Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Those that shined at M'ville should again at Phoenix

Hamlin, Johnson, Gordon the favorites in Arizona desert

By Dan Beaver, Special to NASCAR.COM
April 7, 2010
10:54 AM EDT
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If your lineup for Martinsville was productive, this is a good time to stand pat; if it was not, this is a great chance to use fresh data from the Martinsville race to help select drivers for Phoenix.

Phoenix is twice the length as the Virginia short track, but the two courses are among the four flattest circuits on which NASCAR competes and that means there are a lot of similarities between them. The dominant drivers from two weeks ago are almost guaranteed to run strong again and that will suggest a couple of solid dark horses.

The Favorites



This week's fantasy studs, duds and sleepers.

Last week, our three favorites were Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin and there is little incentive to change that order for the Subway Fresh Fit 600.

To everyone's surprise, Johnson struggled for much of the weekend as the team experimented with setups intended to give them an edge during the fall Martinsville race when Chase points were on the line. This is not the first time that the No. 48 team has done that -- and a similar strategy kept them from being a good value in last year's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire -- but that was little consolation to fantasy owners who counted on Johnson to anchor their team. The No. 48 team rarely has two bad weeks in a row, so you can immediately put last week's race out of your mind.

On the other hand, Hamlin and Gordon completely lived up to the pre-race hype and the battle for the win ultimately came down to those two drivers. In front of the hometown crowd, Hamlin would not be denied and he made his way forcefully to the front during a green-white-checkered finish that harkened back to the old days of racing. That was Hamlin's third victory in the past five short, flat track races and he has not finished worse than third during that span, but fantasy owners will want to make a race day decision about him. After his Martinsville win, Hamlin underwent surgery on his knee and you will want to wait and see how fast he heals before committing resources.

After coming up two laps short of a victory, Gordon will be hungrier than ever to earn a second Phoenix trophy, which means he should remain active on your roster. This hasn't always been his best track in terms of finishing results, but it's hard to ignore momentum. Restarts were his undoing two weeks ago -- and he still needs to become a little more aggressive in those first several laps -- but he showed a willingness to use his bumper at the end of the Martinsville race. In Martinsville, he had trouble restarting in the outside lane, and he won't have that same problem at Phoenix. This one-mile flat track may not have two distinct grooves, but cars get strung out a lot faster than at Martinsville and that will allow Gordon to find a comfortable spot to run. (Continued)

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PHOENIX Phoenix International Raceway Montoya


Phoenix International Raceway


Phoenix International Raceway

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7602 S. Avondale Blvd.
Avondale, AZ 85323Book Travel


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Track Details

Completed : 1964
Distance : 1 mile
Shape : Tri-oval
Banking : 11° Turns 1-29° Turns 3-43° frontstretch9° backstretchFrontstretch : 1,179 feet
Backstretch : 1,551 feet
Seating : 76,800

Contact Info

125 S. Avondale Blvd. #200
Avondale, AZ 85323
623-463-5400Official Web site


There are many ways to get to the speedway, but all paths lead to Vineyard Road. A detailed map will help you find any alternate roads to get off Vineyard as soon as possible and cut over to the interstate you need to get home.more


04/09/10 NATIONWIDE Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Tickets Travel
04/10/10 CUP Subway Fresh Fit 600 Tickets Travel
11/12/10 Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 Tickets Travel
11/13/10 NATIONWIDE Arizona 200 Tickets Travel
11/14/10 CUP TBA Tickets Travel

Burnout at Phoenix International Raceway
Credit: Autostock
Burnout at Phoenix International Raceway

2009 Race Results

Sprint Cup Series
Subway Fresh Fit 500 :: Mark Martin - 04/18/09
Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil :: Jimmie Johnson - 11/15/09
Cup Historical Race Winners
Nationwide Series
Bashas' Supermarkets 200 :: Greg Biffle - 04/17/09
Able Body Labor 200 :: Carl Edwards - 11/14/09
Camping World Truck Series
Lucas Oil 150 :: Kevin Harvick - 11/13/09

Track Records

Sprint Cup Race Record :: Tony Stewart 118.132 - 11/07/99
Cup Historical Race Winners
Nationwide Race Record :: Jeff Burton 115.415 - 11/04/00
Truck Race Record :: Kevin Harvick 107.527 - 10/31/03
Sprint Cup Qualifying Record :: Rusty Wallace 134.718 - 2000
Nationwide Qualifying Record :: Jimmy Spencer 131.339 - 2001
Truck Qualifying Record :: Joe Ruttman 129.204 - 2000

Track History

In 1964, when Phoenix International Raceway was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains, it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open-wheel racing. Today, PIR has a tradition that is unmatched in the world of racing.more

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