RELATED: Johnson tops Friday's practice Practice 3 " Full results Kurt Busch proved Kevin Harvick wasn't the only Stewart-Haas Racing car favored for the win Sunday, as he swept both Sprint Cup Series practices on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway . Busch's No. 41 Chevrolet zipped around the Arizona track at 140.029 mph to nab the fastest spot in the final session. Polesitter Jimmie Johnson made a late run to briefly top the leaderboard in Saturday's final practice session at Phoenix International Raceway . His No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet's fast lap of 139.389 mph ultimately earned the second spot. Dale Earnhardt Jr . posted the third-fastest speed, his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet flying around the 1-mile oval at 139.130 mph. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' Kyle Larson nabbed the fourth spot with a fast lap of 138.910 from his No. 42 Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick , who has won four straight races at Phoenix , rounded the 1-mile oval at 138.905 mph to pick up the fifth-fastest speed. Erik Jones , who is filling in for Joe Gibbs Racing 's Matt Kenseth this weekend, showed plenty of speed in the No. 20, as he posted a speed of 138.905 mph to pick up the sixth spot. Jeff Gordon was the slowest of the eight remaining Chase drivers in the final session, maneuvering his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 137.905 mph to rank 20th-fastest. With his win at Martinsville two weeks ago, Gordon is the only driver locked into the championship round at Homestead. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Practice 2 " Full results Kurt Busch opened the day on a strong note, topping the first of two Sprint Cup Series practice sessions on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway . Busch, who qualified second for Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM), paced the morning run through with a best speed of 139.627 mph. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver's fellow Chase for the Sprint Cup competitor, Carl Edwards , was second on the charts at 139.260 mph. Kyle Larson (139.152 mph), Kevin Harvick (139.147 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (139.028 mph) rounded out the top five. Friday's practice leader and Coors Light Pole Award winner, Jimmie Johnson , was sixth at 138.878 mph. The rest of the Chase field placed as follows: Martin Truex Jr . (8th, 138.680 mph); Joey Logano (9th, 138.680 mph); Kyle Busch (13th, 138.265 mph); Brad Keselowski (14th, 138.233 mph) and Jeff Gordon (18th, 138.021 mph). Sprint Cup cars are back on track for final practice at 2:30 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN/Live Extra.
Members of the NASCAR.com editorial team make their predictions for the final race of the Eliminator Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix International Raceway , which was renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway for Sunday's event ( Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 , 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Kevin Harvick has won the last four races at the 1-mile track. Can he be stopped from winning his fifth in a row? Zack Albert Kevin Harvick : Failing a blow-up or some other catastrophic outcome, it's hard to go against the chalk and the No. 4 team, which has led more than two-thirds of the laps in the last three Phoenix races. Expect Harvick to defend his 2014 crown with Phoenix as a launching pad. Kenny Bruce Kurt Busch . Starting on the front row, fastest in both Saturday practices and likely needing a win to advance to the Championship Round, the 41 gets it done. Brad Norman Kurt Busch . It's a dream scenario for Stewart-Haas Racing as Busch wins his way into the finale, where Kevin Harvick will join him to defend his title. George Winkler Jimmie Johnson : After crossing the finish line first at Texas, Johnson exclaimed, "We're back!" And who are we to argue with a six-time champion? When Johnson gets on one of his patented rolls, look out. "Six-Time" ties "The Intimidator" with win No. 76 from the pole. Kathy Sheldon Kevin Harvick . A win locks in his spot in the Championship 4 and the chance to defend his 2014 Sprint Cup title at Homestead. Bad luck already bit the No. 4 this round, so it will be smooth sailing for Harvick at Phoenix , where his prowess is unmatched lately. Pat DeCola Joey Logano : My Eliminator Round picks have been spot on thus far, so why not pick the driver who was perfect in the Contender Round to keep the streak alive? Logano is looking to rebound from two rough outings at Martinsville and Texas. He needs to win at Phoenix -- and he will. RJ Kraft Brad Keselowski : The Team Penske driver has been in a win-or-go-home spot before and come through successfully (see Talladega, 2014). A disappointing starting spot combined with his position in the standings will allow crew chief Paul Wolfe to be super aggressive with his calls to lead Keselowski to his desert destiny and win at Phoenix . Jessica Ruffin Kurt Busch : Busch has been consistently strong this weekend, running in the top three in practice and nabbing a front-row starting position. He's also in the same equipment as Phoenix pro Kevin Harvick , with all the motivation he needs in the form of a final four Chase spot -- and a chance at the title. Maggie MacKenzie Kevin Harvick : The undisputed King of Phoenix has an incredible seven wins at the 1-mile track and has emerged the victor in the last four races there. There’s no reason why Harvick won’t be able to make it eight trips to Victory Lane after coming off some strong runs at Martinsville (eighth) and Texas (third). With a career total of 1,202 laps led at Phoenix , expect "Happy" to dominate the leaderboard.
