Jeff Gordon dominated Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway leading 138 of the 312 laps run. This was Gordon’s first Sprint Cup Series win since April 5, 2009 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Are you kidding me? Pinch me man, pinch me.” Gordon said.
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”282″][/media-credit]Gordon passed Kyle Busch with eight laps remaining and stretched his lead from there, ending his winless streak at 66 races.
“I drove in deep into (Turn) 1 and got to him and I could tell he was having to really get after it right then; and then I got underneath him and got off of (Turn) 4 and I knew coming down the front straightaway that he was going to kind of pinch me down into (Turn) 1 and he did and I got a little loose. Then I just drifted up the track and I didn’t know what was going to happen at that moment but when they said we were ‘clear’ then I just went.” Gordon said of the pass for the lead.
“I don’t really care how we do it, we just want to get to victory lane. But to do it that way and to see the fans reaction. I mean we beat Kyle Busch. We were the only one’s to beat Kyle Busch this weekend and he’s so tough to beat. What a race car. Just so thankful.” Gordon said.
Gordon also ties Cale Yarborough with 83 wins, fifth on the all-time list.
“Oh, my gosh. I’m such a huge fan of Cale’s. And one of the first conversations I ever had with anybody when they came to the Cup series was Cale Yarborough. He wanted me to drive his car and I actually tested his car. A lot of people don’t realize way, way, way back. He’s just an amazing race car driver. I’ll be honest. I didn’t know if we were ever going to get past 82 (wins).” Gordon said.
Busch finished second, Jimmie Johnson third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Ryan Newman finished fifth.
“I think he was on a mission today, that’s for sure and when Jeff Gordon has a good car and he has the opportunity to beat you, he’s going to beat you so. There’s no doubt about that. He’s my hero and I’ve always watched him and what he’s been able to accomplish over the years. It’s no surprise that he beat us.” Busch said.
On lap 50, the Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne gets into the wall. Bayne’s no. 21 car suffers a lot of damage to the rear and headed to the garage. Bayne finished 40th.
“I don’t know what happened. We were battling with the 13 car a little bit and I don’t know if it was the 38 car behind us or who, but something happened. Either I came up or he poked his nose in there at the last second on the top of us getting into one. After that, there was nothing we could do. I tried to stay in the gas and keep it turning, but it just backed into the wall.” Bayne said.
On lap 59, Carl Edwards gets into the wall after contact with the No. 18 and also collects Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon.
“I’m not exactly sure what happened. I’ll have to talk to Kyle about it. I thought at first he was just frustrated and he turned left to get back in line and he didn’t know I was there, but I watched the tape and I think he really did get loose. He hit me hard and I was left with nothing. I got rammed to the infield.” Edwards said.
On lap 67, a huge wreck broke out on the backstretch, bringing out the red flag. Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton where some of the drivers involved in the 13-car accident.
“17 just wrecked us. Door-slammed us coming out of the corner of Turn 2, 67 laps into a very, very long race. Felt like it was unnecessary and sure it will come back to haunt him.” Vickers said.
“Just stupid. Driving like it’s the last lap, it looked to me like. Man, we keep this up we’re going to have about four cars at the end of all these races.” Bowyer said.
“I didn’t know there was an incident. I was surprised when I got out of the car and everybody said he was mad at me. I’m not sure for what. Maybe I’ll watch the replay and see something different, but from where I was he kind of held me close to the middle of the corner on the restart, which you should, and I came off the corner and I never even felt us touch.” Kenseth said.
The series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 400 on March 6th.
Unofficial Race Results
Subway Fresh Fit 500, Phoenix In’tl Raceway
February 27, 2011 – Race 2 of 36
|10||35||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||34||0||312||Running|
|14||7||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||30||0||312||Running|
|31||41||71||Andy Lally *||Chevrolet||14||1||237||Running|
|33||6||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||11||0||213||In Pit|
|35||8||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||9||0||126||In Pit|
|36||11||6||David Ragan||Ford||8||0||125||In Pit|
|38||37||60||Landon Cassill||Toyota||0||0||68||In Pit|
|41||34||66||Michael McDowell||Toyota||4||1||43||In Pit|