2006 Subway Fresh 500:
The relatively flat one-mile oval doesn't often host great races for the big heavy stock cars. However, this weekend's race is under the lights on Saturday night. Anything is possible when the NEXTEL Cup stars come out at night.
These challenging specs means that your car has to handle well in order to survive a long 500 kilometer race there. It is possible to pass if you are faster, but there is no outside groove for side-by-side racing.
The Big Picture:
Jimmie Johnson maintains the points lead but the battle at the top is very close with four drivers within 46 points of the lead.
- Jimmie Johnson -0
- Matt Kenseth -15
- Kasey Kahne -46
- Mark Martin -46
- Tony Stewart -97
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. -112
- Kyle Busch -113
- Jeff Gordon -152
- Kevin Harvick -204
- Casey Mears -218
Now fast-forward to this year and Kurt's younger brother, Hendrick Motorsports hotshoe Kyle, is in the news for "chirping" his tires in a Richmond, VA rental car. Kyle was ticketed for reckless driving.
Are the Busch brothers the new bad boys of NASCAR?
Radio: MRN and XM Satellite
Actual Race: 8:25 p.m. Eastern
Pit strategy played a part as Michael Waltrip stayed out on older tires while Kurt Busch pitted. This left the race in doubt for a while. However, it didn't take long for Kurt Busch to slice back through the field. He took the lead with 43 laps to go and coasted home for the win.
My primary pick for this week's Subway Fresh 500 is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Over the last five races in Phoenix Dale Jr has four top fives including two wins. His only bad finish came last fall when he was the victim of an early wreck. Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows how to get around Phoenix and should be a force on Saturday night.
For my backup pick I'm going with Kurt Busch. He won here last spring and his Penske Dodge has been fast so far in 2006. He posted a big win in Bristol and could easily do it again this year.