Racingone Rewind: Phoenix

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A look back at Jimmie Johnson's 40th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

RacingOneCast
Click Here to watch RacingOne's recap of the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500. itunes Podcast

Fan Photos
Did you attend the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500? Show off your photos from over the weekend at Phoenix International Raceway or from a previous NASCAR race and you could be featured in an upcoming race program. Click Here to Find Out How

Ask DJ
Have a question about the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500? Ask ESPN Analyst Dale Jarrett by Clicking Here.

Inside Line
Jimmie Johnson took one step closer to a third straight Sprint Cup Series title by scoring his seventh win of the season Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Photos

Keys to Victory Lane
Johnson started from the pole and led a race-high 217 of 313 laps, outrunning Kurt Busch on a green-white-checkered finish to score his third straight victory at PIR. Complete Results

Zero to Hero
David Ragan started 30th and continued his consistent 2008 with a 10th-place finish.

Rookie of the Race
Marcos Ambrose notched an 18th-place finish to lead the freshman class as he prepared for a full Cup season in 2009.

Notables
Greg Biffle started 31st and finished 11th. Clint Bowyer began the day 28th and notched a 12th-place finish. And Bobby Labonte took the green flag 41st and was able to come home 19th.

Chase for the Cup
With Carl Edwards finishing fourth Sunday, Johnson extended his lead to 141 points and now needs to finish 36th or better next week at Homestead to lock up championship number three.

Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Loop Data Leaders
• Average Running Position: Jimmie Johnson - 1.5
• Fastest Early In a Run: Jimmie Johnson - 127.087 mph
• Fastest Late In a Run: Greg Biffle - 121.950 mph
• Fastest Laps Run: Jimmie Johnson - 66
• Fastest on Restarts: Jimmie Johnson - 126.477 mph
• Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Matt Kenseth - 81
• Laps In Top 15: Jimmie Johnson - 313
• Quality Passes: AJ Allmendinger - 51
• Speed in Traffic: Denny Hamlin - 124.212 mph

Pit Stops
• Johnson captured his 40th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in his 254th career start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
• Johnson won the 175th race for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
• Johnson became the second driver to win at Phoenix from the pole position. He was the 499th driver overall to win a race from that position. Starting Position Facts
• Johnson won the 11th race for Chevrolet at Phoenix. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
• Kurt Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2008.
• Jamie McMurray (third) posted his first top-10 finish in 11 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
• Carl Edwards posted his third fourth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway.
• Denny Hamlin (fifth) posted his fourth top-five result in seven starts at PIR.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (sixth) has a 6.5 average finish with Hendrick Motorsports at Phoenix.
• Kevin Harvick (seventh) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 starts at Phoenix Int'l Raceway.
• Kyle Busch posted his third eighth-place finish at Phoenis.
• Jeff Burton (ninth) has finished in the top 10 in his last three starts at Phoenix.
• David Ragan (10th) posted his first top-10 result in his fourth start at Phoenix.
• The 313-lap race saw nine lead changes among five drivers and an average speed of 97.804 mph. Lap Summary
• Ten caution flags were thrown for 55 laps.
• The Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 lasted 3 hours, 12 minutes, 01 seconds.

Lug Nuts
• ABC cutting out of the race with more than 30 laps to go is probably one of the most ridiculous decisions in NASCAR's last thirty years. And all for "America's Funniest Home Videos"; didn't that go off the air about 10 years ago?
• Fans should not send emails or call radio stations voicing their displeasure. The best way to get even is to boycott ABC programming. Personally we won't miss "Dancing With the Stars" or "Life on Mars" anytime soon.
• Jimmie Johnson has once again opened a can of you-know-what on NASCAR.
• The struggling economy permeated the garage area talk over the weekend and there appears to be some dark days ahead - at least for a while.
• Was that the last ride for Kyle Petty at the family business?
• Scott Speed sure was happy after having a car land on his hood.
• Was it some kind of sign that it rained in the desert and stopped the race for more than 30 minutes Sunday?
• Jeff Gordon - one more chance for a win or the streak comes to an end.
• Maybe Sam Hornish wants to reconsider that "I'm not going back to IndyCar" comment once more?

Garage Talk
• "I knew Kurt was hungry and then behind him was (Jamie) McMurray wanting a win and then the No. 99 (Carl Edwards) of course, I knew that I had to be on my toes and then get each restart right." - Jimmie Johnson
• "It's possible, not probable, but possible. My guys did a good job and we'll see what happens." - Carl Edwards
• "Jimmie Johnson is putting a whooping on everybody." - Kurt Busch
• "I got in the back of the 77 and then Scott Speed got in the back of me pretty hard -- you can see where his car ended up, underneath our car." - David Gilliland
• "I tried to slow down, closed my eyes, screamed a little bit and it was all over." - Scott Speed
• "It was my fault. I feel bad for getting into Matt (Kenseth) who got into Tony (Stewart). You just can't go three wide in that position and I needed to be a little bit more patient in that situation." - AJ Allmendinger
• "This is just the kind of year we've had, you know. Every time we get the car running good, something happens." - Jeff Gordon
• "I've had a great time this season and I'm not ready to quit just yet." - Mark Martin
• "After two red flags, rain in Phoenix and 4 1/2 hours on ABC, we were still 34 minutes from the end of the telecast as it turned out. We told fans in the East and Central from the second red flag on that the race was moving to ESPN2. ABC's entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served in a tough spot, and we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans." - Statement From ABC On Sunday's Telecast

RacingOne Rating
On a scale of one to 10 rattle snakes (that were removed from the famous third and fourth turn mountain overlooking PIR), we'll give Sunday's Checkers O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 a six. The new Cup car does race well at Phoenix and we saw some good competition, unfortunately back in the pack. Upfront it was all Jimmie Johnson in one of the mose dominating performances of the season and now all that's left is to bring down the curtain on this long and grueling season next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Photos

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  • Carl Edwards' NASCAR Career
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  • Carl Edwards' NASCAR Career
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  • Carl Edwards Stepping Away
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