News & Media

By the Numbers: Trends at Phoenix commonplace in recent years

November 10, 2011, ,

Phoenix International Raceway is a 1-mile tri-oval that has undergone a reconfiguring and repaving project. Among the changes:

-- Pit stalls from asphalt to concrete

-- Frontstretch widened from 52 to 62 feet

-- Dogleg moved out by 95 feet, and radius of the dogleg tightened from 800 to 500 feet

-- Progressive banking in the corners and the dogleg with the first and second turns and the dogleg changed to 10-11 degrees (was 11 degrees) and the third and fourth turns changed to 8-9 degrees (was 9 degrees)

NATIONWIDE SERIES | Wypall 200 (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday)

3 -- Consecutive fall victories at Phoenix for Carl Edwards, who is just one of two drivers entered who have won a series race there: Clint Bowyer (April 2007). All four of Edwards' wins at PIR have come in November races.

Side note: Edwards is the only non-Joe Gibbs Racing driver who has won a pole in the past seven races (he has two); Edwards has three poles overall, winning the race in 2005. He has started on the front row in each of the past six races.

7 -- Place of finish for points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the February race at Phoenix, five spots better than Elliott Sadler. Stenhouse has three top-10s in as many races at PIR, finishing ninth in his first two starts there.

Side note: Sadler, who trails Stenhouse by 17 points, has a runner-up finish (April 2005) in five Nationwide races at PIR; his 12th-place finish in February is his second-best result.

8 -- Times in the past 11 races at Phoenix the last green-flag stretch was eight laps or less. Six times in that stretch the race has ended with a green-white-checkered finish. (In all, seven races at PIR have ended with a G-W-C finish, most of all tracks, but none in the past four races).

Side note: The average green-flag stretch has been 24 laps or less in 14 of the 19 races at PIR.

10 -- The driver leading the most laps has won the past 10 races at Phoenix. Only one winner during that span -- Carl Edwards in November 2008 -- failed to reach the 100-lap led mark (78).

Side note: The winner has led more than 100 laps in 14 of the 19 races at PIR.

Very Interesting

9 -- Drivers who have led every lap in a race, most recently by Kyle Busch at Phoenix in February (200 laps), marking the 17th time a series race has been won by a driver leading every lap. Sam Ard and Tommy Ellis are the only drivers to do it more than once in series history. Busch is not entered in this week's race.

Side note: Prior to Busch, the last driver to lead every lap was Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona in July 2003.

* February race at Phoenix: Results | Videos

SPRINT CUP SERIES | Kobalt Tools 200 (3 p.m. ET Sunday)

6 -- Times in the past 10 races at Phoenix the last green-flag stretch has been 22 laps or less (22 in February).

Side note: There have been two green-white-checkered finishes at PIR (each extended by one lap), both won the driver leading at the scheduled distance: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (November 2004) and Jimmie Johnson (November 2008).

7 -- Times in the past 12 races at Phoenix the leader of the most laps hasn't won, including the past three.

Side note: Ryan Newman led just four laps in April 2010, the only time a PIR winner has failed to lead double-digit laps.

7 -- Wins by Hendrick Motorsports drivers in the past nine races at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (2) and Mark Martin (1). The only non-Hendrick winners were Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards, who won the spring and fall races in 2010, respectively.

Side note: Hendrick leads all teams at Phoenix in wins (9) and poles (8).

28 -- Lead changes in the February race at Phoenix, a track record. The previous mark of 23 was set in November 2000.

Side note: There has never been a last-lap pass for the win at Phoenix.

Very Interesting

2 -- Consecutive days in which Mark Martin established Phoenix records for oldest pole and race winners. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports in 2009, Martin won the pole on April 17, 2009, at age 50 years, 3 months, 8 days; he won the race a day later, at age 50 years, 3 months, 9 days.