For one day only, Phoenix International Raceway will change its name to Jeff Gordon Raceway as a tribute to the four-time NASCAR champ's final season and last race in the Arizona desert. His name may not be hanging above the gate on race day Sunday, but thanks to a recent run of smashing success, the 1-mile track may as well be Kevin Harvick 's house. The dominance of a four-race Phoenix win streak makes Harvick a heavy favorite heading into Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM), the next-to-last race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. The 312-lap event will whittle the field of title-eligible drivers from eight to four ahead of the Nov. 22 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Harvick's status as Phoenix's stone-cold lock has traction, with Chase rival Kyle Busch proclaiming after last Sunday's event in Texas: "I do not think it's a winnable race until Kevin Harvick gets beat." Only Gordon's spot among the final four is secure, thanks to his victory at Martinsville. If Harvick is such a certainty, are the remaining six Chasers vying for a solid points day and hoping for the best? The jury is still out. "All reigns come to an end," title contender Brad Keselowski said during a test last month at the 1-mile track. "Every driver has had a track that he dominates on and it changes. Jimmie (Johnson) dominated here for a long time and obviously that's not been that case as of late. The way you beat somebody or break that domination is you go out, you go to work and you try to do better." Harvick's track history since 2012 is unparalleled. He has scored seven of his 31 Sprint Cup wins at Phoenix and has led more than two-thirds of the laps in his most recent three victories. Last season, Harvick led 264 of 312 laps to springboard into the final race at Homestead, where he roared to his first Sprint Cup crown in the first year of the new-look Chase format. This season, Harvick sits third in the standings -- five rungs up from last year's cellar-dweller position entering the semifinal race. Despite the potential for reduced urgency from the Stewart-Haas No. 4 camp, Harvick's rivals aren't expecting any let-up. "We look at the points situation and guarantee Harvick winning that race," Busch said, referencing a Harvick "stranglehold" on Phoenix . "Then you have to figure out who you're racing after that to know what you have to do in order to point your way through. If we can go out there and win the race, then we will. As far as we're concerned, that's how we look at it." Four drivers still in the title hunt -- Gordon, Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr . -- participated in an Oct. 14 open test at Phoenix , experimenting with some rules under the 2016 configuration, but keeping the primary focus on preparing for a pivotal race in the Chase. Neither Kyle Busch nor Carl Edwards -- title contenders both -- attended, but teammate Matt Kenseth gathered extensive data to be shared among Joe Gibbs Racing 's four-car effort. Practice, qualifying and the race will tell whether any of the extra rehearsal will make a dent in Harvick's hot streak, altering the complexion of the Chase. Jimmie Johnson -- who's had his own dominant stretches at Dover and Martinsville over the course of his career -- knows it won't be easy, despite how Harvick has made it look. "Anybody with a streak at a particular track, you've got to show up with realistic expectations but enough swagger knowing it's a track that's good for you, then go get it done," Johnson said after last weekend's victory at Texas Motor Speedway . "It's so hard to make it through an entire weekend, make it through an entire race. We saw the flat tires today, mechanical issues, racing issues that can pop up. " Phoenix is a tight little scrappy race track. The streak with four wins in a row is impressive. That's not an easy place to get it done."
