Jeff narrowly escapes an incident with Robby Gordon at the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix.
April 19 – – Jeff Gordon battled handling issues for the balance of the Subway 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. However, what looked like a solid top-10 finish became a 25th place effort due to a late mistake by the pit crew. At the front of the field, Mark Martin scored the third consecutive victory for Hendrick Motorsports. It was Martin’s 36th career win and first as a member of HMS. Gordon still holds the points lead heading to next Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Read more at www.gordonline.com
The missed lug nut incident can be heard at the -4:00 mark in the audio.
April 18 — Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won four straight races at Phoenix International Raceway, with #48-Jimmie Johnson visiting Victory Lane during the last three events. #24-Jeff Gordon won the April 21, 2007, contest after starting from the pole position. During the last eight races at the track, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have claimed five victories and five pole positions. Last November, Jimmie Johnson made track history by becoming the first driver to win three consecutive races at Phoenix International Raceway. On Saturday, the three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will attempt to extend that history with a fourth consecutive Phoenix victory – this time in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500. Gordon, who ended a 47-race winless streak on April 5 with his first victory at Texas Motor Speedway, now has 82 in his career. He stands one behind fifth-place Cale Yarborough on the all-time victories list and only two away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third. Jeff will start 4th in tonight’s race.
Other Hendrick Drivers Starting Positions:
Mark Martin – 1st
Jimmie Johnson – 10th
Dale Jr. – 15th
(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-15-2009)
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 14, 2009) – Fifth place is Jeff Gordon’s goal at Phoenix International Raceway – in career NASCAR Sprint Cup wins.
Gordon, who ended a 47-race winless streak on April 5 with his first victory at Texas Motor Speedway, now has 82 in his career. He stands one behind fifth-place Cale Yarborough on the all-time victories list and only two away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third.
While Team DuPont’s win at Texas was their first in more than a year, they may not have to wait long for their next celebration if history is any indication. In 2002, Gordon ended a 31-race winless streak with a victory at Bristol. One race later, the team was celebrating again after a victory in Darlington.
During the 2003 campaign, Gordon snapped a 22-race winless streak at Martinsville. He won the next race at Atlanta. And in 2007, Gordon entered this event without a victory in 25 races. He collected win No. 76 that night, tying Dale Earnhardt for sixth in all-time victories. You guessed it – he won the following event at Talladega. Overall, the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet has won consecutive events 22 times.
“It was nice to get that win at Texas,” said Gordon, who is leading the standings by 162 over teammate Jimmie Johnson. “The victory there had eluded us for so long.
“But it’s also good to get that first win of the season out of the way. Every season, you’re looking to get that first win. When you get that one off your back, you can breathe and relax.
“Every win confirms you have what it takes, and it gives you confidence.” Confidence heading to a track where the No. 24 team has performed well in the past. Along with his 2007 victory at the Arizona track, Gordon has three poles, eight top- fives and 15 top-10’s in 20 starts. Another win would be another milestone in his 17-year career.
“I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I would in this sport,” said Gordon. “To be in the same neighborhood as some of the all-time greats of NASCAR just blows me away.
“I’m sure they had the same feeling when winning a race. Once you’ve accomplished that, you want to win again.”
And again. And again.
Race: Saturday, April 18, 2009 in Avondale, AZ
Title Sponsor: Subway
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 8:46pm/et
SPEED’s NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 6:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace
Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times: Wednesday, April 21 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED
Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Krista Voda
Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond
Friday, April 17, 1:10 – 3:00pm/et, TV-SPEED
Happy Hour ‘Final’ practice: Friday, April 17, 3:30 – 5:00pm/et, TV-SPEED
Qualifying Draw: Friday, April 17, 12:10pm/et
Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42, Friday, April 17 at 7:10pm/et, TV-SPEED, no scheduled re-air;
AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.
#11 Denny Hamlin Ch. 127
#18 Kyle Busch Ch. 125
#48 Jimmie Johnson Ch. 121
#99 Carl Edwards Ch. 122
#?? Fan’s Choice Ch. 113
Fan’s Choice voting closes Friday, April 17 at 5 pm ET.
Vote now to ensure Jeff gets the Fan’s Choice. He is currently leading with 32% of the vote over Dale Jr with 28%