Schrader Adds Another PIR Victory with Win in United Rentals 125 AVONDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 22, 2006) -- The driver with the most overall career victories at Phoenix International Raceway added another trophy to his collection as Ken Schrader won...
Schrader Adds Another PIR Victory with Win in United Rentals 125
AVONDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 22, 2006) -- The driver with the most overall career victories at Phoenix International Raceway added another trophy to his collection as Ken Schrader won the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series portion of the Copper World Classic on Sunday.
The United Rentals 125 kicked off the 53rd season for the West's oldest stock car racing circuit.
Schrader has won races at the one-mile track in open-wheel classes as well as NASCAR stock car Touring divisions. His latest victory in his Four Winds Motorhomes/AXA Financial Chevrolet marked his fourth series win at PIR and his 11th career victory in the series.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veteran from Fenton, Mo., had to overcome some tough competition -- as 18th-year-old Spencer Clark won the Pole Award and led the most laps. Clark, a second-generation competitor from Las Vegas, set the paces through most of the first 50 laps. Schrader, who had started third, moved out front and led briefly before the leaders headed to the pits during a caution on lap 61. By virtue of an early race pit stop, Brett Thompson remained on course and inherited the point when the leaders pitted. He led the field to the green flag, but soon gave way to Schrader.
Following a later caution, Clark got the jump on Schrader on the restart and took command. The teen stayed out front through lap 108, but could not hold off the veteran driver. Schrader charged out front and appeared to be cruising to victory. Eric Holmes chased him down, however, and closed to within .128 of a second at the finish line in his Sunoco Race Fuels/Paul Oil Chevrolet. NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series regular Matt Kobyluck Uncasville, Conn., took third in his Mohegan Sun Resort Chevrolet -- to match the third-place finish he notched at PIR in 2004. Clark, who led 64 laps in his Allegiant Air Ford, faded to fourth at the end.
Meanwhile, last year's national champion in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, Peyton Sellers, finished fifth in his series debut. The Danville, Va., native is driving the NAPA Auto Parts/NAPA Belts & Hose Chevrolet for Bill McAnally Racing this year as part of a driver development program with Richard Childress Racing.
Sellers' BMR teammate and fellow rookie competitor Brian Ickler finished sixth -- followed by veteran drivers Steve Portenga, Jim Inglebright, Brett Thompson and Scott Gaylord.
The race featured nine lead changes among five drivers -- Clark, Schrader, Kobyluck, Thompson and Mike Duncan. The pace of the event was slowed by five cautions for 30 laps.
The win put Schrader atop the AutoZone West Series championship standings with 180 points -- followed by Holmes with 170, Kobyluck with 170, Clark with 170, Sellers with 155, Ickler with 150, Portenga with 146, Thompson with 143, Inglebright with 142 and Gaylord with 134.
Sellers leads the early standings in the chase for this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He has 10 points -- followed by Ickler with nine, Justin Lofton with eight, Eric Humphries with seven, Daniel DiGiacomo with six, Nick Lynch with five, James Bruncati with four, Eric Hardin with three, Brian Pannone with two, Bruce Betts with one and Ed Watson with one.