Side note: The same driver holds the records as the youngest pole and race winners at PIR: Kyle Busch, then driving for Hendrick Motorsports, won his second career race on Nov. 13, 2005, at age 20 years, 6 months, 11 days; the following April 20, 2006, he won his second career pole, at age 20 years, 11 months, 18 days.

* February race at Phoenix: Results | Videos

PHOENIX | Chase for the Sprint Cup

15 -- Times a driver in this year's Chase has won in the past 16 races at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson (4), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2), Jeff Gordon (2), Kevin Harvick (2), Kyle Busch (1), Kurt Busch (1), Carl Edwards (1), Matt Kenseth (1) and Ryan Newman (1). Mark Martin (April 2009) is the lone exception.

Side note 1: Only one Chase race at Phoenix has been won by a non-Chase driver: Kyle Busch in 2005.

Side note 2: Three times the winner of Chase race at Phoenix has won the championship: Jimmie Johnson (2007, '08 and '09).

21 -- Difference in points earned between Tony Stewart (38) and Carl Edwards (17) in the February race at Phoenix. Stewart started 18th, led 59 laps and finished seventh. Edwards started from the pole, led 21 laps and finished 28th.

Side note: Contact with Kyle Busch put Edwards in the wall, and he finished 60 laps off the pace after repairs.

138 -- Laps led in the February race by winner Jeff Gordon, the first time in 25 starts he has led the most laps at Phoenix.

Side note 1: Gordon's victory ended a 66-race winless streak, the third consecutive race at PIR where a driver has ended a winless string of at least that many races: Ryan Newman (77 races) in April 2010; Carl Edwards (70 races) last November.

Side note 2: Gordon is one of six Chase drivers who have ended a winless streak of at least 32 races this season: Matt Kenseth (76), Brad Keselowski (60), Ryan Newman (47), Kurt Busch (38) and Tony Stewart (32). Only one Chase driver has an active winless streak of greater length: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (127).

190 -- Laps led in last November's race by Denny Hamlin, most of any non-winner. Hamlin pitted late for fuel under green and finished 12th.

Side note: Hamlin is one of two Chase drivers this year who hasn't won at Phoenix: Brad Keselowski.

Very Interesting

2 -- Consecutive races at Phoenix in which Carl Edwards has set the track qualifying record. He first set the mark last November with a speed of 136.389 mph (26.395 seconds) before winning the race. He broke his own record in February with a speed of 137.279 mph (26.224 seconds).

Side note: Tony Stewart holds the Phoenix race record with an average speed of 118.132 mph in November 1999.

PHOENIX MISC. | Order tickets

3 -- Hall of Fame drivers who competed at Phoenix: Dale Earnhardt (one win, five top-fives, nine top-10s in 13 starts); Darrell Waltrip (four top-fives, seven top-10s in 13 starts); Richard Petty (in five starts had a best finish of 22nd, in the next-to-last race of his career).

Side note: Earnhardt led 262 laps in November 1990, the most of any winner at PIR.

3 -- Drivers who have won a Nationwide and Cup race in the same weekend at Phoenix: Jeff Burton (November 2000); Kevin Harvick (April 2006); Carl Edwards (November 2010).

Side note: Six drivers have won in both series: Burton (1 NNS/2 Cup); Kyle Busch (4 NNS/1 Cup); Edwards (4 NNS/1 Cup); Jeff Gordon (1 NNS/2 Cup); Harvick (1 NNS/2 Cup); Matt Kenseth (1 NNS/1 Cup).

15 -- Cost, in millions of dollars, for the reconfiguring and repaving at Phoenix (first time since 1990).

Side note: In all, $100 million has been budgeted for long-term development at PIR.

Very Interesting

5 -- Career Cup wins for Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 Cup Series champion. Kulwicki won the first Cup race held at Phoenix, in November 1988. It also marked his first win and the debut of the Polish Victory Lap.

Side note: Kulwicki's 5.2 average finish in five races at Phoenix is second-best out of the 177 drivers who have competed there; only Jimmie Johnson is better with a 4.81 average finish in his 16 races.

Powered by Racing Recall