HAMLIN HAS SUFFICIENT SPEED AND FUEL AT END TO STOP HARVICK IN SUBWAY FRESH FIT 500

PIRLogo325

Denny Hamlin, a new resident of the Valley of the Sun, had just enough fuel in his FedEx Office Toyota to make it to the checkered flag in first place in Sunday's SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kevin Harvick, nearly on Hamlin's back bumper, ran out of fuel with slightly more than a lap to go but coasted home in second place.  Greg Biffle finished third, Jimmie Johnson fourth, and Brad Keselowski fifth.

The win in some manner redeemed Hamlin's heartbreak of November 2010, when he had to abandon the lead in the Kobalt Tools 500 at PIR to take fuel late in the race.  His 12th place finish that afternoon damaged his shot at winning that season's Sprint Cup championship.

"This is a bittersweet track (for me)," said Hamlin.  "This is not really my type of race track; a new surface is not my forte.

"It (now) feels like 2010 when I started winning at tracks we weren't expect to win at," said the new series points leader after two events in 2012.

Johnson dominated a big portion of the middle of Sunday's race, building a lead of nearly four seconds over Kyle Busch before a wreck among A.J. Allendinger, Paul Menard, and Jamie McMurray brought out the yellow flag.  A loose lugnut forced Johnson to pit twice during that caution period that came 22 laps before halfway.   The Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet never again was scored higher than Johnson's fourth place finish.

Most of the other leaders at the time stayed on the track. Not choosing to pit, Kyle Busch took over the front in his M&Ms Brown Toyota, and he soon was scored the mid-race leader.

Busch had his hands full, however, and Harvick and pole-sitter Mark Martin both passed him on lap 169.  Green-flag pit stops starting on lap 181 shuffled the field with Martin Truax, Jr., and McMurray remaining as the last holdouts still on the track in the top two spots through lap 208.  McMurray, after successful repairs to his car after the previous accident, was the leader when he came to pit road on circuit 208, but soon blew his engine.

Meanwhile, Harvick regained the lead after the green-flag stops and motored to nearly a five-second edge.  Fluid on the track in turn 3 on lap 248 brought out the sixth caution.  On the restart on lap 254, Hamlin jumped to the lead by powering fast on the outside of Harvick coming off turn 2.

Hamlin held off an aggressive attempt for the lead by Keselowski on a lap 261 restart, and Keselowski washed up the track off turn 3 to fall to sixth.  From that point on, Hamlin enjoyed clean air at the front of the field, and any chance Harvick had of winning died when his fuel ran out.

Optimistic Hamlin, along with new crew chief Darian Grubb, already were looking forward to this season's next to last race when the series returns to PIR for the November 9-11 weekend.  Fans also looking ahead to thrilling racing may purchase tickets now on-line at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com.

Related PIR News

  • 3/03/15

    DJ MICHAELIS MIXING UP ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP DURING CAMPINGWORLD.COM 500 WEEKEND

    Race weekend entertainment for the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway will feature a new spin on driver introductions as world-renowned DJ Michaelis applies his own flair, mixing all music related to the PIR “Like A Boss” marketing campaign.

  • 3/03/15

    VIDEO AD & TICKET PROMOTION TO PAVE HARVICK’S PHOENIX RETURN

    What has Kevin Harvick done at Phoenix? Quite literally, a lot, and it’s being celebrated by JR Motorsports with a creative, new video at JRMRacing.com and by Phoenix International Raceway with a special ticket package for its March race weekend.

  • 2/26/15

    FORMER OLYMPIAN DAN HENDERSON TO SERVE AS OFFICIAL PACE CAR DRIVER FOR CAMPINGWORLD.COM 500

    Two-time Olympian and current UFC star Dan Henderson will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car at the start of the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 15. Henderson’s appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment. As the official pace car driver, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.

  • 2/20/15

    PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY HONORED THREE TIMES BY NASCAR

    Phoenix International Raceway was honored twice in recent weeks by NASCAR for outstanding work in the areas of marketing and community outreach. Earlier this year, PIR's 50th Anniversary was named NASCAR's Marketing Campaign of the Year and the PIR Track Services team received NASCAR's Track Services Teamwork Award; and today, PIR Communications Manager Greg Fresquez received NASCAR's Industry Ambassador Award.

  • 2/19/15

    KEVIN HARVICK TO APPEAR AT BUDWEISER ROLL-BAR CLUB DURING CAMPINGWORLD.COM 500 WEEKEND AT PIR

    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet, is scheduled to appear at Phoenix International Raceway’s Budweiser ROLL-BAR Club for a moderated question and answer session before the CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 15.

Facebook

© 2015 Phoenix International Raceway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites