Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 Quicken Loans 500: Kevin Harvick fastest in first Phoenix practice session Friday

Jeff Gordon was 12th-fastest in Friday's practice at Phoenix
There were 44 drivers running laps during the first Quicken Loans 500 practice session Phoenix International Speedway, but only eight drivers topped 140 mph with Kevin Harvick coming in the fastest at 141.521 mph. It should come as no surprise to see Harvick’s name at the top of the charts considering he has won the past two races at Phoenix and five overall.

Harvick is currently last in points among the eight Chase drivers, but is still only 18 points behind first-place Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. He knows he almost in a must-win situation.

“I think you need to win this weekend," Harvick said Friday during a press conference. "I think it would leave a lot less in everybody else’s hands. I think we are very capable of winning this race and we have been fortunate to have a lot of success here in the past from my driving side and the first race this year. That would be the easiest way to do it.”

Rookie Kyle Larson had the second fastest lap (141.471) followed by Brad Keselowski (140.851), Kurt Busch (140.526 and Dale Earnhardt Jr (140.362). Keselowski has never won at Phoenix, but is almost the same type of Chase situation as Harvick, except only down 17-points. Earnhardt Jr. would love to steal the show just like he did at Martinsville. His last Phoenix win came in 2004.

Hamlin had the eighth quickest lap, Joey Logano was ninth, Jeff Gordon 12th, Matt Kenseth 13th, Carl Edwards 25th and Ryan Newman 27th among the other eligible drivers to race in next weeks Championship event at Homestead. Four will advance.

Only seven drivers ran 10-consecutive laps or more with Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch posting the best two lap averages. Danica Patrick led the way with 33 totals run. The primary goal for most in this 90-minute session was to get one good lap and be best prepared for Friday afternoon qualifying. The are two more practice sessions on Saturday and the green flag drops on Sunday at 3:16 pm (ET).

Practice 1 Speeds

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