GORDON ENDS 66-RACE NASCAR DROUGHT AT PIR

Track excavation begins with Gordon’s pull of the lever

Jeff Gordon325

While fans at Phoenix International Raceway said goodbye to the track’s old racing surface and configuration, Jeff Gordon bid adieu to a winless streak of 66 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gordon pulled away from Kyle Busch during the closing laps for victory in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at P. I. R.

At the end of a caution period, the field restarted on lap 291, with 22 to go. Gordon was in third place behind leader Tony Stewart on the outside and Busch inside the front row in second place. Busch galloped to the lead over Stewart, who had gambled to improve his track position by taking two tires on lap 283. When Gordon drove his Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet past Stewart for second place, he took off after Busch. Gordon caught him on lap 305, tapped the Combos Toyota just enough to cause a slight bobble in turn four by Busch, who was looking for a sweep of NASCAR’s three main events this weekend. Gordon drove under Busch in turn one and was on his way with the checkered flag soon in sight.

“I knew Jeff was going to catch me,” explained Busch. “He drifted up into me in turn one, but it made no difference. Jeff was too strong.”

Gordon’s victory was the 83rd of his Cup career and tied him for fourth all-time with Cale Yarborough. Richard Petty remains well in front with 200 wins.

Two wrecks considerably impacted the outcome. Busch, by his own admission, accidentally caused the first on lap 60 when his car got loose, and in correcting it he cut down into pole-sitter Carl Edwards. “I apologize to Carl Edwards,“ said Busch. “It was my fault, and I completely destroyed his race.”

Edwards’ SUBWAY Ford received considerable damage, much to his and his crew’s frustration. Edwards said, “Our car was so good, we should have been fighting for the win.” Instead he finished 28th, 60 laps off Gordon’s pace.

The second accident came right after the next restart, and it was a “big one” that collected 13 cars and was reminiscent of the kind of wrecks created by the tight racing on restrictor-plate tracks. It started when Brian Vickers got loose, and when it was over, dozens of crew members were rushing to the garage to try to quickly repair their crushed cars.

Gordon was understandably happy afterward, saying, “It’s been a long time, I know.” He also saluted the ticket-holders of P.I.R. “I’m happy the fans stuck around for my lame burnout. I’m pretty bad at them,” he laughed.

Gordon’s teammate, Jimmie Johnson, suffered through a slow, late pit stop but rallied to a third place finish. Kevin Harvick finished fourth, and Ryan Newman was fifth.

Related PIR News

  • 1/29/15

    HAMLIN HITS THE LINKS AT WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN

    Denny Hamlin took advantage of some of that free time to hit the links in the Waste Management Phoenix Open Annexus Pro-Am on Wednesday. Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, was grouped with fellow FedEx spokesman and Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate Jerome Bettis and defending PGA TOUR FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel.

  • 1/27/15

    START TIMES ANNOUNCED FOR 2015 RACES AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

    Phoenix International Raceway and NASCAR have announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500, scheduled for Sunday, March 15, will kick off at 12:30 p.m. MST, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series race is scheduled for 1 p.m. MST on Saturday, March 14. Both races will broadcast live on FOX. The Toyota 120 NASCAR Mexico Series Race on Friday, March 13, is set for 7 p.m. MST on NBC Universo.

  • 1/13/15

    PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY LAUNCHES FAN-FOCUSED WEBSITE REDESIGN

    In an effort to enrich communication with fans, Phoenix International Raceway launched a new design for its website, PhoenixRaceway.com, to kick off the 2015 season. Featuring a data-driven, more engaging user experience, the new site includes a crisp, vibrant design as well as streamlined navigation and enhanced fan content.

  • 11/12/14

    QUICKEN LOANS RACE FOR HEROES 500 A WINNER ON AND OFF TRACK

    Kevin Harvick drove his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet car to Gatorade Victory Lane in Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, but the race itself was a winner for Phoenix International Raceway. The track sold out of grandstand seats a week before the race and sold out of reserved camping spots more than two months early.

  • 11/09/14

    HARVICK TAKES CHECKERS AT QUICKEN LOANS RACE FOR HEROES 500

    Kevin Harvick dominated Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, leading 264 of the 312 laps in his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet on the way to Gatorade Victory Lane to conclude Phoenix International Raceway’s 50th anniversary season. The win clinched a place for Harvick in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Round next Sunday in Miami.

Facebook

© 2015 Phoenix International Raceway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites