PHOENIX (April 16, 2009) The tricky one-mile oval of Phoenix International Raceway welcomes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. The event is the eighth of 36 events on the NASCAR regular-season schedule.
With the elimination of testing at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks this season, this weekends event at PIR has created additional interest as drivers will be competing on a one-mile oval for the first time in 2009.
All seven Dodge Chargers are guaranteed spots in the field of 43 for Saturday nights event. Two Dodge drivers (Kurt Busch 3rd and Kasey Kahne 10th) are currently inside the coveted top 12 in Sprint Cup points after seven races. The top 12 after the first 26 events will compete for the season championship in the final 10 races of the season.
Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) will reach a milestone this weekend with his 300th Sprint Cup start during a 10-year career. In 299 starts, Busch has amassed 19 wins, 63 top-five and 119 top-10 finishes. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion is eager to return to the desert in quest of his second win of the season for team owner Roger Penske.
I cant think of any track that would be more appropriate for us to be celebrating our 300th race than out in the desert at PIR. Busch said. There are just so many reasons for me saying that. Its really cool thats the way it turned out, that wed be running in such a significant race during my career on the Phoenix track.
And what about making your 300th career start?
Its pretty hard to believe that Ill be taking the green flag for the 300th Cup race of my career there in Phoenix on Saturday night, said Busch, who will be making his 13th Sprint Cup start at PIR. Its certainly true that time passes by so fast. Were hoping to make such a huge personally historical race a memorable one and for all the right reasons.
Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) will be making his 10th career start at PIR this weekend. In nine previous outings, Kahne has one top-five and three top-10 finishes.
PIR is a track that I havent really run that well at, Kahne said. Weve kind of been up-and-down there. I feel like this year, with where were at right now and the gains that weve made in the last month, Phoenix will be another track where we can run pretty well.
· AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Charter Communications Dodge Charger) will be making his second-career start at PIR. Allmendinger finished 16th in his first race at PIR last fall. He is currently 20th in Sprint Cup driver points.
· David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) has one top-10 in four career starts at PIR.
· Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger) started on the outside of the front row at last years spring event at Phoenix.
· Reed Sorenson (No. 43 Auto Value Dodge Charger) has six career starts at PIR with a best finish of 15th.
· Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) made his Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix. The track also was the site of his first IndyCar Series win.
2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish Earnings
Kurt Bush 7 1 2 4 0 238 11.9 10.9 $1,121,363
Kasey Kahne 7 0 1 2 0 1 10.6 14.6 $1.182,582
David Stremme 7 0 0 0 0 3 26.3 20.3 $1,182,582
Elliott Sadler 7 0 1 1 0 24 25.4 23.1 $1,107,238
Reed Sorenson 7 0 0 1 0 0 28 24.7 $1,117,103
AJ Allmendinger 7 0 1 2 0 0 27.1 20.1 $1,352,663
Sam Hornish Jr. 7 0 0 0 0 0 24.6 27.1 $940,186
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(Top 12 after 7 of 36 races)
1. Jeff Gordon 1,154 points
2. Jimmie Johnson 992
3. Kurt Busch 974
4. Clint Bowyer 967
5. Tony Stewart 963
6. Denny Hamlin 938
7. Kyle Busch 914
8. Carl Edwards 889
9. Matt Kenseth 864
10. Kasey Kahne 851
11. David Reutimann 845
12. Jeff Burton 835
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES OWNER POINTS
(After 7 of 36 races)
Pos. Driver Points
31. Sam Hornish Jr. 571 points
32. Paul Menard 543
33. John Andretti 540
34. Robby Gordon 531
35. Joey Logano 510
36. David Gilliland 487
37. Aric Almirola 451
38. Scott Speed 414
What You Need To Know
The Race: Subway Fresh Fit 500
The Place: Phoenix International Raceway
The Date: Saturday, April 18
The Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET)
The Track: 1-mile oval
The Distance: 312 laps/501 kilometers
TV: FOX, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Radio: SIRIUS Satellite Radio
Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)
Friday, April 17
1:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
5:00 p.m.NASCAR Live (SPEED)
5:30 p.m. Nationwide Series Qualifying Phoenix (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN2)
9:30 p.m. Nationwide Series Race Phoenix (ESPN2)
Saturday, April 18
10:00 a.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
11:00 a.m. Trackside (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
5:30 p.m. NASCAR in a Hurry (SPEED)
6:00 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show (Fox)
8:30 p.m. Sprint Cup Race Subway Fresh Fit 500 (Fox)