 championship.

Christy Valdez is a NASCAR writer for Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter @Knowursports and on Facebook at On The Sidelines With Christy

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