AVONDALE, AZ (WFXG) - Webster's Dictionary describes the word Dominate as "controlling or towering above". Kevin Harvick and his newly formed race team exemplified that word Sunday in Phoenix as he dominated the competition in route to his fifth Phoenix victory.
Those five victories place Harvick at the top of the stack in career wins at the one mile facility and Kevin gives credit to his early racing days to that success.
"It's fun to come here," said the animated driver after the race. "I feel like the flat track stuff is something that we've had a good knack at. Over the years we've been able to race a lot of different series and spend a lot of time on this racetrack. You learn and apply that race after race after race and hopefully you can learn something each week."
Harvick and his No. 4 race team have had a lot of learning to do during the offseason as they put a new team together from scratch for Steward-Haas Racing. That experience added an extra level of special to the win Sunday afternoon.
"You're only as good as the people you have around you," continued the race winner. "I'm very honored to drive that car into Victory Lane in week two and have all these guys believe in us from top to bottom."
It's not easy to get a new group of people moving in the right direction so quickly but, Harvick believes the key is to get everyone to enjoy what they are doing.
"I just enjoy racing the cars and being around the people and seeing the enthusiasm that comes with everything," commented Harvick on his team's chemistry. "It doesn't seem like a job to everybody. It seems like everybody wants to be here and is having fun doing it. It's just a different atmosphere for me. The enthusiasm is just through the roof."
Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps Sunday and that enabled him to stay out of the issues that many of his competitors faced during the afternoon. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the second best car but didn't feel too bad about finishing second to Harvick.
"If we run second enough, we're bound to at least trip into one or two," said Jr. about not winning two straight. "We ran second quite a few races in the last 10 or so races we run. I feel really good. I feel like we're coming around the corner, peaking at the right time this season to try to run for the championship."
With two races now in the books for the 2014 season. Harvick and Dale Jr. are now set up really well to build momentum for a championship run. They both are do but the question is whether they can maintain that head of steam for the next 9 months.