Scores & Stats
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Preview

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DATE: Sunday, November 9th
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
TRACK: 1-mile paved oval speedway
CAPACITY: 76,812
ANNUAL: 21st
ANNOUNCERS: Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
START TIME: 3:45 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Greg Biffle
POLE SITTER: Carl Edwards (Finished 42nd)
LAPS: 312
MILES: 312 (500 kilometers)
QUALIFYING RECORD: 135.854 m.p.h. (Ryan Newman, 2004)
RACE RECORD: 118.132 m.p.h. (Tony Stewart, 1999)
TOTAL PURSE: $4,998,497 (2007 figure)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $245,011; 2nd - $175,075; 3rd - $172,291 (2007 figures)
2007 Finish
1Jimmie Johnson66Kevin Harvick34
2Greg Biffle77Martin Truex Jr2
3Matt Kenseth188Kyle Busch38
4Tony Stewart219Jeff Burton12
5Ryan Newman1310Jeff Gordon3
2007 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 102.989 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.870 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 42 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 10 among 6 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (132.773 m.p.h.)
Past Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Winners (car) and Speed
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet) -- 102.989 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet) -- 96.131 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kyle Busch (Chevrolet) -- 102.641 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (Chevrolet) -- 94.848 m.p.h.
2003 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (Chevrolet) -- 93.984 m.p.h.
2002 -- Matt Kenseth (Ford) -- 113.857 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Burton (Ford) -- 102.613 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Burton (Ford) -- 105.041 m.p.h.
1999 -- Tony Stewart (Pontiac) -- 118.132 m.p.h. (race record)
1998 -- Rusty Wallace (Ford) -- 108.211 m.p.h.
1997 -- Dale Jarrett (Ford) -- 110.824 m.p.h.
1996 -- Bobby Hamilton (Pontiac) -- 109.709 m.p.h.
1995 -- Ricky Rudd (Ford) -- 102.128 m.p.h.
1994 -- Terry Labonte (Chevrolet) -- 107.463 m.p.h.
1993 -- Mark Martin (Ford) -- 100.375 m.p.h.
1992 -- Davey Allison (Ford) -- 103.885 m.p.h.
1991 -- Davey Allison (Ford) -- 95.746 m.p.h.
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (Chevrolet) -- 96.786 m.p.h.
1989 -- Bill Elliott (Ford) -- 105.683 m.p.h.
1988 -- Alan Kulwicki (Ford) -- 90.457 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Checker 500 (1988, 1990), Autoworks 500 (1989), Pyroil
500 (1991), Pyroil 500k (1992), Slick 50 500 (1993-94), Dura Lube 500
(1995-97), Dura Lube/KMart 300 (1998), Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500k
(2000), Checker Auto Parts 500 (2001-07).
Past Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2007 -- Carl Edwards -- 42nd
2006 -- Jeff Gordon -- 4th
2005 -- Denny Hamlin -- 13th
2004 -- Ryan Newman -- 2nd
2003 -- Ryan Newman -- 3rd
2002 -- Ryan Newman -- 18th
2001 -- Casey Atwood -- 14th
2000 -- Rusty Wallace -- 4th
1999 -- John Andretti -- 8th
1998 -- Ken Schrader -- 22nd
1997 -- Bobby Hamilton -- 3rd
1996 -- Bobby Labonte -- 9th
1995 -- Bill Elliott -- 14th
1994 -- Sterling Marlin -- 3rd
1993 -- Bill Elliott -- 5th
1992 -- Rusty Wallace -- 28th
1991 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 8th
1990 -- Rusty Wallace -- 38th
1989 -- Ken Schrader -- 13th
1988 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 6th
Last Race Results
RACE: Dickies 500 (November 2nd)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas
MILES: 501
LAPS: 334
WINNER: Carl Edwards
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Gordon
THIRD: Jamie McMurray
FOURTH: Clint Bowyer
FIFTH: Greg Biffle
POLE WINNER: Jeff Gordon (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 28 minutes, 26 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 144.219 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 8.310 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 26 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 16 among 9 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Gordon 1-15, Bowyer 16-48, Reutimann 49-52, Earnhardt 53,
Bowyer 54-56, Edwards 57-111, Reutimann 112, Vickers 113-117,
Edwards 118-144, Biffle 145, Edwards 146-240, Ky. Busch 241,
Edwards 242-263, Ky. Busch 264, McMurray 265-320, Biffle 321,
Edwards 322-334.
Checker Auto Parts 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Martin Truex Jr (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
01Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Principal Financial
2Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Cheez-It/CARQUEST
6David Ragan (Kannapolis, NC)Ford/AAA Insurance
07Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Jack Daniels
7Robby Gordon (Cerritos, CA)Dodge/Jim Beam
8Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
09Sterling Marlin (Columbia, TN)Chevrolet/Miccosukee Gaming
9Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Dodge/Budweiser
10A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Dodge/McDonald's
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
12Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Dodge/Alltel
15Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Peak
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/Red Cross
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Dewalt
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Pedigree
19Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Dodge/Siemens
20Tony Stewart (Rushville, IN)Toyota/Home Depot
21Bill Elliott (Dawsonville, GA)Ford/Little Debbie
22Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Toyota/Caterpillar
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
26Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Ford/IRWIN
28Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/All Sport
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Shell-Pennzoil
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/AT&T Mobility
38David Gilliland (Torrance, CA)Ford/Digital TV Transition
41Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Dodge/Target AMP
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Dodge/Texaco/Havoline
43Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Dodge/Cheerios/Betty Crocker
44David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/UPS
45Kyle Petty (Trinity, NC)Dodge/Wells Fargo
47Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Toyota/Little Debbie's
48 *Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
55Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/NAPA
66Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/State Water Heaters
70Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
77Sam Hornish Jr (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Mobil 1
78Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
84Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Toyota/Red Bull
88Dale Earnhardt Jr (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/AMP Energy
96Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Toyota/DLP HDTV
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Office Depot
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last seven years)
Jimmie Johnson---15th2nd6th7th2ndWon
Greg Biffle------15th13th2nd34th2nd
Matt Kenseth4thWon6th36th32nd13th3rd
Tony Stewart5th8th18th8th4th14th4th
Ryan Newman40th18th3rd2nd12th15th5th
Kevin Harvick17th17th34th4th23rdWon6th
Martin Truex Jr---------------12th7th
Kyle Busch------------Won38th8th
Jeff BurtonWon12th8th11th15th10th9th
Jeff Gordon6th3rd7th3rd3rd4th10th
Clint Bowyer----------------33rd11th
Kurt Busch22nd6th4th10th---8th12th
Denny Hamlin------------13th3rd16th
David Ragan------------------32nd
Kasey Kahne---------5th27th7th40th
Carl Edwards---------37th6th5th42nd
Dale Earnhardt Jr37th5thWonWon40th9th43rd
Mark Martin19th4th10th15th14th6th---
Mover of the Week
Jeff Burton - Started in the 38th position and finished 13th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jeff Burton
Darkhorse - Dale Earnhardt Jr
Last Week's Pick to Win (Carl Edwards) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Martin Truex Jr) - Finished 8th
Two weeks ago, Carl Edwards sat fourth in the championship standings and trailed leader Jimmie Johnson by 198 points, but after winning back-to-back races - at Atlanta and Texas - Edwards has moved to within 106 points of Johnson in second place. Edwards became the first driver to score three Cup victories at Texas, marking the fourth consecutive time the fall race winner at Atlanta also won the following week at Texas. Edwards began the streak in 2005, with Tony Stewart doing it in 2006 and Johnson accomplishing it last year.

