23 April 2006
Press Snoop: Will Childress stay on safari?
KEVIN HARVICK won Saturday night's NASCAR Nextel Cup Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in front of an estimated crowd of 104,000, but only led the last ten laps of the 312-lap race.
This was Harvick's sixth career victory in 186 Cup races. Each of Harvick's RCR team-mates made the top ten. Owner RICHARD CHILDRESS is on safari in Africa, and has missed all three of Harvick's victories in the past two race weekends. Harvick said after Friday night's Busch Series victory that, if he won Saturday night, Childress could stay there!
"While he's gone, we're undefeated," he said after the Cup race, "I don't know what that means. This is a credit to the race team. Everybody worked hard in turning it around."
Harvick's margin of victory was 2.774 seconds ahead of runner-up, NASCAR's 2005 Nextel Cup champion, TONY STEWART. Stewart worked his way through the pack after being forced to the back of the pack for not starting the race on his qualifying tyres.
MATT KENSETH finished third and now leads the standings with 1218 points. CARL EDWARDS was fourth, and rookie CLINT BOWYER fifth, the top rookie of the seven in the race.
JIMMY JOHNSON fell to second place in the standings after his seventh place finish, behind last week's Cup winner, KASEY KAHNE. BOBBY LABONTE finished eighth, JEFF BURTON ninth and JEFF GORDON tenth. All of those drivers will have to be available for hauler chats at the Aaron's 499 Nextel Cup race at Talladega Speedway next weekend.
Pole sitter KYLE BUSCH led the first seven laps but finished 36th, with 259 laps. He had qualified with a lap of 133.744mph on the mile and a half oval track.
There were 20 lead changes among eleven drivers, with GREG BIFFLE leading six times for 151 laps. This was the third time this season he led the most laps in a race and didn't win. No drivers were injured in Saturday night's race.
Although there might not have been as many crashes or cautions as Friday night's Busch Series race, the Cup guys did their share to keep the panel beaters busy next week. There were seven cautions for 29 laps including a red flag on lap 100 after two separate accidents on the same lap. The track was blocked. In the end, all but two of the 16 cars involved in any of the accidents were able to get back on track, albeit somewhat behind the pack.
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