NASCAR - Sprint Cup - AdvoCare 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, November 11th
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway (1964) -- Avondale, Arizona
TRACK: one-mile oval - 1,179 feet (Frontstretch); 1,551 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 55,000 (Grandstand seating)
ANNUAL: 25th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 3:15 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Matt Kenseth (Finished 34th)
LAPS: 312
MILES: 312 (500 kilometers)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Carl Edwards, 2011 (137.279 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Tony Stewart, 1999 (118.132 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $4,957,233 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $202,233; 2nd Place - $210,141; 3rd Place - $188,033
2011 Finish
1Kasey Kahne106A.J. Allmendinger2
2Carl Edwards97David Reutimann7
3Tony Stewart88Marcos Ambrose3
4Jeff Burton149Paul Menard11
5Ryan Newman3010Clint Bowyer28
2011 AdvoCare 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 112.918 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.802 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 30 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 7 drivers
POLE WINNER: Matt Kenseth (137.101 m.p.h.)
Past AdvoCare 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kasey Kahne (10th) -- Toyota -- 112.918 m.p.h.
2010 -- Carl Edwards (1st) -- Ford -- 110.758 m.p.h.
2009 -- Jimmie Johnson (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 110.486 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 97.804
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 102.989 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 96.131 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kyle Busch (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 102.641 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 94.848 m.p.h.
2003 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 93.984 m.p.h.
2002 -- Matt Kenseth (28th) -- Ford -- 113.857 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Burton (3rd) -- Ford -- 102.613 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Burton (2nd) -- Ford -- 105.041 m.p.h.
1999 -- Tony Stewart (11th) -- Pontiac -- 118.132 m.p.h. (race record)
1998 -- Rusty Wallace (6th) -- Ford -- 108.211 m.p.h.
1997 -- Dale Jarrett (9th) -- Ford -- 110.824 m.p.h.
1996 -- Bobby Hamilton (17th) -- Pontiac -- 109.709 m.p.h.
1995 -- Ricky Rudd (29th) -- Ford -- 102.128 m.p.h.
1994 -- Terry Labonte (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 107.463 m.p.h.
1993 -- Mark Martin (3rd) -- Ford -- 100.375 m.p.h.
1992 -- Davey Allison (12th) -- Ford -- 103.885 m.p.h.
1991 -- Davey Allison (13th) -- Ford -- 95.746 m.p.h.
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 96.786 m.p.h.
1989 -- Bill Elliott (13th) -- Ford -- 105.683 m.p.h.
1988 -- Alan Kulwicki (21st) -- 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 (2001-08), Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts
500 (2009), Kobalt Tools 500 (2010-11).
Past AdvoCare500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Matt Kenseth -- 34th
2010 -- Carl Edwards -- 1st
2009 -- Martin Truex Jr -- 5th
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
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: AAA Texas 500 (November 4th)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway -- Ft. Worth, Texas
MILES: 502.5.
LAPS: 335
WINNER: Jimmie Johnson
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
THIRD: Kyle Busch
FOURTH: Matt Kenseth
FIFTH: Tony Stewart
POLE WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 41 minutes, 30 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 136.117 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.808 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 49 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 20 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Johnson 1-48; R. Newman 49-50; J. Johnson 51-101; R. Newman
102-105; B. Keselowski 106-118; J. Johnson 119-165; Kyle Busch
166; M. Kenseth 167; T. Bayne 168-171; T. Kvapil 172; J. Johnson
173-190; Kyle Busch 191-223; B. Keselowski 224; Kyle Busch
225-235; B. Keselowski 236-276; Kyle Busch 277-311; J. Johnson
312; B. Keselowski 313-326; J. Johnson 327; B. Keselowski
328-333; J. Johnson 334-335.
AdvoCare 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5 *Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Black & Decker
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Filtrete
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Rheem
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Ford/TBA
33Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Barrett Jackson
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Accell Construction
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Max Q Workforce
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Loan Mart
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Farmland
44David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Ford/No Label Watcher
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Vektor Vodka
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
51Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Chevrolet/Plinker Tactical
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Kasey Kahne---5th27th7th40th13th15th30thWon
Carl Edwards---37th6th5th42nd4th16thWon2nd
Tony Stewart18th8th4th14th4th22nd25th17th3rd
Ryan Newman3rd2nd12th15th5th34th20th2nd5th
Clint Bowyer----------33rd11th12th7th21st10th
Denny Hamlin------13th3rd16th5th3rd12th12th
Greg Biffle15th13th2nd34th2nd11th14th4th13th
Jimmie Johnson2nd6th7th2ndWonWonWon5th14th
Mark Martin10th15th14th6th---14th4th8th16th
Brad Keselowski------------------37th42nd18th
Kevin Harvick34th4th23rdWon6th7th24th6th19th
Martin Truex Jr---------12th7th43rd5th15th20th
Dale Earnhardt JrWonWon40th9th43rd6th35th14th24th
Jeff Gordon7th3rd3rd4th10th41st9th11th32nd
Matt Kenseth6th36th32nd13th3rd15th18th7th34th
Kyle Busch------Won38th8th8th12th13th36th
Mover of the Week
Ryan Newman - Started in the 36th position and finished 12th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Clint Bowyer
Darkhorse - Carl Edwards
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Matt Kenseth) - Finished 4th
Eight down and just two to go, as the Sprint Cup circuit slides into Phoenix this week for the Advocare 500. Only seven points separate Jimmie Johnson from his nearest competitor, Brad Keselowski.

