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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Keeping Pace

NASCAR Stats: SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 - Phoenix International Raceway

Jimmie Johnson looks to continue his mastery of Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. Johnson is shooting for his fourth victory in as many tries at the Arizona facility. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR) (John Harrelson / The Spokesman-Review)
Jimmie Johnson looks to continue his mastery of Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. Johnson is shooting for his fourth victory in as many tries at the Arizona facility. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR) (John Harrelson / The Spokesman-Review)

Jimmie Johnson looks to add to his impressive resume this weekend at the Subway Frsh Fit 500, Johnson aims to be the first driver to win four straight races on the same track since...Johnson himself who dominated Lowes Motor Speedway from 2004-05.

Courtesy: NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 13, 2009) – Jimmie Johnson will go for four-in-a-row at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night.

The last driver to win four consecutive races at a given track: Johnson, himself. He won four straight at Lowe’s Motor Speedway from 2004-2005.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record for consecutive wins at a track is seven, co-held by Richard Petty (Richmond, 1970-73) and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, 1981-84).

Coincidentally, Phoenix is a track with a history of sustained success. Five drivers have posted multiple victories at Phoenix – each time in consecutive races: Davey Allison (1991-92), Jeff Burton (2000-01), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003-04), Kevin Harvick (both 2006) and Johnson (2007-08).

Likewise, single-race dominance has happened more than once at Phoenix. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, two drivers have scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 at Phoenix. In 2005, Kurt Busch posted the very first 150.0, leading 219 of 312 laps in his only Phoenix win. In 2006, Kevin Harvick completed the season sweep of Phoenix, leading 252 laps to score a perfect Driver Rating. Pocono Raceway is the only other track where two perfect Driver Ratings have been recorded (both by Kurt Busch, 2005 and ’07).

Surprisingly, Johnson is not on the perfect Driver Rating list at Phoenix, though he has come close. In his November win last season, Johnson posted a near-perfect Driver Rating of 149.9, leading 217 laps of the 313 laps and tallying 66 Fastest Laps Run. (Note: Johnson has scored one perfect Driver Rating in his career, at the second Auto Club Speedway race last season.)

Selected Driver Highlights – Phoenix International Raceway

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 15.9
• Average Running Position of 14.6, 12th-best
• Driver Rating of 100.5, fourth-best
• 257 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.331 mph, fourth-fastest
• 1,601 Laps in the Top 15 (64.1%), 10th-most
• 145 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 10th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• One win, three top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 13.3
• Average Running Position of 9.5, third-best
• Driver Rating of 99.2, sixth-best
• 142 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.075 mph, 11th-fastest
• 1,687 Laps in the Top 15 (77.2%), seventh-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota)
• One win, one top five, six top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 14.5
• Average Running Position of 13.6, ninth-best
• Driver Rating of 90.4, 11th-best
• 351 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
• 1,980 Laps in the Top 15 (79.3%), fourth-most
• Series-high 238 Quality Passes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevrolet)
• Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 17.1
• Average Running Position of 14.2, 11th-best
• Driver Rating of 92.1, 10th-best
• 77 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.235 mph, sixth-fastest
• 1,634 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), ninth-most
• 130 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Four top fives, six top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.3
• Average Running Position of 12.7, seventh-best
• Driver Rating of 103.3, third-best
• 181 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.525 mph, second-fastest
• 1,897 Laps in the Top 15 (76.0%), sixth-most
• 185 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont/National Guard GED Plus Chevrolet)
• One win, eight top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 10.2
• Average Running Position of 9.8, fourth-best
• Driver Rating of 100.3, fifth-best
• 66 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
• 2,079 Laps in the Top 15 (83.3%), third-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)
• Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 13.2
• Average Running Position of 7.9, second-best
• Driver Rating of 105.4, second-best
• 134 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.375 mph, third-fastest
• 2,113 Laps in the Top 15 (84.6%), second-most
• 177 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
• Three wins, six top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 5.5
• Series-best Average Running Position of 5.0
• Series-best Driver Rating of 122.0
• Series-high 266 Fastest Laps Run
• Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 123.719 mph
• Series-high 2,383 Laps in the Top 15 (95.4%)
• 194 Quality Passes, third-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet)
• One win, six top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 10.6
• Average Running Position of 10.6, fifth-best
• Driver Rating of 98.9, seventh-best
• 82 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
• 353 Green Flag Passes, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 123.281 mph, fifth-fastest
• 1,961 Laps in the Top 15 (78.5%), fifth-most
• 205 Quality Passes, second-most

At Phoenix International Raceway:

• Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
• Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
• The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debuted at Phoenix on Feb. 5, 1995. Mike Skinner becomes the series’ first winner.
• The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was on Nov. 11, 1999.
• The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005. Also the first night race, it was won by Kurt Busch.
• There have been 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
• Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988.
• There have been 15 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
• Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007.
• There have been 19 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson who has won the last three. Johnson was the last driver to win four consecutive races at a track – Lowe’s Motor Speedway from 2004-05.
• The race has been won from the pole twice: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007) and Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008).
• The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 12 of 25 races.
• Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
• There has been one green-white-checkered race at Phoenix: November 2004 (315 laps).

Hot Fact
Mark Martin has nine top-five finishes at Phoenix, more than any other driver. He has one victory and five second-place finishes in his 24 races and has just one DNF, that coming in his first race there.

NASCAR in Arizona
• There have been 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Arizona.
• 29 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Arizona.
• There have been no race winners from Arizona in NASCAR’s three national series.

Phoenix International Raceway Data
Race: 8 of 36 (4-18-09)
Track Size: 1 mile
• Banking/1 and 2: 11 degrees
• Banking/3 and 4: 9 degrees
• Banking/Frontstretch: 3 degrees
• Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
• Frontstretch: 1,179 feet
• Backstretch: 1,551 feet

Driver Rating at Phoenix 
Jimmie Johnson    122.0
Kevin Harvick        105.4
Carl Edwards        103.3
Greg Biffle            100.5
Jeff Gordon           100.3
Kurt Busch             99.2
Tony Stewart          98.9
Denny Hamlin         96.1
Mark Martin            96.0
Dale Earnhardt Jr.   92.1
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2008 races (8 total) at Phoenix.

Qualifying/Race Data
2008 pole winner: Ryan Newman (133.457 mph, 26.975 seconds)
2008 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, 103.292 mph, 4-21-07)
Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman (135.854 mph, 26.499 seconds, 11-5-04)
Track race record: Tony Stewart (118.132 mph, 11-7-99)

Pit Window: Approximately 70-78 laps, based on fuel mileage.

Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.