Posts tagged: Phoenix

Apr 19 2008

Jimmie Johnson Wins Subway Fresh Fit 500 in Phoenix

The race in Phoenix was pretty good overall, ended up being Jimmie Johnsons and Hendrick Motorsports first win in 2008 and they won it on gas mileage, everyone else pitted and they used the big cushion they had to stay ahead of the ones who pitted for gas and tires. Denny Hamlin’s team made a good move, pitting before everyone else and taking four tires to finish third.

Johnson led the most laps, 120, and only three other drivers led laps in this race, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led 87, Mark Martin leading 68 laps and pole sitter Ryan Newman who led 37 before a blown seal ended his day. Newman’s teammate, Elliot Sadler also had a blown motor. Jeff Gordon had a better finish than he has had of late, finishing 13th after going a lap down when he was in the pits and the caution came out, and it also put him 13th in points, just 8 points back of 12th position.

Sometimes the slowest car wins the race.

With crew chief Chad Knaus beseeching driver Jimmie Johnson to save fuel in the final seven laps of Saturday night’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the two-time defending Cup champion nursed the No. 48 Chevrolet across the finish line 7.002 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer, who also gambled on fuel.

The victory returned Hendrick Motorsports to Victory Lane after an eight-race hiatus and gave the two-time defending Cup champion the 34th win of his career — and second consecutive at Phoenix. Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Carl Edwards, who rallied from a pit road penalty to claim the fourth spot.

Mark Martin, who surrendered the lead to Johnson when he came to the pits for two tires and fuel on Lap 302, finished fifth, followed by points leader Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch. Source: Fuel gamble helps Johnson to first victory of season

I have often thought Gordon stays out too long when fuel mileage is involved, if you pit early and grab four tires, as Hamlin did, you can make up extra time because you will be faster on newer tires. But, there are reasons for everything these guys do, and past experiences play a big part in these races, I just wish they would try something different occasionally instead of staying out and hoping for a caution, etc.

Polesitter Newman had a seal in his engine fail on Lap 133, and the resulting explosion caused all kinds of havoc for all kinds of people. Burton was running behind the No. 12 car when it let go, and spun out in the fluid dropped on the racetrack. But he kept the car off the wall, and continued his march from his 39th-place starting position to his eventual sixth-place finish. He also kept the points lead for a third consecutive week, improving to 80 ahead of Kyle Busch.

“We were going to run 11th, 12th or something like that, but [crew chief] Scott [Miller] made a great call and got us a sixth. We will certainly take it,” Burton said. “I am disappointed in how we ran, I am disappointed in myself. We are just missing something. We had no damage to the car when we spun in the oil from the 12 when it blew up. We were probably pretty lucky there was no damage, we got a little dirt track racing in, but it worked out for us. There was a little bit of luck involved there.”

Gordon had no such luck. Like Edwards, he was sitting on pit road when Nemechek crashed, and fell a lap down. He received a free pass, took two tires during a pit stop to pick up track position, and was up to seventh place before having to make a late stop for fuel. His eventual 13th-place finish helped him improve one spot to 13th in series points.

“I was very proud of the fact that we were able to fight back and get our lap back and then battle with two tires up there,” said Gordon, the defending champion of the Phoenix spring race. “We were flirting with a top-10. And then of course we didn’t have the fuel mileage that some of those other guys did and so, you know, we didn’t stay out.” Source: Edwards among those to dodge trouble at Phoenix

Here’s how they finished:

