Memorable moments at Phoenix
By Staff report | Thursday, March 5, 2020
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1988In the first NASCAR Cup Series race at the track, Alan Kulwicki earns his first series win and drives clockwise around the track, coining the move a 'Polish Victory Lap.'
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1991Davey Allison hoists his first of two consecutive trophies at the track.
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1996Bobby Hamilton earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory and put the No. 43 car back in Victory Lane for the first time in 12 years.
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2004Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates back-to-back wins at Phoenix.
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2006Kevin Harvick completes the first ever season sweep at Phoenix, which hosted two races per year beginning in 2005.
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2007Jeff Gordon ties Dale Earnhardt with his 76th career premier series win.
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2008Jimmie Johnson becomes the winningest NASCAR Cup Series driver at Phoenix (at the time) with a third consecutive victory at the track.
Tyler Barrick/Getty Images
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2012Perhaps the most visually memorable moment at Phoenix came in late 2012, with Clint Bowyer -- deep in the hunt for his first title -- sprinting through the garage area to confront Jeff Gordon. The pair had a run-in on track that effectively took Bowyer out of title contention, and a fracas ensued as the two drivers and their crews tussled.
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2014Kevin Harvick had a walk-off win, but a second last-lap story line emerged. Needing to advance one position to advance to Homestead, Ryan Newman knocked non-playoff driver Kyle Larson up the track and out of the way to get the necessary spot, securing his berth in the championship race ... and ruffling a few feathers in the process.
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2015Kevin Harvick wins for the fourth straight time at Phoenix, exhibiting the dominance he has had in the Valley of the Sun this decade.
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2015Rain came at a fortuitous time for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Nov. 2015 race at Phoenix. Earnhardt came to pit road for fuel and tires one lap before a wreck on Lap 196. While on pit road, Earnhardt crossed the scoring line at the flag stand before Kevin Harvick, who had dominated with 143 laps led. Earnhardt Jr. inherited the top spot, and before track workers could clean up from the wreck, rain began to pour and the race was called. The win turned out to be his last Cup win to date.
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2016Photo finish! Kevin Harvick beat Carl Edwards to the start/finish line by 0.010 seconds in the spring 2016 race.
Jonathan Ferrey | Getty Images
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2017In his second-to-last start with Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth piloted his No. 20 Toyota to Victory Lane for the 39th win of his career. The win turned out to be his last Cup win.
Robert Laberge | Getty Images
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2018Kevin Harvick further cemented his hold as the best driver at Phoenix with his ninth NASCAR Cup Series win at the 1-mile track.
Sarah Crabill | Getty Images
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2018The fall race at Phoenix Raceway saw the opening of a new garage area that brought fans closer to the action. This also marked the first race of the track's reconfiguration that saw the track's start-finish moved to what was previously Turn 2. The dogleg portion of the track also became a bigger factor on restarts.
Matt Sullivan | Getty Images
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2019: Denny Hamlin came into the Round of 8 finale on the outside looking in of advancing to the Championship 4. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver turned in a clutch performance to secure his ticket to Miami by leading 143 laps en route to his sixth victory of the season.
Matt Sullivan | Getty Images
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2020: The 2020 season will see Phoenix Raceway host the championship race in all three NASCAR national series: The NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.