PHOENIXJeff Gordon's winless streak is over.
The 24 car survived a wreck-filled race to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix.
Many drivers weren't so lucky. On the 50th lap, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne's day was over. Bayne was trying to get in line and pushed his luck clipping Travis Kvapil. Bayne's Ford went into the wall, sustained heavy rear end damage and brought out the third caution.
“I don’t know what happened," Bayne said. "We were battling with the 13 car (Casey Mears) a little bit and I don’t know if it was the 38 car (Kvapil) behind us or who, but something happened. Either I came up or he poked his nose in there at the last second on the top of us getting into one. After that, there was nothing we could do."
The race came to a standstill thanks to a big wreck on lap 66. Several drivers involved, including polesitter Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer and David Reutimann later returned to action.
David Ragan blew a tire and hit the Turn 4 wall hard on lap 126, causing an engine fire and bringing out the sixth caution of the day. Ragan checked out OK and was released from the infield care center. On the restart, there were 21 cars on the lead lap with Juan Pablo Montoya getting the free pass to get back on the lead lap.
Throughout the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been relatively quiet, deftly avoiding the wrecks that — almost midway through the 312 lap race — had involved 24 cars. Earnhardt, to no one's surprise, had been voted Pizza Hut's Fan Favorite for the second straight week.
Joey Logano, who was hampered throughout the day with engine problems, finally watched his motor blow up on lap 218 and the seventh caution was out for debris on the track.
The tone of the first 100 laps was established early as Kurt Busch overtook Edwards to lead after one lap.
The first caution of the day came at lap 19 due to debris on the track. On the restart, there was plenty of rubbin' and three-wide racing on the one-mile track. Robby Gordon got a little bump by Marcos Ambrose on the 34th lap which sent Gordon's car into a spin and causing the second caution of the day. NASCAR had designated lap 40 a competition caution due to the heavy rains on Saturday, but that second caution took its place.
Nine laps later, Kurt Busch got loose and had contact with Edwards, leading to a wreck involving six drivers. Edwards was upset, and said he hoped it was in "inadvertent move" by Kyle Busch. On the radio, Kyle Busch was frustrated, saying, "All we're doing is being a ping pong ball here. It's pathetic."
After a restart on lap 66, Brian Vickers got sideways after some minor contact from Matt Kenseth and for the second straight week, a huge wreck followed, this time involving 13 cars, including Jaime McMurray, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton. Twelve cars were sent to the garage. Boywer was clearly angry, saying, "Pretty disgusted with the whole thing to be honest with you. We're all professionals, we should be driving like it."
Earnhardt was caught speeding on pit road and was sent to the back of the pack on the restart. Jeff Gordon took the lead at lap 74 and stretched out his lead to almost two seconds after 10 laps, but Tony Stewart grabbed the lead on the 92nd lap after Gordon's car collected some debris on his grill and caused him to back off the lead.