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Phoenix International Raceway : 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Junior fans that waited out the rain delay were rewarded with the HMS driver's third win of the season. 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Phoenix ace Harvick led a race-high 143 laps despite battling a "loose in" race car and a spotty radio. On to Homestead to defend his title. 3. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Logano failed to make the Championship 4 for the second year in a row, despite his solid finish. He needed to win, but failed to lead a lap. 4. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch also battled radio issues and got too close to the wall on a pit stall that resulted in his team not being able to jack his car up, but the JGR driver came away with a top five and Championship 4 spot, nonetheless. 5. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson was hit with a pit road speeding penalty while leading the race early on, but recovered for his 14th top-five finish of the season. 6. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon waded through handling issues in one area of the track but found himself in a favorable spot when the race was called on Lap 219. 7. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch had one of the fastest cars but was black-flagged after jumping the start of the race. He never got back to the lead and was eliminated from the Chase. 8. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin will ride a top-10 finish into Homestead, where he won't get a shot at a title for the second straight year, but has a chance at his third win of the season. 9. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski needed to win to advance but fell short despite leading four laps. 10. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola has been consistently above average in the Chase and picked up his sixth top 10 of the season at Phoenix . 11. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman clinched his Championship 4 berth with a thrilling move at Phoenix last year, but not much stood out about his 2015 fall race. 12. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards received the free pass on Lap 196 to get back on the lead lap, but didn't have enough time to get to the front, where he needed to be if he wanted to advance. 13. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard spent a good amount of time in the top 10 and was on pace to top his best career finish (ninth) at the 1-mile track before fading a bit. 14. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex got caught a lap down when the caution came out on Lap 196, but his finish was enough to help him advance to the Championship 4. 15. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray finished in the top 15 for the third consecutive race and will look to make it four in a row to close the season at Homestead. 16. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Solid finish for Patrick, who overcame a penalty for having crew members over the wall too soon. 17. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . For the third time this season, Allgaier finished in the top 20 in two of three races. 18. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan finished in the top 20 and got a bonus point for leading a lap -- not too shabby. 19. Erik Jones , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Jones closes out his substitute driver run for Matt Kenseth with his second consecutive top-20 finish. 20. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon has finished in the top 20 for four consecutive races, his longest such streak of the season. 21. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson came away disappointed with his finish after sporting a top-five car all weekend. 22. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears' brakes weren't flowing well, but crew chief Bootie Barker said they looked fine when he brought the car in for a pit stop. 23. Clint Bowyer , No. 15, Michael Waltrip Racing . Since his infamous run-in with Jeff Gordon at Phoenix in 2012, Bowyer has just one top-10 at the track. 24. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger reported that his car had no forward drive on Lap 162 in P24, and he stayed right there. 25. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle is still searching for his second top 10 since August and only has one race left to accomplish it. 26. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . A disappointing season for Kahne continued at Phoenix , where he failed to lead a lap and picked up his worst finish since 2012. 27. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Hard to believe, but Stewart has just three top-10s in 2015 -- and he didn’t come close to sniffing one at Phoenix . 28. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto got hit by Kasey Kahne on pit road but still managed his best finish since Darlington. 29. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley had a great save early in the race and likely salvaged a better finish than he would've if he hadn't. 30. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland had a vibration in his brakes that plagued him to a finish just inside the top 30. 31. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish had to make an unscheduled pit stop with slight damage on his left rear and came home 31st. 32. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett's 32nd-place finish is his second best at the 1-mile track in his career. 33. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt's finish broke a string of three consecutive finishes inside the top 30. 34. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne was penalized for being too fast on pit road and never recovered. 35. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill's finish was his worst showing in the Phoenix fall race since 2010. 36. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt struggled with his No. 34 Ford, which had "no front grip in the tires." 37. Ryan Preece , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Preece improved on his starting position by four places, which is a positive sign for a driver in just his fourth career Cup race. 38. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman struggled with the electric system of his ride, telling his team, "Got power voltage, but it does not crank at all." 39. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Burton’s Phoenix showing was his worst finish since Charlotte. 40. Ryan Ellis , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Ryan Ellis finished 40th in his Sprint Cup Series debut, but finished two spots higher than where he started. 41. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse went to the garage after a brake issue caused a wreck with Joey Gase on Lap 196. 42. Joey Gase , No. 32 Ford, GoFAS Racing. Gase took significant damage to his No. 32 Ford after a wreck with Ricky Stenhouse Jr . on Lap 196 . 43. Timmy Hill , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Hill dropped a valve and eventually had his ride let the motor go.
