April 22nd, 2007 07:50 EST
NASCAR's Jeff Gordon Earns Record Breaking Win At Phoenix
Heading into last nights Nextel Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway Jeff Gordon already felt that he was on top of the world. He came in as the point leader, won the pole on Thursday, and was fastest in the final practice session on Friday. All that Jeff Gordon needed to do was win to cap off an already good weekend of racing.
Phoenix International Raceway was the third stop for the Car Of Tomorrow Â", or COT. But this was the first track the COT ran on that was longer than a half-mile. Phoenix is considered to be a Super Speedway because it is a one mile oval. There were many unknowns heading into the race. But after the race there were not too many complaints about the car.
The race was very clean and only saw two major accidents. The first accident occurred on lap 44 when David Ragan spun in turn one and collected Casey Mears and David Stremme. The second accident occurred on lap 283 when Dave Blaney was rear ended by Carl Edwards.
The lap 283 caution setup a sprint to the finish with about 15 laps to go. Jeff Gordon was the leader on the restart after he made a pit stop when the yellow flag came out. Tony Stewart, who restarted second, made a three wide pass for the lead coming out of turn two. But on the very next lap Jeff Gordon passed Tony Stewart back for the lead. It was smooth sailing for Jeff Gordon all the way to the checkered flag.
Jeff Gordon was able to hold off Tony Stewart and take the win in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Tony Stewart finished in the second position and led the most laps with 132. Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt Kenseth rounded out of the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in the 19th position after being caught on the tail end of the lead lap. The Haas CNC Racing Teams made up of Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter both finished in the top ten.
The win at Phoenix for Jeff Gordon ties Dale Earnhardt for sixth in all time wins. Both Gordon and Earnhardt have 76 wins. To honor the late great Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon made a victory lap with a black #3 flag in hand. Jeff Gordon was congratulated in victory lane by Dale Earnhardt Jr. This was also the first time any driver has won from the pole position at Phoenix International Raceway. Last nights win was Gordon`s first career at Phoenix and first win since Chicagoland in 2006. Jeff Gordon now extends his point lead to 74 over Jeff Burton.
Next weekend the NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series heads to Talladega Super Speedway for the Aaron`s 312 and Aaron`s 499.