Dale Earnhardt, Jr. became the first second-generation NASCAR Winston Cup Series winner at Phoenix International Raceway in winning Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Havoline over Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman.

Dale Jr's father, the legendary Dale Earnhardt, won the 1990 Checker 500 on his way to his fourth Winston Cup Series championship.

"We raced in the Busch Series here, and my dad was here to celebrate my (1999 Busch Series) championship with me here, and I have a lot of fond memories of Phoenix," said Dale. "My dad would struggle to be dominant here, and when he won here that was a pretty good accomplishment. So its kind of cool to come here and win, and not struggle, because he kind of struggled here, so it's great to come here now expecting to be good."

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. won Bashas' Supermarkets 200 NASCAR Busch Series race with Kevin Harvick second and Brian Vickers third. Hamilton Jr's father, former Winston Cup star Bobby Hamilton, won the 1996 Checker Auto Parts 500.

In a rare occasion for Phoenix International Raceway, the race was started under caution, stopped, restarted and then called official after 181 laps due to rain shower.

Kevin Harvick successfully defended his '02 Chevy Silverado 150 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win on Friday in beating Ted Musgrave and Dennis Setzer to the flag, while Eddy McKean won Thursday's Cruise America 125 NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series race over Jeff Jefferson and Steve Carlson.

The weekend represented the 16th visit of NASCAR's premier racing series, which will be known as the Nextel Cup next season. NASCAR Weekend at Phoenix International Raceway has featured NASCAR Winston Cup and the NASCAR Busch, Craftsman Truck and Featherlite Series' since 2001, and has become the state's largest sporting event, attracting thousands of guests and fans from all over the world.



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