The NASCAR Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix as it happened

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 15:  A view of race action during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 15: A view of race action during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his third race of the season late Sunday night.  It was the timing of a pit stop, a little luck and Mother Nature that all combined to give Earnhardt the 26th win of his career and his third of 2015.  The field was also set for the final four who will compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup title in just one week. Here’s how it all went down on a long Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

After a delay of over six hours due to heavy rain showers and 19 pace laps while track drying finished up, Jimmie Johnson led the field to the green under the lights. Kurt Busch was able to get by on the outside for the lead at the end of lap 1, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third behind Johnson, Kyle Larson was fourth,  Carl Edwards fifth. Jamie McMurray’s Chevy was smoking with a tire rub after contact with Kasey Kahne.

On lap 6, NASCAR ruled that Kurt Busch had jumped the start and gave him a pass through penalty. MORE>>>

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Keep warm on cold nights at the track in Official NASCAR Jackets at Store.NASCAR.com

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