Wrap-up: PhoenixSunday, March 04, 2012
This past weekend, Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona hosted the Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) and the Nationwide Series Bashas’ Supermarkets 200.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Winner: Denny Hamlin wins the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k), his 18th victory in 225 NSCS races. This is the No. 11 Toyota driver's first victory and second top-10 finish in 2012. He breaks a 22-race winless streak. Hamlin's last win came June 19, 2011 at Michigan. This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Phoenix.
Pole: Mark Martin wins the Coors Light Pole Award. The No. 55 Toyota driver led one lap and finished 9th. He is 7th in the 2012 point standings.
- Chad Johnston, crew chief on the No. 56 Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr., wins the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award ($5,500) for improving the most from first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.230 seconds). Truex started 25th and finished in 7th. He is 6th in the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings.
- Jeff Gordon wins the USG Improving the Finish Award ($5,000) for improving the most from start to finish. The No. 24 Chevrolet driver improved 22 places from 30th in the lineup to an 8th place finish. He is 22nd in the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings.
- Kevin Harvick’s team wins four race awards. Harvick earned the $5,400 3M Lap Leader award (88 of 312 laps) and the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award. He started the No. 29 Chevrolet 8th in the lineup and finished 2nd. Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. Shane Wilson won the $5,000 DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. Harvick is 3rd in the 2012 Sprint Cup point standings.
NSCS Points Leader: Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 6 points over Greg Biffle.
Next NSCS Race: March 11, 2012 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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NASCAR Nationwide Series Winner: Elliott Sadler wins the Bashas' Supermarkets 200, his sixth victory in 166 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. The No. 2 Chevrolet driver's last win came on Oct. 31, 1998 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham. He had gone 91 series starts without a victory. This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in seven races at Phoenix.
Pole: Denny Hamlin received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Phoenix. He put up a 132.979 mph lap in the No. 18 Toyota to start up front. Hamlin led 56 laps and finished 9th. He is a Sprint Cup regular and is ineligible for driver points in this series.
Rookie of the Race: Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started 9th and finished 4th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders. Dillon is currently 2nd in the 2012 NNS point standings.
- Brian Scott makes the most improvement in the Nationwide Series after this weekend’s race. His 14th place finish was 23 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 11 Toyota driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite “Most Improved Driver” award. Scott is 15th in the 2012 Nationwide Series point standings.
- Roush Yates Engines, supplier of the engine in the No. 6 Ford driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins the Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. The $2,100 cash award is determined by qualifying and finishing position of the car. Stenhouse started 2nd and finished 3rd. He is 5th in the 2012 Nationwide Series point standings.
- Kevin Harvick leads the most laps earning a $2,200 check as the 3M Lap Leader. The No. 33 driver started 12th, led 107 of the 200 laps run and finished 5th. Harvick is a Sprint Cup regular and is ineligible for driver points in this series.
NNS Points Leader: Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 10 points over Austin Dillon.
Next NNS Race: March 10, 2012 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway