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Last Updated Sunday, Apr 29, 2007 1:19 am, EDT

Subway Fresh Fit 500

Status: Final Phoenix International Raceway

Race Capsule

Phoenix International Raceway
  • What:

    Race 8 of 41 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ

  • When:

    April 21, 2007 8:45 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    312

  • Track Length:

    1. miles

  • Race Length:

    312.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,961,431

Drivers to Watch

Jeff Gordon Four-time series champion is on an early pace to capture another crown, placing inside the top 12 in all seven races; despite strong start and fourth-place showing last week, had lead in standings over Jeff Burton cut to eight points; was runner-up to teammate Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville after running third at Bristol to move atop the series standings; placed 10th in this event last season and has four top-five finishes in his last seven starts at this track.
Jimmie Johnson Defending series champion had won three of his previous four races before an accident with Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart on lap 239 last week dropped him to 38th; tough break also dropped him a spot in the standings to fourth, 181 points behind Gordon, his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports; bounced back from a 16th-place finish at Bristol to win at Martinsville, holding off Gordon down the stretch; placed seventh in this event last year and was runner-up to Kevin Harvick in the fall race at this track.
Kurt Busch Car; No. 2 Dodge Charger Despite failing to place any higher than seventh this season, has four finishes within the top 12, including one in each of his last two races; since starting fourth at the Daytona 500, has only one other start within the top 10 this season; began 42nd at Food City 500 only due to provisional qualifying based on owner points from last season; has five top-10 finishes in his last six appearances in Phoenix; won this inaugural event in 2005.
Kevin Harvick Has struggled since winning the Daytona 500, placing outside the top 15 in five of his last six races; rebounded from a trio of poor performances by finishing fourth at Bristol but placed just 41st at Martinsville the next week and 29th at Texas last week; has fallen nine spots in the past three weeks to 14th in the standings; made a late charge at California but was hampered by a flat tire on the final restart and finished 17th; edged Mark Martin by 0.02 seconds in the tightest Daytona 500, opening the season with the biggest victory of his career; won this event last year and has captured a checkered flag in each of his last two appearances at this track.
Tony Stewart Ran into trouble for second time in last three races after being involved in accident with Johnson and Juan Pablo Montoya at Samsung 500 but stayed in running to finish 25th; prior to a seventh at Martinsville, stumbled to 35th place at Bristol due to a faulty fuel pump; was runner-up to Johnson at Atlanta, his third straight top-10 finish; has fared well since suffering a heartbreaking outcome at Daytona, where he had the best car before being knocked off the lead by Busch on lap 152; finished runner-up to Harvick at this event last season; has five top-10 finishes in Phoenix since winning debut in 1999.
Kasey Kahne Has yet to break out of an awful start this season, finishing 19th or worst in each of the last six races since placing seventh at Daytona; ended up 20th at Texas Motor Speedway last week and is just 33rd in the standings; after capturing a series-leading six checkered flags last year, has not won this season; started 22nd in this event last year before rallying for a sixth-place showing.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Appeared to be making his way up the standings until engine trouble last week forced him to 36th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last week, dropping him seven spots to 18th; also finished as the driver of the car of teammate Kyle Busch, who left in frustration after a wreck and could not be found when the car was ready; recorded best finish of season three weeks ago at Martinsville, running fifth; placed seventh in the previous race at Bristol; was a huge disappointment over the first four races, failing to register a top-10 finish; may have been bothered by recent distractions stemming from his ongoing contract negotiations with DEI; placed fourth in inaugural race here in 2005 and 23rd last year; a two-time winner in nine career starts at Phoenix.
Matt Kenseth Former champion continued climb up standings with second-place showing at Texas Motor Speedway, jumping a spot to third; sits 125 points behind Gordon; outside of finishing 27th at Daytona, has placed no lower than 11th, including his second straight checkered flag at California; has four top-five finishes; after being involved in an accident in the inaugural edition of this race, placed third behind Harvick and Tony Stewart last year; finished 13th in fall race at this track; won in Phoenix in 2002.
Jeff Burton Coming off his first win of the season at the Samsung 500, slicing his deficit behind standings leader Jeff Gordon to just eight points; has run inside the top five in five of the first seven races; ran sixth two weeks ago at Martinsville and narrowly missed capturing his first checkered flag of the season in the previous race at Bristol, finishing just .064 seconds behind winner Kyle Busch; had a chance to wreck Busch along the last two turns but opted to avoid the crash and secure second place; finished third in the season-opening Daytona 500; ran ninth in this event last season and placed third in the inaugural race in 2005; has eight top-10 finishes in last 11 starts in Phoenix, including a win in 2000 and 2001.