1 7 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 195/10 312 Running 262,111
2 24 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 170/0 312 Running 170,350
3 16 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota March of Dimes / FedEx Kinko’s 165/0 312 Running 164,516
4 3 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 160/0 312 Running 158,585
5 4 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet Army Reserve 100th Anniv. / U.S. Army 160/5 312 Running 150,258
6 39 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 150/0 312 Running 140,008
7 13 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / AMP Energy 151/5 312 Running 99,125
8 9 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 142/0 312 Running 113,008
9 18 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 138/0 312 Running 89,475
10 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 134/0 312 Running 95,925
11 30 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg’s 130/0 311 Running 90,875
12 34 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 127/0 311 Running 112,511
13 11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Nicorette / DuPont 124/0 311 Running 119,961
14 12 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Subway / Home Depot 121/0 311 Running 117,611
15 36 38 David Gilliland Ford Yates Racing 118/0 311 Running 91,658
16 15 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red 115/0 311 Running 98,933
17 8 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 112/0 311 Running 79,125
18 26 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 109/0 311 Running 75,300
19 17 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Reese’s 106/0 311 Running 113,336
20 31 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 103/0 311 Running 114,250
21 14 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 100/0 311 Running 78,225
22 32 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Ford. Drive one. 97/0 310 Running 98,314
23 40 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 94/0 310 Running 65,875
24 28 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 91/0 310 Running 82,833
25 33 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 88/0 310 Running 69,000
26 10 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Haas Automation 85/0 310 Running 83,433
27 23 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 82/0 310 Running 76,550
28 25 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 79/0 310 Running 65,225
29 35 7 Robby Gordon Dodge MAPEI / Menards 76/0 310 Running 87,858
30 19 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 73/0 309 Running 77,997
31 43 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 70/0 309 Running 86,155
32 21 40 Dario Franchitti * Dodge Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit 67/0 309 Running 75,125
33 37 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge LifeLock 64/0 308 Running 65,450
34 29 00 Michael McDowell * Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 61/0 307 Running 64,375
35 38 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 58/0 298 Running 72,250
36 5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 55/0 273 Running 94,091
37 42 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation 52/0 271 Running 63,975
38 27 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT NANO Technology 49/0 269 Running 111,466
39 22 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 46/0 224 Running 71,700
40 41 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row / DenverMattress.com 43/0 208 Running 63,550
41 2 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 40/0 161 Engine 90,250
42 20 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target / Glad 37/0 144 Accident 90,494
43 1 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Alltel 39/5 134 Engine 110,718

Here are the top 12 in points after Phoenix:

1 — Jeff Burton 1215 Leader 8 0 1 3 6 1,464,500
2 +1 Kyle Busch 1135 -80 8 1 1 4 5 1,668,660
3 +1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1129 -86 8 1 0 3 6 1,494,270
4 +2 Jimmie Johnson 1116 -99 8 1 1 4 4 1,819,660
5 -3 Kevin Harvick 1112 -103 8 0 0 2 4 1,266,430
6 +1 Denny Hamlin 1078 -137 8 0 1 3 5 1,461,180
7 -2 Tony Stewart 1078 -137 8 0 0 3 5 2,008,830
8 +3 Clint Bowyer 1044 -171 8 0 0 2 5 1,179,990
9 — Carl Edwards 1041 -174 8 0 3 4 5 2,202,720
10 -2 Greg Biffle 1039 -176 8 0 0 3 5 1,152,960
11 +1 Kasey Kahne 929 -286 8 0 0 0 4 1,285,670
12 -2 Ryan Newman 915 -300 8 1 1 2 3 2,536,310

Apr 21 2007

Jeff Gordon Finally Wins in Phoenix

Jeff Gordon finally wins a cup race in Phoenix, after dueling with Tony Stewart in the final laps, looked to me like both were giving and taking, but Gordon had the better car at the end. It looked like he was going to be caught a lap down, but because he had the best pit stall when he landed the pole, he came out in front of the leader and ended up being 1st after Stewart and the rest of the leaders pitted. The others, who had pitted already, including Truex Jr and Kurt Busch, were in front of Gordon but on the tail end of the lap. Added: Great race recap video below.

Stewart finished 2nd, Denny Hamlin, who had to fight back from the end of the line after speeding on pit road, finished 3rd, Jimmie Johnson 4th, Matt Kenseth, who looked like he was going to pass everybody for a few minutes, finished 5th, Jeff Green came in a surprising 6th, Kyle Busch 7th, Bobby Labonte finished 8th, Johnny Sauter 9th and Kevin Harvick 10th.

