KEVIN HARVICK won his second NASCAR Busch Series race this season on Friday night in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Race at Phoenix International Raceway.

This victory, back to back after last weekend's Nashville victory complete with Gibson Guitar, puts Harvick on top of the Busch standings. He said it was great to win in a race so close to home in front of all his friends and relatives.

The weather was hot all day for the estimated 38,000 race fans. The skies became overcast for the race, but the weather remained warm. The top three drivers represented the three manufacturers in the series. REED SORENSON finished second, ahead of CARL EDWARDS.

Sorenson said: "This was the first time this year where we had a race car where we finished up front where we should have." Edwards said "It was an acceptable race but not really what we wanted."

Harvick owns a Busch team which runs the #29 Chevrolet and #33 Chevrolet. Sometimes Harvick races those cars, and sometimes he races the #21 for RICHARD CHILDRESS, Harvick's team owner in Nextel Cup. No matter which car Harvick runs, he is running the full Busch Series and determined to win the 2006 Busch Drivers' Championship. Harvick shares the #21 ride with JEFF BURTON, who earlier this season won the Atlanta Busch race. This is the third 2006 victory in nine races for the RCR team.

RICHARD CHILDRESS has been in Africa on safari this month, and Harvick said Friday night that if he wins the Nextel Cup race Saturday night, he's telling Childress to stay away.

BURNEY LAMAR races full-time for Harvick's own Busch team. Currently he is still the top Raybestos Rookie, despite finishing 19th in Friday night's race.

DANNY O'QUINN was the top rookie, finishing in 14th place after starting 41st in the 43-car field. He said: "We really thought we were going to struggle. As soon as the race started we started picking our way up through there. At the end, all the cautions were really killing us. We just couldn't get it going."

Pole sitter JASON LEFFLER led twice for the most laps - 78 - but finished 22nd. There were ten lead changes among seven drivers, and despite ten cautions for 43 laps in the 206-lap race, no drivers were injured during the race.

NASCAR instituted a new policy after the Daytona 500 for the Nextel Cup drivers who are in the top ten in the points going into each race. They have to be available to the media for scheduled 'hauler chats'.

This weekend the big buzz was surrounding Harvick, who has said he wants to continue racing for Richard Childress Racing. April was the self-imposed deadline for Harvick to discuss his future status with RCR, but that deadline came and went with no word. This weekend the question was asked and answered. Harvick said he has met with Childress and told him he wishes to remain with the team.

"There is a seven-year relationship here that is first and foremost and the main priority to keep," Harvick said, "I have a lot of friends here. I have a seven-year relationship here and I think it is something that will be the first thing we try to work out."

There had been a lot of garage speculation that Harvick was being courted by the new Toyota Cup team, among others. Harvick's goal is to make a decision by the Richmond race, which is 6 May.

Seen in the Busch pits Friday night was RYAN HUNTER-REAY, an American open wheel driver without a ride this season. He is exploring his options in NASCAR and has had 'several interesting meetings'. Last year. Hunter-Reay raced with Rocketsports Racing in the Champ Car World Series, but this season owner PAUL GENTILOZZI went with two foreign drivers who brought backing - ANTONIO PIZZONIA and NICKY PASTORELLI. Hunter-Reay still hopes to run open-wheels this year, but nothing is planned at this point.

Another open wheel emigre in the Busch pits was PJ JONES. He was hanging out in the Curb pits for AARON FIKE. He hopes to run some NASCAR races this year, such as the Brickyard 400 or the race at Infineon Raceway, but has nothing specific scheduled at this point.

Those who failed to qualify for the race included JAY SAUTER; CHRIS COOK; JORGE GOETERS and MARC MITCHELL.


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