RELATED: Full race results AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Rain shortened Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 , with the next-to-last race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs ending in a red-flag situation after the completion of 219 of 312 laps and with Dale Earnhardt Jr . leading the field -- and thereby getting the win. Kevin Harvick was behind Junior in second place, followed by Joey Logano , Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson . With the race called due to inclement weather, Jeff Gordon , Harvick, Busch and Martin Truex Jr . advanced to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway . It was the second delay of the day because of weather conditions -- the start of the race was delayed for nearly seven hours. Engines were fired at approximately 9 p.m. ET with the green flag being displayed at 9:27 p.m. ET, putting the event under the lights at Phoenix International Raceway , which underwent a ceremonial race-day name change to Jeff Gordon Raceway to honor the four-time series champion. A competition caution was called at Lap 40. Earlier Sunday, rain began falling around 1:25 p.m. ET and a fleet of NASCAR Air Titan track dryers began circulating the 1-mile track approximately 20 minutes later as precipitation began to taper off. The race was initially scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET. Due to the delayed start, race coverage moved to NBCSN. Coverage is also on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Race officials had seven Air Titans; six conventional jet dryers and two vacuum trucks that assisted with the drying process. RELATED: Best photos from Phoenix There has been just one rain-shortened race among the 38 premier-series events in the track's history. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace prevailed here in October 1998 in a race cut from 312 to 257 laps. The last night race at the track was in 2010.
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR officials offered a firm reminder Sunday morning, instructing drivers to keep Sunday's competition clean in the next-to-last race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, made the remarks in the drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting Sunday morning, hours before the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Phoenix International Raceway . O'Donnell acknowledged the high stakes associated with the 312-mile event, which will trim the field of title-eligible drivers from eight to four heading into next Sunday's championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "We've got two races to go. Everybody knows there's a lot on the line tonight," O'Donnell said. "Be professional. Let the race play out as it always would. If it's not your day, let those competing for a win go for it." Track president Bryan Sperber honored Jeff Gordon in the meeting, thanking the four-time premier series champion with a race-day renaming of the 1-mile facility to Jeff Gordon Raceway . Gordon punctuated the 12-minute meeting with a question about restarts, asking whether the second-place car could beat the leading car (or "control car") to the start-finish line if restart is otherwise ruled legal. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck replied in the affirmative.
