Phoenix: In the loop

'In The Loop' -- Harvick: The Phoenix Desert Demon DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 18, 2007) -- Some race tracks become a driver's "signature" track. For instance, Martinsville is fast becoming Jimmie Johnson's signature track. And, one could argue...

'In The Loop' -- Harvick: The Phoenix Desert Demon

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 18, 2007) -- Some race tracks become a driver's "signature" track. For instance, Martinsville is fast becoming Jimmie Johnson's signature track. And, one could argue that the road courses of Infineon and Watkins Glen have become the signature tracks of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

Kevin Harvick now has a signature layout -- Phoenix International Raceway. Harvick won both races at the one-mile oval last season, solidifying himself as one of the mile-track masters in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

His 2006 dominance of Phoenix is worth a closer look. Below are his 2006 Phoenix rankings in some of NASCAR's vital Loop Data statistics.

In arguably the two most telling statistics, Harvick dominated the competition. Clearly, neither of his 2006 Phoenix victories were flukes.

As far as Laps in the Top 15, Harvick's 2006 Phoenix skills were near-perfect. He spent 99.8% of his laps in the top 15 -- there were a total of 624 total laps run at Phoenix, he spent all but one of them in the top 15.

Fastest Laps Run is one of the few key categories in which Harvick doesn't rank first. As the chart shows, he ranks second behind Jimmie Johnson. Johnson is another driver to keep a close eye on this Saturday night. He ranks second in Driver Rating and Average Running Position, and finished seventh and second, respectively, last season at Phoenix.

If not for Harvick, Johnson would be the one dominating Phoenix. Take a look at the Green Flag Speed rankings from the 2006 Phoenix races.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson