Harvick makes a statement

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 08: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, Ariz.— Kevin Harvick may be last in the standings among the eight title aspirants entering Sunday’s race at Phoenix, but on Saturday morning, he was first in the morning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session, running a lap at 138.403 mph.

What’s more, Harvick was fastest in 10-lap average, running 10 consecutive laps (Nos. 2 through 11) at an average speed of 137.836 mph, more than a full mile per hour faster than the 136.571 mph posted by Brad Keselowski, who was second quickest.

Harvick, who can punch his ticket to the Chase finale at Homestead with a victory on Sunday, has ample reason for confidence. He dominated the spring race at Phoenix this year and has won three of the last four events at the one-mile track in the Sonoran Desert.

The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was second fastest in final practice at 137.065 mph, just .008 seconds slower than Jamie McMurray (137.106 mph).

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