Kevin Harvick leads the way in final Cup practice at Phoenix

NASCAR 2018: live scoring, TV, live streaming from Phoenix Ticket Guardian 500

What everyone wanted to talk about Friday were penalties handed down against Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team for violations discovered after his victory Sunday in Las Vegas.

NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick savored this third consecutive visit to Victory Lane with a little extra gusto after Sunday's win at Phoenix.

Among other things, Harvick is known for driving the No. 4 Jimmy John's vehicle. Earlier in the week, the 4 team was heavily penalized for a broken window bracket in Las Vegas.

NASCAR said Wednesday that inspectors at its research and development center in North Carolina found Harvick's Las Vegas vehicle violated a rule requiring rear window support braces to hold the glass rigid, and another requiring the right rocker panel extension to be aluminum. Crew Chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, Car Chief Robert Smith was suspended, and the Playoff benefits for the Vegas win were stripped away. As a result, the "Cactus King" had more motivation than ever to win at Phoenix.

Pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. will try to get his title defense going in earnest by starting from the pole, while Kyle Larson seems just a half-step away from getting it going and will start second.

NASCAR 2018: live scoring, TV, live streaming from Phoenix Ticket Guardian 500
Harvick makes it 3 straight

At first glance, Harvick's streak looks most like Elliott's from 1992.

Harvick regained the points lead Saturday, moving 12 ahead of Busch.

Busch won the first 75-lap stage, and brother Kurt Busch stayed on the track during a caution and won the second segment in a one-lap shootout.

Kyle Busch and Eric Jones of JGR have shown the best consistency of the Toyotas.

But Busch and Harvick moved steadily up through the pack and on lap 57, Busch got inside Larson to grab the lead. He has one Xfinity win and four Truck victories at the track. On the flip side, Kyle Busch led a race-high 128 laps.

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The runner-up position was Kenya's best finish in this year's Sevens competition and the first time they had won a medal. Kenya had earlier stunned England 12-0 in the quarterfinals, their first victory against the Britons since 2011.

Busch was 0.774 seconds back.

The top-10 also included three more drivers from Stewart-Haas Racing as Clint Bowyer took sixth, Aric Almirola was seventh and Kurt Busch finished 10th.

After taking the checkered flag, Harvick gestured towards his rear window in his post-race celebration.

This is pretty subjective, but I think those in Tier 1 are pretty evenly matched.

Also the victor in Atlanta after crashing and finishing 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500, Harvick is the first driver to win three straight Cup races since Joey Logano in 2015. He has won 3 of the first 4 races in 2018, a mark not seen since 1992. The victory also was the milestone 40th of Harvick's Cup career. This after Busch spent most of the afternoon pretending to be Harvick.

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For some local women at the state's only women's college, it was time to consider what gender equality really would mean. Last year, Facebook hosted a 24-hour livestream with female entrepreneurs, policy makers, and leaders .

The driver of the No. 4 auto for Stewart-Haas Racing did just that Sunday as he won his third consecutive race in the NASCAR Cup Series with a victory in the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway.

Kevin Harvick will have the chance to add his name to the list - Cale Yarborough in 1976, Darrell Waltrip in '81, Dale Earnhardt in '87, Harry Gant in '91, Bill Elliott in '92, Mark Martin in '93, Jeff Gordon in '98 and Jimmie Johnson in 2007 - this weekend when the series heads to Fontana's Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400.

Site: Phoenix Schedule: Sunday, race, 3:30 p.m., FOX.

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