This win ties Jeff Gordon with Dale Earnhardt for sixth on the wins list with 76, and Gordon was definitely proud to be tied with the Intimidator saying,

“It means the world,” Gordon said. “Holding that 3 flag, it’s certainly by no means saying we’re as good as him. I learned so much from him. We wanted to honor him. We’ve been holding onto that flag for a long time.” Source: Gordon lucky and good in tying Earnhardt for wins

1 1 24 Jeff Gordon
2 9 20 Tony Stewart
3 3 11 Denny Hamlin
4 5 48 Jimmie Johnson
5 17 17 Matt Kenseth
6 14 66 Jeff Green
7 24 5 Kyle Busch
8 26 43 Bobby Labonte
9 42 70 Johnny Sauter
10 8 29 Kevin Harvick
11 28 99 Carl Edwards
12 20 01 Mark Martin
13 31 31 Jeff Burton
14 23 96 Tony Raines
15 27 41 Reed Sorenson
16 16 13 Joe Nemechek
17 18 16 Greg Biffle
18 6 2 Kurt Busch
19 15 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20 7 1 Martin Truex Jr.
21 22 18 J.J. Yeley
22 12 07 Clint Bowyer
23 2 26 Jamie McMurray
24 38 7 Robby Gordon
25 33 15 Paul Menard
26 39 88 Ricky Rudd
27 37 14 Sterling Marlin
28 34 21 Ken Schrader
29 43 44 Dale Jarrett
30 40 45 Kyle Petty
31 10 9 Kasey Kahne
32 25 00 David Reutimann
33 36 42 Juan Montoya
34 21 19 Elliott Sadler
35 30 38 David Gilliland
36 35 4 Ward Burton
37 13 25 Casey Mears
38 19 12 Ryan Newman
39 11 22 Dave Blaney
40 29 78 Kenny Wallace
41 32 6 David Ragan
42 4 10 Scott Riggs
43 41 40 David Stremme

Top 10 in points:
1 Jeff Gordon 1326 Leader
2 Jeff Burton 1252 -74
3 Matt Kenseth 1166 -160
4 Jimmie Johnson 1115 -211
5 Denny Hamlin 1084 -242
6 Kyle Busch 1002 -324
7 Tony Stewart 994 -332
8 Carl Edwards 967 -359
9 Clint Bowyer 963 -363
10 Mark Martin 921 -405

Apr 19 2007

Gordon on Pole for Race in Phoenix

Jeff Gordon just put himself in fourth on the all time most pole positions list, tied with Darrell Waltrip, with this being his second pole in a car of tomorrow, by winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The other day Kenseth had a laugh that Jeff was saying he was looking forward to the COT, because they had all just been joking about them, well Matt, what do you think now, hehe. Michael Waltrip was 38th overall and failed to qualify for the sixth consecutive race, while Dale Jarrett was 48th and had to use the fifth former series champion’s provisional to make the race.

“Right near the end of practice, we weren’t very happy with the car and we decided to make some major adjustments — I mean some major adjustments. It was way more than we normally do for qualifying,” he added, grinning.

Gordon, who was 37th of the 50 cars that made qualifying attempts, got the benefit of a cooler track surface, but none of the other drivers who went late could keep him from winning his fourth pole of the season and the 59th of his career.

That tied him with three-time champion Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time list. Source: Gordon earns fourth pole of season at Phoenix qualifying

Here is the Nascar qualifying times in Phoenix, with the times, speeds, etc, that they ran in the COT.
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 133.136 27.040 Leader
2 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 132.577 27.154 -0.114
3 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Kinko’s 132.567 27.156 -0.116
4 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools 132.338 27.203 -0.163
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 132.275 27.216 -0.176
6 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 131.936 27.286 -0.246
7 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 131.670 27.341 -0.301
8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 131.661 27.343 -0.303
9 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 131.637 27.348 -0.308
10 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 131.564 27.363 -0.323
11 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 131.229 27.433 -0.393
12 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 131.143 27.451 -0.411
13 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 131.042 27.472 -0.432
14 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Best Buy 131.033 27.474 -0.434
15 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 131.028 27.475 -0.435
16 13 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Pinnacle Las Vegas 130.995 27.482 -0.442
17 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 130.947 27.492 -0.452
18 16 Greg Biffle Ford Ameriquest 130.842 27.514 -0.474
19 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 130.828 27.517 -0.477
20 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 130.804 27.522 -0.482
21 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 130.795 27.524 -0.484
22 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 130.667 27.551 -0.511
23 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV 130.572 27.571 -0.531
24 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg’s 130.416 27.604 -0.564
25 00 David Reutimann* Toyota Domino’s Pizza 130.406 27.606 -0.566
26 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 130.378 27.612 -0.572
27 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 130.255 27.638 -0.598
28 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 130.223 27.645 -0.605
29 78 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 130.204 27.649 -0.609
30 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M’s 130.034 27.685 -0.645
31 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Cingular Wireless 129.753 27.745 -0.705
32 6 David Ragan* Ford AAA “Show Your Card and Save” 129.720 27.752 -0.712
33 15 Paul Menard* Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 129.655 27.766 -0.726
34 21 Ken Schrader Ford Motorcraft 129.636 27.770 -0.730
35 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet State Water Heaters 129.590 27.780 -0.740
36 42 Juan Montoya* Dodge Texaco / Havoline 129.571 27.784 -0.744
37 14 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Waste Management 129.459 27.808 -0.768
38 7 Robby Gordon Ford Jim Beam 129.454 27.809 -0.769
39 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Snickers 129.143 27.876 -0.836
40 45 Kyle Petty+ Dodge Wells Fargo 129.055 27.895 -0.855
41 40 David Stremme+ Dodge Coors Light 128.963 27.915 -0.875
42 70 Johnny Sauter+ Chevrolet Haas Automation 128.654 27.982 -0.942
43 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS Champion’s Provisional

