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Kevin Harvick going for first Cup three-peat at best track (video)

Kevin Harvick is the conventional pick to win at Phoenix on Sunday as Ford looks for a resurgence in 2018.

In 18 years of Cup competition, Kevin Harvick has earned 39 wins.

But none of those victories occurred over three consecutive race weekends.

Through last weekend’s dominating performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Harvick has strung together consecutive wins five times in his career.

The most recent occurrence of this feat? In 2014 at the beginning of his first title campaign.

The tracks? Las Vegas and ISM Raceway, the facility Cup teams trek to this weekend for the Ticket Guardian 500.

Playing into Harvick’s favor for possibly earning his first three-peat is that the 1-mile oval formerly known as Phoenix Raceway is his best track.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has a series-best eight wins, 14 top-five finishes and 19 top 10s at the track in Avondale, Arizona.

His last Phoenix win came in the spring 2016 race in a photo finish with Carl Edwards.

Prior to that, he won four consecutive Phoenix races from the fall 2013 race through the spring 2015 event.

Since the 2013 win, he has not finished worse than sixth in nine races at the track. But Harvick hasn’t led a lap in his last three starts there.

“This weekend, we’re going to a flat track, and we didn’t run well there in the spring,” Harvick said after his Las Vegas win. “We ran better in the fall but not like we expect to run. So that’s an important playoff race. So we have to figure out how to motivate everybody to keep pushing forward, to not sit idle in the things that we’re doing, and become complacent in the things that you’re doing because it’s good enough right now but it won’t be when you get to summertime.”

Should the No. 4 Ford appear in Victory Lane yet again this week, Harvick would join three active drivers who have won three consecutive Cup races.

Kyle Busch and Joey Logano each achieved the feat in 2015. Busch did it at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis while Logano managed to sweep an entire round of the playoffs at Charlotte, Kansas and Talladega.

Jimmie Johnson has completed the trifecta twice, in 2004 and 2007. His 2007 effort actually resulted in four-straight wins, the fourth coming in Phoenix.

In all, drivers have won three races in a row only 23 times in modern NASCAR history (since 1972).

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