Harvick Rides to Victory in Lucas Oil 150
Kevin Harvick passed Kyle Busch for the Lucas Oil 150 lead with 50 laps remaining and never let go, taking his sixth Phoenix International Raceway victory in NASCAR's national series on Friday night. The win was the third for Harvick at Phoenix in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; Harvick won in 2002 from the third position and followed that with a win the next season from the outside of the front row. Harvick's teammate, Ron Hornaday, qualified for the pole and seemed primed to steal away the top spot in the standings from points leader Johnny Benson, but Hornaday found trouble on the race's opening lap. As Busch's No. 51 Toyota - the second starter - challenged for the lead, the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet of Hornaday got loose and clipped its pursuer, triggering a crash that relegated Hornaday to the pits for repairs. Fortunately for Hornaday, Benson too found damage for his Toyota, and in the end Hornaday's 25th-place finish to Benson's 26th-place slot gave Hornaday three extra points on the night to cut the championship margin to three points. To win the race, Harvick passed Busch on Lap 100 and held on for the race's final third to claim yet another victory in the Valley of the Sun.
Jimmie Johnson turned the quickest lap of Sprint Cup qualifying to claim the pole on Jack in the Box Qualifying Day, meaning the No. 48 Chevrolet will start first in his quest to clinch a third consecutive Sprint Cup championship. Johnson's lap of 26.721 seconds (134.725 mph) edged Jamie McMurray's top offering in the No. 26 Ford by 0.02 second. Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five. With a Chevrolet (first), Ford (second), Dodge (third), and Toyota (fourth) all represented in the top four qualifying spots, the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil will mark the first race in PIR's 21-year, 25-event Sprint Cup history that four manufacturers are represented in the front two rows of a starting field.
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Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Kristie Maggs has been promoted to Senior Director of Consumer Marketing and Partnership Activation. Since joining PIR in July 2007, Maggs has played an integral role in the marketing efforts of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends and the upcoming Verizon Indy Car Series – growing the track’s fan base through promotional opportunities with track partners and elevating the PIR brand.
Phoenix International Raceway participated in the inaugural NASCAR West Coast Media day at the Peterson Automotive Museum in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday. The event, which highlights the second season of back-to-back races at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana, featured NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. In addition to the upcoming 2016 season, the drivers as well as track presidents discussed the return of “NASCAR Goes West” including the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 13.
NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Great Clips Chevy SS for Hendrick Motorsports, attended Wednesday’s Phoenix Suns home game versus the Charlotte Hornets at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Kahne was in the Phoenix area to promote the start of the 2016 NASCAR season, the Daytona 500, and the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 13.
For people looking for that perfect gift for the race fan in their life, Phoenix International Raceway has extended its Black Friday and Cyber Monday special offers through the end of the week.