Monday, February 25, 2013

Phoenix Raceway History and Notes


· 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 first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.

· The track underwent its first repave in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year.

· The following changes were made during the construction period (March – Sept., 2011):

o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet

o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls

o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet

o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet

o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4

· There have been 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.

· 184 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 134 in more than one.

· Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.)

· There have been 19 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.

· Youngest Phoenix pole winner: Kyle Busch (4/22/06 – 20 years, 11 months, 20 days).

· Oldest Phoenix pole winner: Mark Martin (03/04/12 – 53 years, 1 months, 24 days).

· Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards 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, and Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.

· There have been 23 different race winners at Phoenix, seven of which have won more than once, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four – (’07 fall, ’08 sweep, ’09 fall).

· The seven drivers who have won more than once at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson (four), Kevin Harvick (three), Davey Allison (two), Jeff Burton (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Jeff Gordon (two) and Mark Martin (two).

· Of the seven drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009).

· The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).

· The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 17 of 33 events.

· Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

· Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.

· Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.

· Mark Martin has 21 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (9.0 average finish) is one of two active drivers who average a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (6.6) is the other.

· Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006.

· Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).

· Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with six.

· Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway winner: Phoenix International Raceway winner: Kyle Busch (11/13/2005 – 20 years, 6 months, 11 days).

· Oldest NSCS Phoenix International Raceway winner: Mark Martin (04/18/2009 – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days).

· Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Tony Stewart with three.

· Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 12 each.

· Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Bobby Hamilton (10/27/1996) are the only two drivers to post their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Phoenix International Raceway.

· 21 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Phoenix participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Tony Stewart (11/7/1999) are the only two drivers to win at Phoenix in their first appearance.

· Jeff Gordon competed at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times before winning (4/21/2007); the longest span of any the 23 winners.

· Six drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Phoenix: Jeff Gordon (16), Ryan Newman (15), Kasey Kahne (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Carl Edwards (12) and Rusty Wallace (11).

· Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 28.

· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix was the (4/10/2010) race won by Ryan Newman with a MOV of 0.13 seconds.

· Seven of the 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Phoenix have been won from the front row.

· Five drivers have won the first two races of the season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the first two times did not include the Daytona 500: Lee Petty (Daytona Beach Course, Tri-City Speedway; 1954), Marvin Panch (Willow Springs Speedway, Concord Speedway; 1956), David Pearson (Riverside, Daytona; 1976), Jeff Gordon (Daytona, Rockingham; 1997) and Matt Kenseth (Daytona, Auto Club).

· Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champions have gone on to win at Phoenix the following season; Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Kurt Busch (2005) and Bill Elliott (1989).

· Two drivers have won at Phoenix and the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in the same season: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Dale Earnhardt (1990).

· Danica Patrick is the only female driver to have made a NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Phoenix International Raceway. She did so last season (11/11/12) starting 37th and finishing 17th.

- NASCAR Statistics

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