NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Subway Fresh Fit 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, February 27th
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway (1964) -- Avondale, Arizona
TRACK: one-mile oval - 1,179 feet (Frontstretch); 1,551 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 76,812 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Gordon
POLE WINNER: AJ Allmendinger (Finished 15th)
LAPS: 312
MILES: 312 (500 kilometers)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Ryan Newman, 2004 (135.854 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Tony Stewart, 1999 (118.132 m.p.h. -- 500 kilometers)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,318,679 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $235,804; 2nd Place - $203,901; 3rd Place - $191,303
2010 Finish
1Ryan Newman146Matt Kenseth27
2Jeff Gordon107Carl Edwards9
3Jimmie Johnson168Kyle Busch17
4Mark Martin239Clint Bowyer25
5Juan Pablo Montoya710Joey Logano6
2010 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Facts and Figures
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 48 minutes, 14 seconds (600-kilometer race)
AVERAGE SPEED: 99.372 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.130 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 59 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 20 among 13 drivers
POLE WINNER: AJ Allmendinger (134.675 m.p.h.)
Past Subway Fresh Fit 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Ryan Newman (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 99.372 m.p.h. (600-kilometer race)
2009 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 108.042 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 103.292 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 107.710 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 107.063 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kurt Busch (2nd) -- Ford -- 102.707 m.p.h.
NOTE: Previously called Subway Fresh 500 (2005-06), Subway Fresh Fit 500
(2007-09). Race changed from 500 kilometers to 600 (2010), and then from
600 kilometers to 500 (2011).
Past Subway Fresh Fit 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- AJ Allmendinger -- 15th
2009 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
2008 -- Ryan Newman -- 43rd
2007 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
2006 -- Kyle Busch -- 36th
2005 -- Jeff Gordon -- 12th
Last Race Results
RACE: Daytona 500 (February 20th)
SITE: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Florida
MILES: 520
LAPS: 208
WINNER: Trevor Bayne
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
THIRD: David Gilliland
FOURTH: Bobby Labonte
FIFTH: Kurt Busch
POLE WINNER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Finished 24th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 59 minutes, 24 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 130.326 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.118 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 16 for 60 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 74 among 22 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Earnhardt Jr. - pole; Ku Busch 1; Harvick 2; Ku Busch 3;
Allmendinger 4; Harvick 5-8; Allmendinger 9; J. Gordon 10;
Allmendinger 11-12; Brad Keselowski 13-15; Labonte B. 16-17;
Menard 18-21; Montoya 22-23; Bowyer 24-28; McMurray 29-36; Menard
37-39; Keselowski 40-45; Blaney 46-48; T.Labonte 49-50; Ku Busch
51; Menard 52-53; Bowyer 54-57; Montoya 58-60; Ku Busch 61-65;
Burton 66-67; Smith 68-72; Bowyer 73-74; Burton 75-77; Earnhardt
Jr. 78-80; McMurray 81-82; Newman 83-85; Truex Jr. 86-87; Bowyer
88-90; Ku Busch 91-96; Newman 97; R. Gordon 98-99; Truex Jr. 100;
McMurray 101; Newman 102-105; R. Gordon 106-110; Ku Busch 111;
Bowyer 112; Ku Busch 113; Bowyer 114; Ku Busch 115; Truex Jr.
116-117; Ku Busch 118; Menard 119-120; Ky Busch 121; Truex Jr.
122; Ky Busch 123; Truex Jr. 124; Ky Busch 125; Truex Jr. 126-128;
Bowyer 129; Truex Jr. 130; Bowyer 131-140; Truex Jr. 141-146; Ku
Busch 147; Earnhardt Jr. 148-152; Newman 153-159; Earnhardt Jr.
160; Newman 161-163; Hamlin 164-170; Newman 171-175; Ragan 176;
Bowyer 177-178; Newman 179-180; Bowyer 181; Newman 182-192; Bowyer
193; Smith 194-195; Newman 196; Ragan 197-202; Bayne 203-208.
Subway Fresh Fit 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Best Western
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
09Bill Elliott (Dawsonville, GA)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Stanley
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Freight
13Casey Mears (Bakerfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Crown Royal
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Combo's
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Ford/TBA
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Ford/TBA
38Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Long John Silver's
39 *Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Tornados
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Valvoline
46J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Red Line Oil
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Clorox
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA
60Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Big Red
64Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing LLC
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Chevrolet/Eco-Fuel Saver
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
92Brian Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/TBA
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Subway
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last six years)
Ryan Newman14th39th38th43rd16thWon
Jeff Gordon12th10thWon13th25th2nd
Jimmie Johnson15th7th4thWon4th3rd
Mark Martin16th11th12th5thWon4th
Juan Pablo Montoya------33rd16th24th5th
Matt Kenseth42nd3rd5th38th27th6th
Carl Edwards7th4th11th4th10th7th
Kyle Busch8th36th7th10th17th8th
Clint Bowyer22nd5th22nd2nd26th9th
Joey Logano------------21st10th
Dale Earnhardt Jr4th23rd19th7th31st12th
Kevin Harvick19thWon10th19th30th13th
Brad Keselowski---------------16th
Martin Truex Jr.---22nd20th8th7th17th
David Reutimann------32nd18th8th20th
Greg Biffle41st15th17th9th5th22nd
Tony Stewart33rd2nd2nd14th2nd23rd
Jamie McMurray25th14th23rd17th11th24th
Jeff Burton3rd9th13th6th15th25th
Paul Menard------25th21st23rd29th
Denny Hamlin---34th3rd3rd6th30th
Kurt BuschWon24th18th23rd3rd35th
Brian Vickers5th13th---25th19th37th
Kasey Kahne17th6th31st36th13th39th
Trevor Bayne------------------
Mover of the Week
David Gilliland - Started 39th on the grid and finished 3rd
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jeff Gordon
Darkhorse - David Ragan
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 24th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Greg Biffle) - Finished 35th
Moved up on the schedule this year after an April start in 2010, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 takes center stage on the Sprint Cup docket this week.

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA had hosted the second round in the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule from 2005-10. NASCAR made several changes to its 2011 Cup schedule, with Phoenix taking over the second race date on the calendar.

The series will not run again at Phoenix until November 13, allowing plenty of time for the track to be repaved. Sprint Cup teams have run on the original surface at Phoenix since the series started racing here in 1988. The new asphalt and certain tweaks in the configuration of the track should produce side-by-side racing in the future.

Last season, Ryan Newman benefited from a late-race caution to end a 77-race winless streak to win at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman passed Jeff Gordon for the lead during a two-lap overtime finish, and then held off Gordon by 0.13 seconds for his 14th career Cup victory but his first since the 2008 Daytona 500. During the caution, Busch and then second-place runner Jimmie Johnson pitted for four tires, while Gordon and Newman took two tires only. Gordon exited the pits first, followed by Newman. Busch and Johnson fell back in the field. Just after the final restart, Newman pulled even with Gordon and then made the winning pass on the backstretch. Newman led just four laps in the 375-lap race.

Starting from the pole position, Mark Martin dominated the 2009 running of the spring race at Phoenix International Raceway, as he crossed the finish line 0.734 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart for his 36th career Sprint Cup title. Martin, whose win total now stands at 40, good for 16th on the all-time winners list, led five times for a race-high 157 laps, as he became the second pole winner to win this race.

In 2008, Jimmie Johnson overcame an early race mistake by stretching his final tank of fuel for the final 81 laps and win his 34th Sprint Cup title. Johnson, who now totals 53 wins, led the final 11 laps to edge Clint Bowyer by seven seconds. Pole sitter Ryan Newman failed to finish the race due to engine problems and placed last.

When Jeff Gordon raced to victory in 2007, he tied the great Dale Earnhardt for sixth on the all-time list with 76 career Sprint Cup titles. Gordon, who started on the pole, has increased his total to 82 victories and is just one shy of Cale Yarbrough for fifth. Gordon opened the race leading the first 28 laps, but did not regain the lead until lap 287. Tony Stewart, who led for 132 laps, could not hold off Gordon, who reclaimed the advantage on lap 300 and held on the rest of the way for a .697 of a seconds win over Stewart. Only two of the 43 cars failed to finish the race. Gordon has recorded 17 top-10 finishes in 24 races in Phoenix, but has just one win.

In 2006, Kevin Harvick swept both Arizona races, as he captured the Nationwide Series race on Friday and then cruised to victory the following evening in the Sprint Cup event. Harvick, who won for the sixth time in his career at the time, finished well ahead of Tony Stewart to complete the double. Harvick started in the 15th position and did not move in front until the 303rd lap, but it was good enough to post a 2.774 seconds victory. Pole sitter Kyle Busch led the first seven laps, but finished well back at 36th. Greg Biffle, who started second on the grid, led six times for a race-high 151 laps and placed 15th.

Although this is just the seventh spring race in Arizona, NASCAR has raced in Phoenix since the late 1970s. The occasion was an event in what is now the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. Staged a few days after the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series event attracted NASCAR Sprint Cup teams en route from California - a tradition that lasted from 1977 through 1982.

The one-mile Arizona track opened in March 1964. Its first race was an open- wheel event won by A.J. Foyt. In the 29 previous races in Phoenix, only four pole sitters have emerged victorious. Over 50-percent of the winners have come from the top-10.

Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno will serve as the Grand Marshall for this weekend's race. The National Anthem will be sung by Emmy Rossum.

The Sprint Cup Series moves on to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the March 6th running of the Kobalt Tools 400. Jimmie Johnson won last year's race there.

02/25 13:49:35 ET

As of February 25, 2011, at 01:49 PM ET
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