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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Phoenix

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 11/6/2013
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EVENT: AdvoCare 500
TRACK: Phoenix International Raceway
LENGTH: 1-mile oval
TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS WITH TWO TO GO: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, advanced to fifth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings after finishing second at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. With two races remaining in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Earnhardt trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 62 points.

SECOND-PLACE FINISHES: Earnhardt notched his fifth second-place finish last weekend in Texas. He is tied with teammate Kasey Kahne for most second-place finishes in the 2013 season.

AT PHOENIX: In 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Earnhardt has earned two wins, five top-five finishes and nine top-10s. He also has led 507 laps at the one-mile track. He scored his two wins there back-to-back, going to Victory Lane in November 2003 and November 2004 when Phoenix hosted one Cup event a season.

PHOENIX STATS: Among all-time drivers, Earnhardt’s two wins rank him tied for third at Phoenix. Among active drivers, Earnhardt ranks sixth in the laps led category with 507 laps, and he is tied for 10th with five top-five finishes. He ranks tied for 10th with nine top-10s at the one-mile desert oval.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-818 at Phoenix International Raceway. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 242 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, eight pole positions, 46 top-five finishes and 97 top-10s. On one-mile tracks, such as Phoenix, he ranks ninth among active drivers in the laps led category (955 laps) and tied for sixth with three wins.

HENDRICK AT PHOENIX: In 34 races (123 starts) at Phoenix, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 35 top-five finishes and 61 top-10s. Jeff Gordon recorded the organization’s most recent Phoenix victory in February 2011, prior to the repave of the one-mile oval.

PHOENIX POLE WINS: Hendrick Motorsports, which won six straight events there from April 2007 to November 2009, is the only Cup team to have multiple drivers win from the pole position at the one-mile desert oval: Gordon in April 2007; Johnson in November 2008 and Mark Martin in April 2009.

ALL-TIME: Johnson, who ranks first among Cup drivers all-time with 12 wins at one-mile ovals, leads several statistical categories including most wins (four), top-five finishes (13), laps led (932). Johnson is the only driver to have won three straight races at Phoenix (November 2007, April 2008 and November 2008).

HORSEPOWER MILESTONE: Hendrick Motorsports is one win away from reaching its 300th victory for its engine department. The organization builds engines for teams in NASCAR’s three elite series as well as NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series and the ARCA Racing Series.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON HIS 2013 CHASE RUN.): “We'd love to go back and do Chicago over again, but as soon as that happened, we really changed our approach. It was more about trying to win a race. Winning a race would really lift the team’s spirits. You work too hard all season long not to get to Victory Lane. I know how much the guys want the win on the team, so that's what we're working for now. We've got two races to go and we'd love to get a win in one of them and continue to have a good run in the Chase.”

Standings
After GEICO 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Joey Logano 3121 0
2 +1 Kevin Harvick 3117 -4
3 +1 Ryan Newman 3117 -4
4 +3 Denny Hamlin 3100 -21
5 +4 Matt Kenseth 3099 -22
6 -1 Carl Edwards 3099 -22
7 -1 Jeff Gordon 3093 -28
8 -- Kasey Kahne 3090 -31
9 -7 Kyle Busch 3086 -35
10 -- Brad Keselowski 3085 -36
11 -- Jimmie Johnson 3053 -68
12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3045 -76
Full Standings