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Denny Hamlin is Surprising Winner in NASCAR’s Subway Fresh Fit 500: Fan Recap
NASCAR drivers took to the track this Sunday afternoon, March 4, at the Phoenix International Raceway for the Sprint Cup Series race, the Subway Fresh Fit 500. While Denny Hamlin may not have been the the driver many had on the top of their list to win, he managed to come away with his first victory here in Avondale, Arizona after leading the last 59 laps.
After a rather disappointing 2011, in which his struggled most of the year and ended up finishing in ninth place, 2012 could very well be a different story for Hamlin. At the flame-filled Daytona 500, Hamlin was impressive, leading for the most laps, but ended up settling for a decent fourth place finish. After today's win, he moves up three spots in the Sprint Cup Series standings to take the lead from Matt Kenseth who finished the race in 13th place and fell back three places in the standings.
Hamlin was able to hold off drivers Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle who came in at second and third respectively. Jimmie Johnson got a great start and was leading early on with the fastest car on the track, but after experiencing mechanical problems he was lucky to come out with a fourth place finish. Brad Keselowski finished behind Johnson in fifth place.
Although there were no major incidents in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, a few of the drivers had issues that took them out of contention, including Tony Stewart who was unable to get his Chevy started after a caution on lap 47 and was set back two laps.
Hamlin's victory today was the 18th of his career, and he becomes the 23rd different to driver to win on the Phoenix track in 32 races.
The defending race winner, Jeff Gordon, finished in eighth place, gaining 13 spots in the standings, sitting in 22nd place after today. Kyle Busch took sixth place in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, moving him up eight spots in the standings to ninth, while Martin Truex Jr.'s seventh place finish moves him up six spots to number six in the standings.
Mark Martin and Joey Logano took ninth and tenth place in the race today, respectively. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues his long winless streak, finishing in 14th place and dropping to fifth in the standings.
Next Sunday's race brings NASCAR drivers out to Las Vegas in the Kobalt Tools 400.
K.C. Dermody grew up watching auto racing at the old Baylands Raceway in Fremont, California, and has been a fan ever since.
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