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2009 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

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2009 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Race details[1][2][3]
Race 35 of 36 in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Official logo of the race
Official logo of the race
Date November 15, 2009 (2009-November-15)
Official name Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Location Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Course Permanent racing facility
1.000 mi (1.609 km)
Distance 312 laps, 312 mi (502.115 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 68 °F (20 °C); wind speeds up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h)[4]
Average speed 110.486 miles per hour (177.810 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Time 26.643
Most laps led
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 238
Winner
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, and Andy Petree
Nielsen Ratings
  • 3.6/6 (Final)
  • 2.9/6 (Overnight)
  • (5.17 million)[5]

The 2009 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 was the thirty-fifth and penultimate stock car race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the ninth in the ten-race season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup. It was held on November 15, 2009 at Phoenix International Raceway, in Avondale, Arizona before a crowd of 90,000. The 312-lap race was won by Jimmie Johnson of the Hendrick Motorsports team after starting from third position. Jeff Burton finished second and Denny Hamlin came in third.

Martin Truex, Jr. won the pole position, although he was passed by Kurt Busch by the end of the first lap. Fifty-six laps later, Johnson became the leader of the race. Many Chase for the Sprint Cup participants, including Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin ran in the top ten for most of the race. Johnson maintained the first position to lead the most laps of 238, and to win his seventh race of the season. There were four cautions and nine lead changes among four different drivers during the course of the race.

The race was Johnson's seventh win of the 2009 season, and the forty-seventh of his career. The result kept Johnson in the lead of the Drivers' Championship, one-hundred and eight points ahead of Mark Martin and one-hundred and sixty nine in front of Jeff Gordon. Chevrolet maintained their lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, fifty-eight ahead of Toyota, ninety-five in front of Ford and one-hundred and eight ahead of Dodge. The race attracted 5.17 million television viewers.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Phoenix International Raceway, where the race was held.

Phoenix International Raceway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races, the others being Richmond International Raceway, Dover International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway.[6] The standard track at Phoenix International Raceway is a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long.[7] The track's turns are banked at eleven degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, was banked at three degrees. The back stretch, which has a dogleg shape instead of a straight, has nine degrees of banking.[7]

Before the race, Jimmie Johnson led the Drivers' Championship with 6,297 points, and Mark Martin stood in second with 6,224 points. Jeff Gordon followed in third with 6,185 points, fifty-nine ahead of Kurt Busch, and ninety-eight in front of Tony Stewart in fourth and fifth. Juan Pablo Montoya with 6,061 was eleven points ahead of Greg Biffle, as Denny Hamlin with 5,975 points, was two ahead of Ryan Newman, and seventy-seven in front of Kasey Kahne. Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers in eleventh and twelfth with 5,857 and 5,777 points rounded out the contenders for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.[8] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet were leading with 247 points, fifty-five ahead of their rival Toyota. Ford, with 158 points, were seven points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[9] Johnson was the race's defending champion.[10]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Martin Truex, Jr. who won pole position with the fastest time, 26.643.

Two practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—both on Saturday. A practice session scheduled for Friday morning was cancelled because of rain. The first session lasted 45 minutes, and the second and final session lasted 60 minutes.[3]

Although forty-six drivers were entered in the qualifier;[11] according to NASCAR's qualifying procedure, only forty-three could race. Each driver ran two laps, with the starting order determined by the competitor's fastest times.[3] Martin Truex, Jr. clinched his third pole position of the season, with a time of 26.643. He was joined on the grid's front row by Kurt Busch. Johnson qualified third, Kahne took fourth, and Hamlin started fifth. Biffle, Kyle Busch, Stewart, Casey Mears and Martin completed the top ten positions. The three drivers that failed to qualify were Regan Smith, Kevin Conway and Brandon Ash.[12] After the qualifier Truex said, "(Today) we were pretty good in practice. This is a weird track where you go out in practice, then expect to pick up a half-second somehow (in qualifying). We did. It's strange, but it felt good."[2]

In the first practice session, Sam Hornish, Jr. was fastest, placing ahead of Kahne in second, and Kyle Busch in third. Biffle was fourth fastest, and Hamlin placed fifth. Montoya, Johnson, Martin, Stewart and Gordon rounded out the top ten fastest drivers in the session. Of the other drivers in the chase, Vickers was fifteenth fastest, while Newman placed seventeenth.[13] Later that day, Johnson was fastest in the second and final practice session, ahead of Martin in second, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in third. Truex was fourth quickest, and Kurt Busch took fifth. Jeff Burton managed sixth. Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano and Kahne followed in the top ten. Other chase drivers included Montoya in seventeenth and Edwards in twenty-third.[14] Kahne scraped the turn two wall and sustained minor damage to his right-hand quarter.[3]

Race[edit]

The race, the thirty-fifth of a total of thirty-six in the 2009 season, began at 3:15 p.m. EST and was televised in the United States on ESPN.[1] Around the start of the race, weather conditions were sunny. Phoenix International Raceway chaplin Ken Bowers began pre-race ceremonies by giving the invocation. Former J Records recording artist Tyrese Gibson performed the national anthem, and Senator John McCain commanded the drivers to start their engines. No driver had to move to rear of the grid at the start of the race.[15]

Truex retained his pole position lead into the first lap. On the same lap, Kurt Busch passed Truex to become the new race leader. One lap later, Martin, who started tenth, fell to eleventh. On the 4th lap, Hornish had moved up to seventh position after passing Kyle Busch and Gordon. Two laps later, Montoya moved into the sixteenth position, as Martin passed Stewart for tenth on lap 7. By the 9th lap, Kurt Busch had a one-second lead over Truex One lap later, Kurt Busch increased his lead to 1.5 seconds. On lap 13, Martin passed Kyle Busch to claim ninth. Two laps later, Martin moved into eighth.[15]

Gordon who began the race in fourteenth, had moved up eight positions to sixth by lap 22. Three laps later, Truex had reduced Kurt Busch's lead to one second, as Martin moved into seventh on lap 28. One lap later, Kurt Busch extended his lead over Truex to 1.6 seconds, as Gordon moved into fifth position. On lap 33, Johnson passed Truex for second; Martin passed Gordon to claim fifth on lap 38. Four laps later, Johnson closed to half a second from Kurt Busch. Twelve laps later, Earnhardt dropped to twentieth position. On lap 57, Johnson passed Kurt Busch to claim the lead, with Martin moving to fourth one lap later.[15]

By lap 60, Johnson built up a 1.5 second lead over Kurt Busch, while Hamlin moved into the third position. Green flag pit stops took place from lap 65 to 73; Kurt Busch reclaimed the lead at the end of the cycle. On lap 90, Johnson passed Kurt Busch to take over the lead position. One lap later, Hamlin took over fifth position. On the 102nd lap, Martin and Gordon moved into third and fourth respectively. Four laps later, Montoya moved into fourth. Having started on pole position, Truex clinched sixth position on lap 107. On lap 115, the pace car moved on track because debris was spotted on the track. During the caution, most of the leaders made pit stops.

Johnson maintained his lead on the restart, followed by Martin and Gordon. Also, the second caution was prompted when Michael Waltrip damaged his car on that restart, Brad Keselowski was hit from behind and David Ragan spun sideways. None of the leaders chose to make pit stops, as the clean-up crew came on track to clear debris and fluids. Johnson held the lead at the lap 127 restart. Gordon accelerated slower than the leaders and dropped to sixth position by the next lap. On lap 129, Kyle Busch and Gordon made contact, but both managed to continue, without damaging their cars. By the next lap, Hamlin passed Martin for second position. On lap 134, Johnson had a 1.5 second lead, as Clint Bowyer moved into the fifth position. By the 138th lap, Johnson's lead was increased to 2 seconds.[15]

Jimmie Johnson won the race after leading the most laps, and maintained his lead in the Drivers' Championship

Kurt Busch and Montoya moved into fourth and ninth positions respectively on lap 141. By the 150th lap, Johnson had built up a 2.7 second lead over Hamlin. On lap 162, Johnson's lead of 3.4 seconds was reduced to nothing when debris was spotted on the track, causing a caution. During the caution, some of the leaders elected to make pit stops. Johnson remained the leader on the restart, ahead of Bowyer and Hamlin. Two laps later, a multi-car collision occurred on the front straightway as Earnhardt lost control of his car, and collected Logano, Scott Speed, Hornish, Bobby Labonte, Kenseth, Stewart, Vickers and Keselowski. The damaged cars headed to the pit road during the caution as crews cleaned up debris.[15]

