Harvick shakes off cheating scandal to win pole at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kevin Harvick has won the pole for Sunday's final qualifying race for the championship. The strong run came as his team is snared in a cheating controversy.

Harvick's winning car from last week was found to have an illegal spoiler and the punishment cost him his automatic berth into the final four. Needing a trouble-free run at ISM Raceway outside Phoenix to get back into the finale, Harvick stepped up with a strong qualifying effort to put him in the top starting spot.

Harvick is a nine-time winner at Phoenix, most recently in March. He also won at Phoenix in 2014 when a victory was the only thing that would qualify him for the Homestead-Miami Speedway finale, where he captured his only Cup championship.

Harvick will race Sunday without his crew chief or car chief. Both are suspended for the final two races of the season.

___

More AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports