2006 Checker Auto Parts 500

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2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil
Race details[1][2][3][4]
Race 35 of 36 in the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season
Layout of Phoenix International Raceway
Layout of Phoenix International Raceway
Date November 12, 2006 (2006-November-12)
Official name Checker Auto Parts 500
Location Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 312 laps, 312 mi (502 km)
Weather Warm with temperatures approaching 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
Average speed 96.131 miles per hour (154.708 km/h)
Attendance 106,000
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 26.773
Most laps led
Driver Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing
Laps 252
Winner
No. 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Bill Weber
Benny Parsons
Wally Dallenbach

The 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing event that took place on November 12, 2006, at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.

The traditional pre-race ceremonies were held with the showing of the national colors along with the invocation service from a local minister. One of country music's top ten recording artists of 2006, Taylor Swift, sang the national anthem prior to the racing event.[5] The green flag was officially waved at 2:35 p.m. and the checked flag was waved at approximately 5:49 p.m.[6] After this race, Colombian native Juan Pablo Montoya and Australian driver Marcos Ambrose would temporarily become the foreigners that would consistently make the racing grid for all the future NASCAR Cup Series races along with limited degrees of success by Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti.

Events held alongside the 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 on the same weekend include the Casino Arizona 150 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) and the Arizona Travel 200 (NASCAR Busch Series).

Summary[edit]

Brandon Whitt would "earn" the last-place finish in his only NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start due to a rear end issue on lap 123 of 312.[2][3][4][7]

Kevin Harvick defeated Jimmie Johnson by a ¼ of a second in front of 106,000 people after three hours and fourteen minutes of racing action.[2][8] Harvick dominated this race, leading exactly 80.7% of the race.[2][4][7] There were 12 lead changes in addition to ten caution flag waved by NASCAR for 58 laps.[2][4][7] There was at least one red flag in the race; it was waved due to a multi-car accident on lap 305.[9] Jeff Gordon qualified for the pole position with a speed of 134.646 miles per hour (216.692 km/h) while the average speed of the race was 96.131 miles per hour (154.708 km/h).[2][4][7]

The other finishers in the top ten were: Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch , Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jeff Burton.[2][3][4][7] Now-retired drivers Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett also participated in this race during their twilight years.[2][3][4] Seven drivers failed to make the race while Robby Gordon was sent to the back of the grid due to an engine replacement.[2] Kyle Busch failed to finish in the top ten in his Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo machine.[2][3][4][7]

Drivers were racing for a prize bounty of $4,892,924 ($5,939,676.97 when adjusted for inflation) with Jimmie Johnson being ahead of Matt Kenseth by a mere 17 points.[6] While Tony Stewart scored more points than the top ten drivers, the best result that he could come up within the 2006 NASCAR Cup Series season would be eleventh place in the drivers' championship standings.[6] The "Chase for the Cup" formula at that time had the best ten drivers compete for the championship – as opposed to 16 in today's formula.

2006 Checker Auto Parts 500
In this unlucky moment of the race, driver Robby Gordon spins out in front of Kyle Petty and Ken Schrader.
In this unlucky moment of the race, driver Robby Gordon spins out in front of Kyle Petty and Ken Schrader
Tony Stewart (of Joe Gibbs Racing) is getting involved in a close battle for position against several other drivers.
Tony Stewart (of Joe Gibbs Racing) is getting involved in a close battle for position against several other drivers. 

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Owner
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Rick Hendrick
2 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Richard Childress
3 25 Brian Vickers Chevrolet Rick Hendrick
4 8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
5 01 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Bobby Ginn
6 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jack Roush
7 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Roger Penske
8 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Roger Penske
9 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Rick Hendrick
10 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Jack Roush
11 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Ray Evernham
12 99 Carl Edwards Ford Jack Roush
13 38 David Gilliand Ford Yates Racing
14 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Jack Roush
15 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Petty Enterprises

Failed to qualify: Jason Leffler (#71), Todd Kluever (#06), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Brandon Ash (#02), Kevin Lepage (#34), Kenny Wallace (#78), Derrike Cope (#74), Jeremy Mayfield (#09)[10]

Timeline[edit]

Section reference: [2]

  • Start of race: Jeff Gordon started the race as the first-place driver
  • Lap 4: Kevin Harvick took over the lead from Jeff Gordon
  • Lap 71: Caution for debris; ended on lap 76
  • Lap 72: Matt Kenseth took over the lead from Kevin Harvick
  • Lap 73: Kevin Harvick took over the lead from Matt Kenseth
  • Lap 123: Brandon Whitt lost his vehicle's rear end
  • Lap 134: Jimmie Johnson took over the lead from Kevin Harvick
  • Lap 151: Caution for debris; ended on lap 157
  • Lap 152: Sterling Marlin took over the lead from Jimmie Johnson
  • Lap 153: Jimmie Johnson took over the lead from Sterling Marlin
  • Lap 162: Kevin Harvick took over the lead from Jimmie Johnson
  • Lap 188: Caution for oil on track; ended on lap 195
  • Lap 227: Caution for Robby Gordon and Chad Chiffin's joint accident; ended on lap 230
  • Lap 234: Michael Waltrip developed engine problems
  • Lap 253: Caution due to oil on track; ended on lap 257
  • Lap 255: David Gilliland took over the lead from Kevin Harvick
  • Lap 256: Mark Martin took over the lead from David Gilliland
  • Lap 260: Jimmie Johnson took over the lead from Mark Martin
  • Lap 261: Mark Martin took over the lead from Jimmie Johnson
  • Lap 262: Mike Bliss developed engine problems
  • Lap 265: Caution due to Mike Bliss' accident; ended on lap 271
  • Lap 272: Jamie McMurray suffered from his vehicle's terminal crash
  • Lap 274: Caution due to five-car accident; ended on lap 281
  • Lap 283: Kevin Harvick took over the lead from Mark Martin
  • Lap 289: Dale Jarrett suffered from his vehicle's terminal crash
  • Lap 292: Caution due to Sterling Marlin and Dale Jarrett's joint accident; ended on lap 296
  • Lap 298: Jeff Green suffered from his vehicle's terminal crash
  • Lap 300: Caution due to Jeff Green's accident; ended on lap 304
  • Lap 306: Clint Bowyer's vehicle developed a problematic oil line
  • Lap 307: Caution due to Casey Mears spinning off turn two; ended on lap 309
  • Finish: Kevin Harvick won the event

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 1rightarrow.png Jimmie Johnson 6332 0
2 1rightarrow.png Matt Kenseth 6269 -63
3 Increase Denny Hamlin 6242 -90
3 Increase Kevin Harvick 6242 -90
5 Decrease Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 6217 -115
6 1rightarrow.png Jeff Gordon 6165 -167
7 1rightarrow.png Jeff Burton 6107 -225
8 Increase Mark Martin 6059 -273
9 Increase Kasey Kahne 6013 -319
10 Decrease Kyle Busch 5973 -359

References[edit]

Previous race:
2006 Dickies 500
Nextel Cup Series
2006 season
Next race:
2006 Ford 400