Recap of some of the historic wins at the Phoenix International Raceway
Construction of the Phoenix International Raceway was completed in January 1964. The raceway has a 2.5-mile road course and its main feature is the 1-mile oval. Astonishingly, this track was repaved for the first time in 2011 since it was opened. In the process of repaving the track, variable banking was added to the oval. Turns 1 and 2 have banking of 10-11 degrees whereas turns 3 and 4 have 8-9 degrees of banking.
The inaugural race at Phoenix Raceway was won in November 6th 1988 by Alan Kulwicki. Since the Phoenix Raceway was opened, 34 Sprint Cup races have been held there. The raceway held one event every season in the years between 1988 and 2004 and two events every year since 2004. The last event held at the raceway was completed in March 2013.
The person with the most starts at the Phoenix International Raceway is Mark Martin with a total of 33. Martin has only failed to complete one race in the track and that was in the fall of 2007. Martin also holds the record for top-10 finishes.
Martin however doesn’t hold the record for most wins in the raceway. This honor goes to Jimmie Johnson who has won four events. Three of the races were won consecutively between 2007 and 2009. Jimmie Johnson also holds the record for most 13 top-five finishes at 13.
The most car owner wins at the raceway is a record held by Rick Hendrick. He has accumulated nine wins and is closely followed by Jack Roush who has seven.
2006 is the most recent year where a driver scored a season sweep which was won by Kevin Harvick. This year’s spring race was won by Carl Edwards.
Ryan Newman has the most pole wins at the speedway having four under his belt. The last time Newman started first at the raceway was back in the spring of 2008.
People who started from pole position have won the race four times. The winners who started from pole position include: Gordon in 2007, Johnson in 2008, Martin in 2009, and Edwards in 2010.
The closest margin of victory at the Phoenix Raceway since NASCAR adopted electronic timing in 1993 came in April 2010 when Gordon lost to Newman by just 0.13 seconds.
The 35th NASCAR race of 2013 is the AdvoCare 500 of the Sprint Cup Series which will be held at the Phoenix Raceway. The race will be held in November 10th. In this race three drivers on the entry list made their career debuts on the same raceway: Newman in November 2000, Clint Bowyer in April 2005, and Cole Whitt in November 2011. The upcoming race has many experienced people in the lineup and only time will tell who will go home with the win.