CONCORD, N.C. – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ invasion of the Wild Wild West continues this week at Phoenix International Raceway.
Following three top-10 finishes last week in Las Vegas, the four Hendrick Motorsports teams are preparing for this Sunday’s 312-mile race at the Avondale, Arizona oval.
Among their total of 74 top-10s and 44 top-five finishes at the track, the organization has amassed 10 wins and just as many pole awards. Over the years, Hendrick Motorsports drivers have led a grand total of 2,239 laps there.
But before the engines start and the green flag drops, take a look back at three memorable moments for Hendrick Motorsports at Phoenix International Raceway.
Nov. 11, 2007: With his first championship already under his belt, Jimmie Johnson was looking to add another to his resume by the end of 2007. Starting sixth, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS held the lead at two different points during the 312-lap race: 31 laps after the halfway point and the final 24 laps. Taking the checkered flag solidified Hendrick Motorsports’ first sweep at the Avondale, Arizona, track with teammate Jeff Gordon taking home the win at Phoenix in April of that year.
Nov. 15, 2015: Hendrick Motorsports’ most recent pole award at Phoenix International Raceway came just a handful of months ago at the end of the 2015 season. With a one-lap time of 25.147-seconds at 143 mph, Johnson earned his No. 1 starting position with teammate and eventual race-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. only 0.102-seconds behind him, qualifying in third. The pole was Johnson’s third at the track.
Nov. 15, 2015: In a race that lasted just over two hours and was hindered by only two cautions, Earnhardt claimed his third career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Phoenix International Raceway. Earnhardt took the green flag in third, directly behind teammate and pole-sitter Johnson. It wasn’t until Lap 194 that the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS took the lead for the first time, leading a total of 22 laps before taking the checkered flag. With a pole and a win, last year’s November race at Phoenix was worthy of two memorable moments.