Racingone Rewind: Phoenix

    A look back at Kevin Harvick's 10th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

    Click Here to watch to RacingOne's audio/slideshow recap of Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 brought to you by itunes Podcast

    Inside Line
    Kevin Harvick dominated the Checker Auto Parts 500, leading 252 laps from the second starting position, to score his fifth win of the season. Race Story

    Keys to Victory Lane
    After a red flag for a crash, Harvick held off Johnson on the last restart to score the victory, giving him a sweep of both Cup events held at PIR this season.

    Zero to Hero
    After a bad qualifying draw, Johnson started 29th and came back to finish second but Martin Truex Jr. deserves a call for beginning the day 26th, falling a lap down, and ending it 12th.

    Hero to Zero
    Greg Biffle's miserable season continued on Sunday when after starting sixth, he fell back to post a 34th-place finish.

    Rookie of the Race
    Denny Hamlin, who else, with another stellar run and a third-place finish, good enough to at least keep him in the hunt for the title.

    Mark Martin's late race pit strategy didn't work out, but he scored a top 10 after beginning 22nd. And Jeff Burton took the green flag 18th and finished 10th.

    What's the Points?
    Johnson increased his point lead to 63 over Matt Kenseth, who finished 13th Sunday, heading into next weekend's Ford 400 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick and Hamlin are tied at 90 points behind while Earnhardt Jr. sits fifth 115 out. They are the only five drivers remaining with a chance to win the title. Championship Scenarios

    Checker Auto Parts 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Kevin Harvick - 1.2
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Kevin Harvick - 128.139 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Jimmie Johnson - 122.444 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 1: Kevin Harvick - 113.060 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 2: Carl Edwards - 110.746 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 3: Carl Edwards - 115.650 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 4: Kevin Harvick - 115.810 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Kevin Harvick - 72
  • Fastest on Restarts: Kevin Harvick - 126.360 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Ken Schrader - 53

    Checker Auto Parts 500 Penalty Report
    Click Here to view the penalties handed out in today's 312-lap race.

    Pit Stops
  • Kevin Harvick captured his 10th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win - second at PIR - in his 213th start. The win was also his third top 10 at Phoenix. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Harvick won the 83rd race for car owner Richard Childress. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Harvick, who started second, became the third driver to win at Phoenix from the second starting position. He also became the 168th driver overall to win a race from second. Starting Position Facts
  • Harvick led the most laps, leading four times for 252 laps Lap Summary
  • Harvick won the 23rd race of the season for Chevrolet. It was also the 596th overall win for the manufacturer. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Jimmie Johnson's second-place finish was his fifth top 10 at Phoenix.
  • Denny Hamlin (third) captured his first top 10 at PIR in his third track start.
  • Jeff Gordon scored his seventh top five at Phoenix in his 16 start.
  • Carl Edwards fifth-place finish was his fourth consecutive finish of seventh or better at PIR.
  • Mark Martin (sixth) added to his top 10 lead at Phoenix by picking up the 14th of his career.
  • Kasey Kahne's seventh-place finish was his third top 10 in five starts at PIR.
  • Kurt Busch captured his best finish at PIR with Penske Racing by finishing eighth.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a two-race streak of finishes of 23rd or worse at PIR by finishing ninth - his fifth top 10 at the track.
  • Jeff Burton's 10th-place finish was his first top 10 since finishing third at Charlotte, four races ago.
  • The 312-lap race saw 12 lead changes among seven drivers and an average speed of 96.131 mph.
  • Ten caution flags were thrown for 58 laps.
  • The Checker Auto Parts 500 lasted 3 hours, 14 minutes, 44 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • The "bad Tony" Stewart was back on Sunday. Where's he been?
  • Jeff Green and Tony Raines was the biggest argument of the day after Stewart and McMurray. Ho hum.
  • Set your watches kids, next week will be NBC's farewell telecast. No doubt they'll be in commercial break when saying their good-byes.
  • Roush Racing has a major shake-up of personnel in store next season. Are you listening Roger Penske?
  • This stock car thing isn't so easy, is it Juan Pablo and Sam Hornish?
  • Do we really believe Jeff Gordon is having his honeymoon in Phoenix and Homestead? If he is, he'd better have a pre-nup this time around because we can't believe the new Mrs. Gordon wanted to spend her first post-wedding days laying around the old motorhome playing videogames like Mrs. Gordon version 1.0 used to do - at first anyway.

    Garage Talk
  • "It’s amazingly difficult to see out there when the sun’s going down. You just hope you have the right lane when you need it. If you're in a bad lane you can end up with a wrecked race car." -Kurt Busch
  • "I wish we were a little closer than we are in the points, but we did everything we could do today. However it falls, it falls. We have had a good year." -Kevin Harvick
  • "It's (Homestead) a place that I'm looking forward to bringing my new favorite car back to. We've got three wins in a row with the car that we're taking over there and looking forward to bringing it home with a fourth one." -Tony Stewart
  • "It's very tight off turn four and Tony could have let me go there. I don't know if he was upset there or exactly what he was thinking." -Jamie McMurray

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten cacti, we'll give Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 a six. Phoenix is really an oversized short track and some good side-by-side racing was on display. But not much at the front of the field as Harvick had things covered at PIR - again. The championship drama is about on empty with Johnson very much in control heading into next week's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2006

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