Johnson maintained his lead at the restart. On lap 179, Earnhardt headed for his garage because of an oil leak. Three laps later, Vickers and Labonte retired from the race, and Gordon dropped to tenth position. By the 186th lap, Johnson rebuilt his lead to 2.3 seconds, as Bowyer passed Gordon to claim third. Five laps later, Martin and Gordon moved into sixth and ninth positions respectively. Johnson's lead over Kurt Busch was three seconds by lap 196. Four laps later, Edwards moved up to eighteenth position, while Montoya moved to eighth, one lap later. By lap 203, Johnson mainained a 3.4 second lead, while Burton was passed by Martin for fifth position five laps later. Johnson's lead was increased to 4.3 seconds by the 215th lap.[15]

On lap 219, Hamlin moved into the third position, and one lap later, Martin moved up another place to fourth. On lap 222, Johnson increased his lead over Kurt Busch to almost five seconds. Six laps later, Earnhardt rejoined the race. Green flag pit stops began on lap 240; Johnson made a pit stop on lap 242, giving the lead to Kenseth. After pit stops, Johnson regained the first position. By lap 277, the drivers reported their cars becoming loose as track temperatures began to drop. Twelve laps later, Burton passed Hamlin for the second position. On lap 296, Gordon passed Ambrose to claim ninth, while Truex moved into the fifth position. By lap 302, Johnson maintained a 1.8 second lead over Burton. Two laps later, David Reutimann moved back into the top ten after passing Ambrose, while Kurt Busch moved up to sixth on lap 310. Johnson maintained his lead to win his seventh race of the 2009 season. Burton finished second, ahead of Hamlin in third, Martin in fourth, and Truex in fifth. Kurt Busch, Bowyer, Montoya, Gordon and Reutimann rounded out the top ten finishers.[15][16]

Post-race[edit]

"I'm excited, and it's a great position to be in. But anything could go wrong like last week did."

Johnson, speaking after the race.[17]

Johnson appeared in victory lane to celebrate his seventh win of the season in front of 90,000 who attended the race.[18] Johnson also earned $267,001 in race winnings.[16] Afterward, he said, "I guess it could have been a statement we were sending. There was a lot of pressure. All week long, we wondered if we could step up like we did today. I'm very proud how we rose to the occasion.", he continued, "When I go home tonight, I'm going to be (mentally) driving laps, what I think I need to do in qualifying trim so I can put my best effort in on Friday. Same thing for race practice on Saturday, and go racing Sunday. Texas was such a good lesson. And I hope that the points we lost in Texas isn't what keeps us from winning this championship."[17]

Burton, who finished second, was happy with his performance, " [New crew chief] Todd Berrier has come in and done a great job, the team’s done a great job. We had one hiccough early on pit road but the rest of them we picked out our spots every single time, and that’s what it takes; it takes a team effort."[19] In the subsequent post-race press conference, Hamlin said, "Anytime that Jimmie is down is not usually because of performance, it's usually because of an incident like last week. There was no doubt in my mind they were going to come this week and make a statement. Obviously leading all the laps pretty much and winning the race sends a statement out there that he is the best, that they're not going to be denied this year."[17]

The race result left Johnson maintaining the lead in the Drivers' Championship with 6,492 points.[20] After the race, Martin who finished fourth, was less optimistic about his championship chances, "We've still got to go to Homestead and run like this again because we've still got that threat behind us, Jeff Gordon, especially."[21] Gordon maintained third with 6,323 points, forty-two ahead of Kurt Busch and one-hundred and sixteen in front of Stewart.[20] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet maintained the lead with 256 points. Toyota remained second with 198 points. Ford followed with 161 points, six ahead of Dodge in fourth.[9] 5.17 million people watched the race on television.[5] The race took two hours, forty-nine minutes and twenty-six seconds to complete, and the margin of victory was 1.033 seconds.[16]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying results
Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 1 Martin Truex, Jr. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 26.643 135.120
2 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge 26.750 134.579
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 26.775 134.454
4 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 26.807 134.293
5 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 26.820 134.228
6 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 26.821 134.223
7 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 26.831 134.173
8 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 26.850 134.078
9 07 Casey Mears Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 26.860 134.028
10 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 26.861 134.023
11 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 26.876 133.949
12 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. Team Penske Dodge 26.881 133.924
13 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 26.890 133.879
14 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 26.891 133.874
15 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 26.893 133.864
16 44 A.J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 26.914 133.759
17 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 26.922 133.720
18 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 26.926 133.700
19 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 26.930 133.680
20 171 Bobby Labonte TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 26.952 133.571
21 47 Marcos Ambrose JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 26.956 133.551
22 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota 26.983 133.417
23 113 Max Papis Germain Racing Toyota 26.986 133.402
24 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 27.019 133.240
25 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.024 133.215
26 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Championship Racing Dodge 27.035 133.161
27 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 27.037 133.151
28 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.043 133.121
29 09 David Gilliland Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 27.050 133.087
30 26 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.055 133.062
31 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.082 132.930
32 66 Dave Blaney Prism Motorsports Toyota 27.083 132.925
33 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27.106 132.812
34 187 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 27.112 132.783
35 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 27.116 132.763
36 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27.139 132.650
37 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 27.204 132.333
38 36 Michael McDowell Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota 27.216 132.276
39 96 Erik Darnell Hall of Fame Racing Ford 27.236 132.178
40 43 Reed Sorenson Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 27.308 131.829
41 98 Paul Menard Robert Yates Racing Ford 27.402 131.377
42 34 John Andretti Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet 27.532 130.757
43 37 Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet 27.254 132.091
Failed to qualify
44 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 27.260 132.062
45 170 Kevin Conway TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 27.295 131.892
46 102 Brandon Ash Ash Motorsports Dodge 27.552 130.662
Source:[12]

