2007 Subway Fresh Fit 500
|Race 8 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
Map of the Phoenix International Raceway
|Date||April 21, 2007|
|Location||Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1 mi (1.6 km)
|Distance||312 laps, 312 mi (502.115 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds up to 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)|
|Average speed||107.71 miles per hour (173.34 km/h)|
|Driver||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds|
This race was 500 kilometers (310 mi), one of a handful of NASCAR events that use kilometers instead of laps or miles. The race also served as the first night race of the season, and the third race to use the Car of Tomorrow template. In the end, Jeff Gordon scored a historic victory.
The third CoT race of the season would be the first test of the new car's aerodynamics. Previously, the CoT definitely kept the racing closer as evidenced by the two half car length finishes. Joe Gibbs Racing's Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin would be seeking out the team's first victory with the new car. From the drop of the green, Gordon, Stewart, and Hamlin established themselves as the dominant cars of the race. Stewart, despite leading 132 of the 312 laps, would not find victory circle on Saturday night. Hamlin would not fare as well as his teammate as a speeding penalty put him on the tail end of the lead lap. Luck and pit strategy would eventually play a factor in the race. All of that came together during a series of green-flag pit stops on lap 283. Gordon was on pit road when the caution came out. However, quick work by Gordon's pit crew enabled him to stay on the lead lap before a dominant Tony Stewart lapped him. On the lap 298 restart, Tony Stewart made an incredible pass for the lead going 3-wide between Gordon and the tail end car of Martin Truex Jr. However, Gordon would pass Stewart again on lap 300 and would hold on for the win.
The weekend was historic for Jeff Gordon, as the win not only was his first at Phoenix, but it would also be his 76th career victory, tying Dale Earnhardt for 6th on the all-time win list. After the race, Gordon carried a flag with Earnhardt's car number, 3, emblazoned on it during the victory lap.
Gordon was also the first NEXTEL Cup race winner at Phoenix from the pole position.
Gordon won his third pole of the year, and 59th of his career, tying Darrell Waltrip on the all-time list. His winning lap was 133.136 miles per hour. Michael Waltrip, Darrell's brother, missed his seventh straight race after making the Daytona 500 to start the year.
All teams carried decal stickers in memory of the 32 people killed in the Virginia Tech massacre the previous Monday; the stickers consisted of the athletic department's logo. In addition, Morgan-McClure Motorsports altered the look of the #4 car driven by Ward Burton to include the logo on the hood of the car. (Burton is from nearby South Boston, Virginia and Morgan-McClure is based in Abingdon.) Many drivers, including Gordon, Stewart, and Hamlin, wore VT hats throughout the weekend, and PIR displayed the school flag.
|19||15||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||8||Chevrolet||106||312||$110,058|
|20||7||Martin Truex Jr.||1||Chevrolet||103||311||$95,920|
|25||33||Paul Menard *||15||Chevrolet||88||310||$65,350|
|32||25||David Reutimann *||0||Toyota||67||309||$65,925|
|33||36||Juan Montoya *||42||Dodge||64||309||$101,325|
|41||32||David Ragan *||6||Ford||40||264||$97,530|
- Weather information for the 2007 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- "Memorable Moments: Phoenix". NASCAR. November 7, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.