Nov 14 2006

Harvick Completes the Sweep in Phoenix


Kevin Harvick completed the sweep this weekend, winning the Checker Auto Parts 500, Jimmie Johnson settles for second and a bigger lead in the Chase for the Cup. Kyle Busch cost me some serious points on my race team this week, cutting my lead by over half what it was. He also fell two spots in the points to last place, 359 points behind Johnson. Here’s the top ten:

1 29 Kevin Harvick
2 48 Jimmie Johnson
3 11 Denny Hamlin
4 24 Jeff Gordon
5 99 Carl Edwards
6 6 Mark Martin
7 9 Kasey Kahne
8 2 Kurt Busch
9 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10 31 Jeff Burton

Here how they stand in the Chase for the Cup:

1. — Jimmie Johnson Leader
2. — Matt Kenseth -63
3. +2 Kevin Harvick -90
4. — Denny Hamlin -90
5. -2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. -115
6. — Jeff Gordon -167
7. — Jeff Burton -225
8. +1 Mark Martin -273
9. +1 Kasey Kahne -319
10. -2 Kyle Busch -359

Jimmie Johnson just needs to finish 12th or better to win the whole thing, with no one being able to do anything to stop him. I would say the cup is his, but he could wreck early, etc, and loose the whole thing, he could get a lap or two down and Kenseth could win the race and the cup. It will be interesting, anyone in the top five could win it, but it would have to be some extraordinary circumstances for Earnhardt to win it, as they can only gain 156 points in any one race, I believe.

Nov 11 2006

Jeff Gordon Gets Married then Gets the Pole

Hmm, that may not be the best title, hehe, lord knows there are many fans that think he would take a pole, but, by the looks of the women he hangs with, I don’t see how that could be the case. I mean check out his new bride Ingrid Vandebosch:

Jeff Gordon's new wife Ingrid Vandebosch

The beautiful Belgian model started modeling in Holland at age 16 and was discovered by Parisian agents three years later. She moved to Paris and lived for six years working on projects for Christian Dior, Amway, Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue, and Glamour, among others. In seeking new opportunities in modeling, as well as film and theatre, as everyone eventually does, she later moved to New York City where she landed a beauty contract with Artistry Cosmetics.

So, enough about her, I just hope they show more of her on TV. Anyway, when they announced their engagement, he won that weekend in Sonoma. So I’m hoping for a repeat here, Gordon wins, Johnson, Kenseth, Earnhardt, Burton, Martin and the others all have trouble and Gordon closes to within 25, so he can win it the next week. Okay, so its not likely to happen, but it’s possible.

The four-time series champion married Belgian model Ingrid Vandebosch in Mexico on Tuesday, then brought his new bride to the racetrack to help him celebrate the 56th pole of his career. He turned a lap of 134.464 mph in his Chevrolet to take the top starting spot for Sunday’s race.

“Life is good, at the same time, so is the race team.” Source: Nascar.com

Here is the top ten qualifiers for this Weekends race in Phoenix:
1. J. Gordon
2. K. Harvick
3. B. Vickers
4. Earnhardt
5. Nemechek
6. G. Biffle
7. R. Newman
8. Ku. Busch
9. Ky. Busch
10. M. Kenseth

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