Race[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Pts.
1 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 312 1952
2 36 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 312 170
3 5 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 312 165
4 10 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 312 160
5 1 1 Martin Truex, Jr. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 312 155
6 2 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge 312 1551
7 13 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 312 146
8 17 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 312 142
9 14 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 312 138
10 15 00 David Reuitmann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 312 134
11 21 47 Marcos Ambrose JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 312 130
12 7 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 312 127
13 16 44 A.J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 312 124
14 6 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 312 121
15 4 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 312 118
16 25 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 312 115
17 12 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. Team Penske Dodge 311 112
18 28 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 311 1141
19 30 26 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford 311 106
20 24 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 311 1081
21 27 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 310 100
22 22 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota 310 97
23 33 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 310 94
24 31 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 310 91
25 8 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 310 88
26 40 43 Reed Sorenson Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 310 85
27 9 07 Casey Mears Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 308 82
28 35 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 308 79
29 41 98 Paul Menard Robert Yates Racing Ford 308 76
30 29 09 David Gilliland Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 308 73
31 39 96 Erik Darnell Hall of Fame Racing Ford 306 70
32 23 113 Max Papis Germain Racing Toyota 304 67
33 37 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 303 64
34 42 34 John Andretti Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet 268 61
35 18 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 256 58
36 11 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 251 55
37 26 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Championship Racing Dodge 239 52
38 19 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 170 49
39 20 171 Bobby Labonte TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 169 46
40 34 187 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 47 43
41 38 36 Michael McDowell Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota 36 40
42 32 66 Dave Blaney Prism Motorsports Toyota 9 37
43 43 37 Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet 6 34
Source:[16][22]
1 Includes five bonus points for leading a lap
2 Includes ten bonus points for leading the most laps

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Livingstone, Seth (November 15, 2009). "Truex takes pole, Chase leader Johnson third in Phoenix qualifying". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Race: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN Internet Archive. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ Weather information for the 2009 Checker Auto Parts 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac. Accessed 2013-06-20. Archived 2013-06-22.
  5. ^ a b "2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup TV Ratings". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Tracks". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Phoenix International Raceway". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Drivers' Championship Classification". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c "Manufacturers' Championship Classification". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ "2008 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil". Racing-Reference. Fox Sports Digital. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Qualifying Order". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Race Lineup". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Practice One Speeds". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Practice Two Speeds". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Lap-by-Lap: Phoenix". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. November 16, 2009. Archived from the original on November 19, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d "2009 Official Results: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c Ryan, Nate (November 16, 2009). "Johnson flies to Phoenix win, nears fourth NASCAR crown". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  18. ^ "2009 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500". Racing-Reference. Fox Sports Digital. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  19. ^ Fish, James (November 16, 2009). "Johnson Wins NASCAR Phoenix Race, Closes in on Championship". The Epoch Times. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c "Points Standings". NASCAR. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  21. ^ Gintonio, Jim (November 15, 2009). "Championship continues to elude Martin". The Arizona Republic. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ "MRN Race Results". Motor Racing Network. International Speedway Corporation. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 


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