On Friday it was Hendrick Motorsports who showed strength in numbers near the head of the Winston Cup field at the Phoenix International Raceway while in Saturday's final Happy Hour practice it was Roush Racing's turn to rise to the top.

Roush Racing Ford's have won the last three NASCAR Winston Cup races at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway and that figure could rise to four out of four in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 if either Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin can repeat their Happy Hour performances.

The Roush trio finished the final practice of the weekend first, second and fourth quickest respectively with Burton's 27.537secs best effort setting him up for a possible third career PIR victory.

The lone interloper among the Roush machines was Brian Vickers in Rick Hendrick's #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet as the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate set third fastest time.

John Andretti was fifth quickest in the #1 DEI Pennzoil Chevrolet with Vickers' Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson sixth, point leader Matt Kenseth seventh in a fourth Roush Ford and Jamie McMurray eighth in the best of the Dodge's.

Bill Davis Racing's Scott Wimmer was ninth fastest, a weekend-best for Ward Burton's replacement, ahead of Joe Gibbs teammates Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart 11th and 12th and Jeremy Mayfield in 13th slot.

Dale Earnhardt Jr's mediocre weekend continued as he set 18th fastest time while Jeff Gordon was 21st fastest, Kevin Harvick 22nd and Bud Pole winner Ryan Newman 23rd

 

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