After winning in Texas, Johnson widened his lead by five heading into the desert for the penultimate race of the season.

The championship battle is shaping up to be a repeat of last year's duel between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards. Stewart trailed Edwards by eight points with three races remaining, but Stewart won at Texas and Homestead to claim the title in a points tiebreaker.

Ten drivers are still mathematically eligible for the title. The cut-off after this week will be 49 points. Only Keselowski and Clint Bowyer (-36) currently are within that window. Fourth-place Kasey Kahne (-58) must net 10 points on Johnson to take his slim title hopes to the Nov. 18 season finale at Homestead- Miami Speedway. Reigning champion Stewart is 80 points back and needs a miracle to survive.

Although he has not won in his last five attempts at the track, Johnson has been the dominant driver at PIR. Johnson has four wins, two runner-up finishes and 15 top-10s in 18 starts. In fact, he has failed to finish outside the top-10 only once since April, 2005. His average finish here is 5.2.

Mark Martin is the only other driver with an average finish at PIR under 10 (9.0). Martin boasts 20 top-10 finishes in 31 starts with a pair of wins.

Johnson's three-race win streak here was stopped in 2010 by Edwards, as he snapped a 70-race winless streak. Edwards passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with 47 laps remaining, and then conserved enough fuel to claim his first Sprint Cup win since the 2008 season-ending race at Homestead, FL. Edwards had a dominating weekend at Phoenix by winning the pole and leading the way in all three practices for the 312-mile (500 km) race. Edwards went on to win the final race of the 2010 to place fourth on the points list.

In 2008, Johnson became the first pole sitter to win this race, as he edged Kurt Busch by less than half a second to join Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Burton and Davey Allison as the only back-to-back champions of this race. Johnson led 217 of 313 laps and held off Busch in a green-white-checkered finish.

Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).

Johnson, a 60-race winner in the Sprint Cup Series, continued the Chevrolet dominance in this race in 2007, as he posted his 33rd career title, defeating Greg Biffle by less than a second. Johnson 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, Harvick crossed the finish line 0.250 of a second ahead of Johnson to claim his 10th career Sprint Cup title and fifth of that 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.

This and That from Phoenix International Raceway: Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course. Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988. Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started. In 32 previous races at PIR, the pole sitter has won four times and the top-10 starting spot has captured half of the races. Several changes have been made to PIR, as the frontstretch went from 52 to 62 feet and the dog-leg curve between the second and third turns was pushed out 95 feet. In addition, pit road was reconfigured with the installation of concrete pit stalls. The track was repaved last year.

The standings leader after 34 races has gone on to capture the championship six times, including Johnson in 2006-09. But in the past two seasons the No. 2- ranked driver - Johnson in 2010 and Tony Stewart in 2011 - prevailed. Johnson and Keselowski have each won five times in 2012 with Johnson currently holding a potential tie-breaker based upon most second-place finishes (five to three).

The 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship concludes with the Nov. 18 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tony Stewart clinched his third series championship by winning last year's race there.

11/06 16:43:44 ET

As of November 6, 2012, at 04:44 PM ET
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