RELATED: See the full lineup " Complete qualifying results AVONDALE, Ariz. – Jimmie Johnson played spoiler last Sunday at Texas, stealing a win from Brad Keselowski in the closing laps. On Friday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway – though "spoiler" is not a role he relishes – the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was at it again, winning the pole for Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC) with a track-record lap at 143.158 mph (25.147 seconds). Johnson, who was bounced from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in the first Challenger Rounnd, edged Chase driver Kurt Busch (142.880 mph) for the top spot on the grid. The Coors Light Pole Award broke a 58-race drought for Johnson and his No. 48 Chevrolet team, who earned the most recent of his 34 career poles in May 2014 at Charlotte. The pole, his third at Phoenix , the last coming in November 2013 during his run for a sixth series title. Johnson has four victories at Phoenix , the most recent in 2009. "I don't think I want to play spoiler — I just want to go fast," Johnson said after his record run. "I just want to sit on the pole, win races, lead laps. I want to be the 48 that we know we're capable of. My motivation comes through that. "I want to be the race team that we are and the driver that I am. It's not because I want to be the spoiler, and I'm not in the Chase, so let me get in the way. It has nothing to do with that." For Busch, who for practical purposes must win on Sunday to advance to the Chase's Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway , the front-row starting spot is a welcome indicator of the speed in his car. "The way that this weekend is shaping up for us, it's a great start," Busch said. "We know we need to win. The car, the crew and everybody we are all clicking on eight cylinders. "We just didn't quite get the pole. Johnson put down an awesome lap, so congrats to him. We're outside pole, and we'll go from there." RELATED: Busch hopes to reserve SHR party of two in finale For Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski , who like Busch are dealing with must-win scenarios to advance in the Chase, Friday's time trials were a major disappointment. Neither driver qualified for the third and final round of knockout qualifying, with Logano earning the 14th starting spot and Keselowski the 18th. "We just missed it a little bit," Logano said after the second round. "I wish we were in the next round and going for a pole, but the fact of the matter is we're going to start 14th, and we're going to work on our car (during Saturday's practice) and get it ready to win a race on Sunday." Kevin Harvick , who has won the last four races at Phoenix , qualified eighth. Other Chase drivers will start as follows: Carl Edwards , fourth; Martin Truex Jr ., fifth; Kyle Busch , 10th; and Jeff Gordon , 12th. Gordon is the only one of the eight eligible drivers who has already clinched a spot in the Championship Round – thanks to his Nov. 1 victory at Martinsville. Just because of the qualifying effort, however, don't discount Harvick's chances for a fifth straight victory at the one-mile track. "We didn't qualify as well as we did last time, but the car was really good in race trim as we practiced today," Harvick said. "We just never really found anything that worked for us in qualifying trim." Notes: Dale Earnhardt Jr . qualified third ... In both the second and third rounds, seven drivers ran faster than the previous track qualifying record of 142.141 mph set by Joey Logano in November 2014.
RELATED: Race results " See who advanced, who was eliminated post- Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. -- For Kurt Busch , the high hopes for a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title were dented almost before they started Sunday, the result of a first-lap penalty for jumping the initial drop of the green flag at Phoenix International Raceway . For the 2004 champ and three other drivers on an odd, rainy Sunday, there would be no sun in the Arizona desert and no safe passage to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Round next Sunday. Rain brought an early halt to a NASCAR premier-series event for only the second time in 39 races at the 1-mile track, leaving 93 laps on the board and four drivers wondering what could have been over the final stretch. Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski both entered the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 in essentially must-win situations to clinch a berth in the season finale next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway ; Logano wound up two positions short and Keselowski missed it by eight. Edwards just needed a better points day than the three drivers ahead of him; he fell short by five points, telling his crew "they can't let it end like this" as the curtain-closing showers intensified. The sour taste was perhaps most pungent for Busch, who started in second place but was just inches ahead of pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson once the race started -- nearly seven hours late and with Busch ruled just a split second too soon. "That wasn't a penalty," said Busch, who wound up seventh of the eight title hopefuls after the Eliminator Round cutoff. "That's a reason to start a survey and right now, I encourage everybody to go onto Twitter, my Facebook, my Instagram and follow it, and we're all going to have a survey." Restarts -- an increasingly intriguing topic in the second half of the season -- were again on the front burner in the pre-race drivers' meeting, with four-time champion Jeff Gordon asking if the second-place car could beat the leading "control" car to the start-finish line. The social media jury may still be out, but a NASCAR spokesperson said the ruling was a procedural penalty that race officials stand behind. "Who knows, man?" said Tony Gibson, crew chief of Busch's Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevy. "We've seen guys all year long do that, so it's … I don't know. It's the most inconsistent thing I've ever seen, so it is what it is. We'll just deal with it and go on. "We definitely had a car to win. Just didn't happen. We'll be all right." Busch protested over the radio once the penalty was announced after a brief review, and he eventually served his penalty on Lap 8, stripped of leading the opening laps and left to rally from last place to an eventual seventh-place result. Despite his dismay, Busch was able to find positives in the way his scrappy team responded to its tumultuous season. "I had a great season. We won two races, sat on three poles," Busch said. "We did everything possible to put polish on a season like this and get out there with elbow grease and work hard at it. There's some tarnish that's sitting there. Polish and polish and polish -- that's all I kept doing this whole year." The others dealt with a mixed bag of misfortune, either coming out on the wrong end of a final caution flag that interrupted a green-flag cycle of pit stops and ultimately propelled Dale Earnhardt Jr . to victory, or failing to make up ground on runner-up Kevin Harvick , whose dominance during a four-race Phoenix win streak ended despite leading 143 of the 219 laps. Logano spent the majority of his day among the top five, but couldn't escape the deficit caused by Matt Kenseth 's intentional crash at Martinsville in the round opener. He left Phoenix last among the final eight, but still able to savor a six-win season. "I'm proud of what this team's done," Logano said moments before the race was abbreviated. "We've had amazing runs throughout the year, we've been consistently fast. We showed it again tonight that we've got really good speed in our cars. Our team doesn't make mistakes and it's something I'm very proud of. Today is obviously a high-pressure situation for everyone, and everyone's just been loose and acting like it was a normal day. Couldn't be more proud of this team either way, no matter what happens. I really wanted to get another shot, so we can wait and see." Keselowski, also caught up in one of the Martinsville run-ins, was sixth among the final eight -- a distant 13 points behind final championship qualifier Martin Truex Jr . "I don't think it matters what's fair," Keselowski said when asked about the early end to the next-to-last race of the season. "What matters is what entertains the fans, and if the fans are happy, that's what it's all about." Edwards was vocal on his team radio in his desire to restart the race, potentially waiting out another delay under the lights. The ending left him 12th in the race and fifth in the Eliminator Round standings, five points behind Truex. "How hard they've worked all year to come down to something as simple as a rainout," said Grubb, in his fourth year with Joe Gibbs Racing . "We feel like we could have raced our way back in there and had a shot at it. We were still five points out, just like we were five points coming in. We knew that was going to be a tough situation, but it ended up that it bit us and I just hate it for these guys. I'm very proud to have had a championship in the past and I wanted to help bring one to these guys who have worked so hard for it."
Related: Complete results from Phoenix " Updated series standings AVONDALE, Ariz. – After the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series battle changed dramatically with a wreck involving the two series leaders, Timothy Peters held off John Hunter Nemechek to win Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway . Peters beat Nemechek to the checkered flag by .309 seconds to record his first victory at the one-mile speedway, his second of the season and the 10th of his career. But the real drama occurred 30 laps before Peters crossed the finish line in the 150-lap event. The dominant trucks of series leader Erik Jones and two-time defending champion Matt Crafton fell out of contention, wrecking during an intense battle for the lead. As Crafton and Jones raced side-by-side for the lead after a restart on Lap 120, Crafton's Toyota slipped underneath Jones' Tundra in Turn 4 and pinched Jones against the outside wall. Crafton shot to the left and knocked ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter 's Toyota into the inside wall, critically damaging both vehicles. Despite damage to the rear of his truck, Jones salvaged a lead-lap ninth-place finish and maintained a 19-point lead in the series standings over Tyler Reddick , who finished fifth on Friday night. Crafton wasn't as fortunate. His 23rd-place finish left him 32 points behind Jones, who can end Crafton’s title run with a finish of 27th or better next Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Jones can clinch his first championship outright with a finish of 15th or better in the season finale. "I made a mistake," Crafton acknowledged. "Mistakes happen and we're all human," he said. "I hate it for my guys because we had a great truck." Peters had to dodge a Lap 6 wreck involving Brandon Jones , William Byron and Cole Custer before he could think about winning the race. "When I saw it happen, and (the wrecking trucks) coming back across the race track, I can't tell you what I was thinking, but it was 'Here we go again,'" said Peters, who posted his seventh straight top-six finish in a stretch that includes two wins. "The last two years, we’ve had great trucks (at Phoenix ), but we've been in the right place at the wrong time. "The Lord works in great ways, and tonight was our night. Even though we missed it by our chinny, chin, chin, I was able to miss it. The only damage on the truck is from me getting crazy burning it out (in the post-race celebration). I'm sure that won’t be a problem if we keep continuing to go down this path." Note: With Peters’ victory, Toyota clinched its eighth manufacturers' championship in the Truck Series.
RELATED: Complete results from Phoenix " Updated standings AVONDALE, Ariz. -- If Saturday's DAV 200 Honoring America's Veterans had been a court case, 39 NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers would have pleaded "no contest." The exception was polesitter Kyle Busch , who led 190 of 200 laps in registering a dominating victory at Phoenix International Raceway , his eighth in 19 starts at the track. In a race that saw defending series champion and seventh-place finisher Chase Elliott trim XFINITY leader Chris Buescher 's margin in the standings from 24 to 18 points, Busch ran away with the event, crossing the finish line 3.097 seconds ahead of runner-up Brad Keselowski . After winning his 47th pole earlier in the day (extending his series record), Busch picked up his 76th XFINITY victory (again, extending his series record). The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota now has led 1,636 laps at PIR, second most at any track behind Bristol (1,768). The win was Busch's fifth from the pole at PIR. "It wasn't particularly hard, obviously," Busch said about the ease of his victory. "I do remember that there was one other time here I think I led 200 of 200 (laps) … We've done that here before. Today was close. We just weren't able to get good enough pit stops to come out of the pits with the lead each time and hold the lead that we had. "But, all in all, it was a very fast race car -- flawless, really." Keselowski's No. 22 Team Penske Ford was fast but not in Busch's class. "We had a great effort," Keselowski said. "We had a great day on pit road. The guys on the pit crew did a great job there. We gained spots, so that was really cool and real fun, but we just needed a lot more speed to run with the 54. Either way, it was a pretty solid day." JGR drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez ran third and fourth, respectively, giving the organization three of the top four finishing positions. Ty Dillon came home fifth, followed by Regan Smith . Buescher finished 13th, one lap down, and lost a fourth of his points lead over the reigning champion. But he can clinch the series title with a finish of 13th or better next Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "In the grand scheme of things, we need to go to Homestead and we need to have a good day and do what we did there last year -- just run around and stay out of trouble," Buescher said. "Run fifth -- that would be just fine. "When you look at the averages and points gained versus our needed position to finish, our window is getting bigger as we go through these last four races, so that makes me feel good as we go to Homestead. Even though they gained some points, honestly, unless something crazy happens at Homestead it's just not going be enough." Busch, on the other hand, is in a dogfight for one of three available spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Round next week at Homestead. But first he'll have to survive Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at PIR (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC). "We got our M&M's Camry a little bit better there in Happy Hour," Busch said of Saturday's final Sprint Cup practice session. "It was good. I'd like it to be better than it was, but we'll see how it stacks up in the race. I learned some things here today that will help me, and I'm looking forward to it." Busch, who is second on the Chase Grid, will start 10th in Sunday's race.