Tire Problems Spell Trouble for Ford Teams at Phoenix

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Kevin Harvick continued to dominate NASCAR Racing at Phoenix International Raceway, winning for the sixth time in the last eight Sprint Cup races held at the track in the Arizona desert. In another unbelievablyclose finish, Harvick edged Carl Edwards by 1/100th of a second at the line.  Last week’s winner, Brad Keselowski, blew a right rear tire with just under 100 laps to go and finished 29th five laps down. Ford driver Rickey Stenhouse entered the race 11th in the Sprint Cup standings, a blown right front tire sent Stenhouse into the wall and out of the race just past the halfway point. Stenhouse finished 37th, dropping him out of the top 16 playoff qualifying spots to 18th in the season standings.Ford teams had their worst outing of the season, with Ryan Blaney in the Wood Brothers entry finishing 10th and Aric Almirola in 13th the only Fusion drivers in the top 15. Joey Logano suffered a pit-stop mishap late in the race when a crew member failed to successfully insert a wrench for a chassis adjustment and the number 22 car faded to an 18th place finish.While four Fords remain in playoff positions the Fusion drivers will be looking for better results in next weeks’ Auto Club 400 at Fontana, California where Brad Keselowski won last year’s race. For the third week in a row, only 39 cars took the green flag, it remains to be seen if that trend continues during the last stop on the west coast swing.