Every Wednesday, SB Nation Atlanta takes a look at the racing fortunes of everybody's favorite Atlanta-based NASCAR sponsor: Coca-Cola! This week, we look back at the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
For the second straight race, the fortunes of NASCAR's Coca-Cola Racing Family were wide-ranging, from Ryan Newman's solid fifth-place run to another miserable finish by Jeff Burton.
An 13-car accident on the race's 67th lap collected Burton, his Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, and Jamie McMurray. All but Labonte required extensive stays in the garage area.
At the opposite end of the spectrum were Stewart-Haas Racing's Newman and Tony Stewart. Stewart led 59 laps before finishing seventh. Newman had an even better day, coming home fifth.
Continue reading for a driver-by-driver recap of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 and point standings updates after two Sprint Cup races.
Ryan Newman, 5th Place: A week after two late-race incidents denied Newman a chance to race for his second Daytona 500 victory, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver scored a solid fifth-place finish at Phoenix. It wasn't quite the win he scored in last year's event, but it provided a 12-position boost in the point standings.
Tony Stewart, 7th Place: Stewart's 59 laps led were second most on the day to race winner Jeff Gordon's 138. For much of the race he appeared destined to contend for his second Phoenix victory, but a late caution flag wiped out his lead, gained by a two-tire strategy on his last pit stop. After the restart, Stewart was unable to contend with the cars on four fresh tires, but he managed to hang on for a seventh-place finish.
Kurt Busch, 8th Place: It was a tale of two races for Busch, who started outside the front row and led the race's opening five laps. He hung around the top-five for most of the afternoon, leading 31 laps in all, but faded to eighth by the race's conclusion.
Denny Hamlin, 11th Place: Hamlin held the lead briefly on two occasions, but only through pit strategy. His Toyota was nowhere as dominant as it had been last November, and he was but an afterthought in a race many expected him to win. In the end, he finished, his fourth straight finish outside the top-ten dating back to last year.
Greg Biffle, 20th Place: Biffle started in the tenth position and maintained position in the race's early stages. He began to fade as the race wore on, however, victimized by an ill-handling Ford. Having just pitted before the race's last caution flag flew, he was trapped a lap down for the final restart. He ended up 20th.
Bobby Labonte, 21st Place: Fresh off his near-win in the Daytona 500, Labonte was one of many drivers victimized in the lap 67 accident. His Toyota suffered front end damage, but he was able to continue without a trip to the garage. Ultimately he placed 21st, two laps down, but maintained a spot in the top-ten in the point standings.
Jeff Burton, 26th Place: Burton was involved in both multi-car accidents that occurred in an eight-lap span Sunday. The second sent his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to the garage for extensive repairs. He finished the race in 26th, ten positions better than his Daytona 500 result, but fell 36 points outside a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Clint Bowyer, 27th Place: Like his teammate Burton, Bowyer was involved in the big crash at lap 67. He had made his way into the top-five and appeared to have a car capable of contending with Jeff Gordon, but heavy nose damage to his Chevrolet sent him to the garage and relegated him to a 27th place finish.
Joey Logano, 33rd Place: Joey qualified a strong sixth and ran in the top 10 in the race's early stages. A broken valve spring, however, dropped him well off the pace. He limped around at the rear of the field until his Toyota power plant finally gave up fewer than 100 laps shy of the finish.
Jamie McMurray, 35th Place: Another victim of the big pile-up, McMurray, who started eighth, spent more than 100 laps in the garage. He eventually returned to the track before retiring for good after completing just 126 laps.
Coca-Cola Racing Family Point Standings Update: Four of the ten Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers are currently in the top-ten in points, while the other six are chasing David Gilliland for the 10th position and a spot in the Chase.
Point leader: Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) 80 Points
2. Kurt Busch (No. 22 Dodge) -3 to Leader
3. Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet) -11
7. Bobby Labonte (No. 47 Toyota) -16
8. Ryan Newman (No. 39 Chevrolet) -16
Outside the Chase
14. Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota) -11, -5 to 10th Place (David Gilliland)
21. Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Chevrolet) -35, -18
26. Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet) -44, -27
28. Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford) - 47, -30
29. Joey Logano (No. 20 Toyota) -48, -31
32. Jeff Burton (No. 31 Chevrolet) -53, -36