Jimmie in Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Triple Play: It's Jimmie in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
The champagne is on ice, a confetti cannon is ready for launch, and somewhere, an established silversmith is practicing a trade he's come to know all too well since 2006. Jimmie Johnson closed in on his third consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway with a third straight of another kind: a win in the Valley of the Sun. Johnson dominated the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil with a performance that's become familiar to fans in Phoenix. By leading 217 of 313 laps in the No. 48 Chevrolet, Johnson notched his seventh victory of 2008 and became the first driver in PIR's 21-year Sprint Cup Series history to win in three consecutive races on the one-mile oval. Davey Allison, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kevin Harvick have all won two in a row at Phoenix. Though he started on the pole, Johnson surrendered the lead on the race's opening lap to Jamie McMurray, who held the point through Lap 21. Eventual runner-up Kurt Busch controlled the track until Lap 80, holding the lead on both ends of a 23-minute, 37-second red flag for a rare Arizona rain shower. Johnson was the boss for much of the race's remainder, leading for stretches of 20, 102, and the final 95 laps to coast to Gatorade Victory Lane. McMurray, Carl Edwards, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, and David Ragan finished in order to complete the top 10. A mere 36th-place finish at Homestead-Miami next week will give Johnson the championship. Even if second-place Edwards wins and leads the most laps - a 195-point day - Johnson would clinch the title with the 36th-place finish. Johnson can also clinch the Sprint Cup by finishing 37th and leading at least one lap, or by finishing 39th and leading the most laps.
Related PIR News
Fans can watch as teams prepare for Phoenix Grand Prix with testing session on Feb. 27
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.