Anything is possible. In 1992, Alan Kulwicki trailed leader Bill Elliott by 85 points with two races remaining, but Kulwicki's fourth-place finish compared to a 31st-place run for Elliott at Phoenix allowed Kulwicki to take a 10-point lead into the season-finale at Atlanta. He finished the year with the same point-margin over Elliott, making it one of the closest championship battles in the sport's history.

Last year, Jimmie Johnson continued the Chevrolet dominance in this race, as he posted his 33rd career Sprint Cup title, defeating Greg Biffle by less than a second. Johnson, who now owns 39th titles, led twice for 55 laps, including the final 24. Pole sitter Carl Edwards led the first 87 laps, but failed to finish due to engine problems and placed 42nd.

In 2006, Kevin Harvick crossed the finish line 0.250 of a second ahead of Jimmie Johnson to claim his 10th career Sprint Cup title and fifth of the 2006 campaign. Harvick, who started second on the grid, led for a whopping 252 laps, including the final 30. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon was out in front for the first three laps and finished fourth.

Kyle Busch out-dueled Greg Biffle in 2005 by less than a second for his second career Sprint Cup title. Busch led for a total of 63 laps, including the final 28 in front of a crowd of 105,000. Busch, who started 15th on the grid, led on three separate occasions, while Biffle led four times for 189 laps. Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led for 23 laps and finished 13th.

One final note on this race. The pole sitter has never won this race in the previous 20 attempts and overall, only once in the history of Phoenix has the top spot taken the checkered flag. That distinction goes to Jeff Gordon back in April of 2007.

The final race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is Sunday, November 16th at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford 400, as Matt Kenseth defends his title.

11/04 18:43:41 ET

As of November 4, 2008, at 06:43 PM ET

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