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Subway Fresh Fit 500: Jimmie Johnson Dominant Early, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Struggles

Jimmie Johnson has pretty much put on a clinic in the early stages of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Through 113 laps, Johnson has led 55 laps and consistently been the fastest car on the race track. Only Kevin Harvick has led for a comparable amount of time, after not pitting on a restart in which Johnson took four tires and started from the 14th position. Johnson shot through the field to reclaim the lead after 43 circuits with Harvick at the front.

Johnson previously dominated Phoenix, winning four of five races from November 2007-2009 and is the all-time lap-leader at the 1-mile oval, despite not racing there until 2002.

While Johnson has been in contention and looking to rebound from last week's tribulations, teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having a tough follow-up to his runner-up result in Monday's Daytona 500. His No. 88 Chevrolet sustained early fender damage after contact with Aric Almirola and has run outside the top-25 for the race's entire duration.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.