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Checker Auto Parts 500 - Phoenix International Raceway

Harvick Dominates in Desert, Pulls Season Sweep of Phoenix
Kevin Harvick did his part. He won the race. Jimmie Johnson, however, remains atop the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings after finishing second behind Harvick in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Harvick, who dominated things on this sunny Sunday in the Arizona desert, had to fend off Johnson several times in the closing laps of the race. After a relatively caution-free race (only three periods) during the first half, a flurry of cautions (four in the last 30 laps) and a red flag period bunched the field for restarts with Johnson glued to Harvick's bumper. Harvick, who has already clinched the NASCAR Busch Series championship for the season, kept his hopes alive in the Chase with the win. He trails Johnson in the chase by 90 points with the season finale scheduled next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida. Rookie Denny Hamlin passed four-time champion Jeff Gordon on the final lap for third place. Gordon was fourth and Carl Edwards came home fifth. Chase drivers grabbed four of the next five spots with Mark Martin sixth, Kasey Kahne seventh, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ninth and Jeff Burton 10th. Former champion Kurt Busch finished eighth. Other Chase contenders didn't fare so well. Matt Kenseth was 13th, but he managed to hang on to second spot in the Chase point standings, 63 behind Johnson, and just ahead of Harvick. It boils down to a five-car battle for the championship at Homestead next Sunday, with Johnson on top, Kenseth 63 behind, Harvick and Hamlin each 90 points back and Earnhardt 115 back. Harvick started the race from the number two position alongside pole winner Jeff Gordon but quickly established himself as the frontrunner, leading well more than half of the first 200 laps. His Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet looked like a monorail, sliding smoothly through the corners with Gordon and Johnson in pursuit. Most of the Chase contenders were staying within reach of the leaders but former champion Matt Kenseth seemed to be having problems getting a handle the handle on his machine. Harvick was battling alternator problems and needed a push from a safety truck to restart his car after the red flag with four laps to go. He then had enough volts to hold off Johnson in a three lap shootout to win the race, giving him a season sweep of both events at Phoenix.

Checker Auto Parts 500 Notes
· Race Results
· Chevrolet Post-Race Quotes
· Ford Post-Race Quotes
· Dodge Post-Race Quotes
· Rookie Post-Race Quotes
· Point Standings
· 'Old' Style Point Standings
· Owner Point Standings
· WIX Filters Lap Leader Notes
· Final Practice
· Practice 2
· Chevrolet Saturday Quotes
· Rookie Saturday Quotes
· Starting Lineup
· Qualifying Results
· Chevrolet Qualifying Quotes
· Ford Qualifying Quotes
· Dodge Qualifying Quotes
· Rookie Qualifying Quotes
· Practice 1
· Chevrolet Friday Quotes
· Dodge Friday Quotes
· Rookie Friday Quotes
· Qualifying Order
· Entry List
· Race Notes
· Weekend Schedule
· MRN Notes
· Raybestos Rookie Notes
· Ward Burton Notes
· Todd Kluever Notes
· Jimmie Johnson Notes
· Matt Kenseth Notes
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. Notes
· Denny Hamlin Notes
· Kevin Harvick Notes
· Jeff Burton Notes
· Kyle Busch Notes
· Mark Martin Notes
· Kasey Kahne Notes
· Tony Stewart Notes
· Carl Edwards Notes
· Greg Biffle Notes
· Casey Mears Notes
· Kurt Busch Notes
· Brian Vickers Notes
· Clint Bowyer Notes
· Ryan Newman Notes
· Bobby Labonte Notes
· Scott Riggs Notes
· Jamie McMurray Notes
· Elliott Sadler Notes
· Reed Sorenson Notes
· Jeff Green Notes
· Dave Blaney Notes
· J.J. Yeley Notes
· Joe Nemechek Notes
· Robby Gordon Notes
· Kyle Petty Notes
· Sterling Marlin Notes
· David Stremme Notes
· Michael Waltrip Notes

Gordon Begins Honeymoon from the Pole in Phoenix
Recently married Jeff Gordon kicked off his honeymoon at Phoenix International Raceway by winning the pole position for the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil. Gordon turned in a qualifying lap of 26.773 seconds, at an average speed of 134.464 mph. This is Gordonís 56th career Bud Pole in 472 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts. He moved into sole possession of sixth on the all-time Bud Pole winners list, breaking a tie with Bill Elliott. This is his second pole and 17th top-10 start in 2006. He became the eighth repeat Bud Pole winner this season. This is Gordonís second Bud Pole and ninth top-10 start in 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix. Kevin Harvick posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 26.871 seconds, at an average speed of 133.973 mph, and will join Gordon on the front row on Sunday. Harvick posted his fourth top-10 start in eight races at Phoenix and his 14th top-10 start in 2006. Brian Vickers will start from the third position. He has posted five top-10 starts in six races at Phoenix and has not started worse than 14th here. It is his fourth front-row start this season and his second in as many weeks. Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified fourth, posting his second top-10 start in nine Phoenix races. This is his 150th race without a pole position. Joe Nemechek will roll off fifth after notching his fourth top-10 start in 15 races at Phoenix.

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