The Good Sam 500, The Pharaoh Of Phoenix, And Rookies Rising

Harvick celebrates PIR

After his latest coup in Sunday’s Good Sam 500, you can just call him the Pharaoh of Phoenix. Out of his 32 victories in NASCAR’s top touring series, Kevin Harvick now has eight at Phoenix International Raceway. Much respect to the driver called on to succeed Dale Earnhardt back in 2001 after the Intimidator met his untimely end at the Daytona 500.

How about that finish? There’s nothing like a couple of arch-rivals going door-to-door for the win. Can you believe the media trying to stir things up between Harvick and Carl Edwards? I thought it was cool they race the daylights out of each other, beating and banging for the win, and then they exchange brief pleasantries in victory lane after the race ended. Sure they don’t like each other; but, that doesn;t mean they constantly have to be jerks to each other all the time. I think both of them now they will their paths will cross again, probably sooner rather than later. There may be a day that necessitates turning the bump and run into the bump and dump- but it’s only March.

Speaking of the racing in the Good Sam 500, I want to say two things: while there wasn’t much passing at the front, I saw plenty in the field. From here, it looked like a pretty doggone good race, and thank you NASCAR for no sketchy cautions. That’s the way a race should play out. It was pretty impressive watching Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson weave their way through the pack. There was also some good mid-pack battles that FOX showed us as well. Hey- if I’m going to criticize them when I feel like they got it wrong, I’ve got to give them the kudos when I think they got it right.

How about those rookies? Chase Elliott didn’t look like any rookie Sunday. Awesome Bill’s boy looked like a cagey veteran out there for a nice eighth place run. A tip of the cap as well to Ryan Blaney. He’s the first Wood Bros. driver since Ricky Rudd to register consecutive top tens. Do you realize if the Chase started today, Blaney would be in it? Can I just be a fan for a moment and say that’s cool?

Concerning the topic of young drivers, I sure missed it on my prediction of a breakout year for Kyle Larson….at least so far. After a nice finish at Daytona, it’s been a bumpy road for the 42. On the other hand, fellow rookie class of 2014 driver Austin Dillon now has three top tens in four races. Sometimes all these guys need is just a little time. Remember when they used to call Joey Logano a bust?

That’s all for today. Until next time, keep it off the walls.