Phoenix International Raceway Results from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on March 19th, 2017
Today, NASCAR went short track racing in Phoenix, Arizona. Well, at 1 mile in length, Phoenix isn’t technically a short track. But given it has all the characteristics of a short track, we’ll keep it simple and declare it a short track.
Last week, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano got into a fist fight/wrestling match. NASCAR put that into their marketing campaign, immediately. That has certainly increased attendance and viewership of the NASCAR event at Phoenix Raceway. Last week wasn’t a track known for hot tempers, today we are at a track that makes drivers lose their minds, as we saw yesterday from Austin Dillon.
But, will that rivalry between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch continue? Has it been settled? Perhaps today we’ll find out. Joey Logano starts from the pole. Kyle Busch starts 9th.
312 laps and 312 miles around Phoenix International Raceway. Stage 1 is an 75 lap segment, stage 2 is also 75 laps. The final segment will be 162 laps.
Green flag is out on the Camping World 500. Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney lead the field into turn 1. 312 laps to go. Larson started 4th but gets by Ryan Blaney on the outside, taking the 2nd spot. Dale Earnhardt Jr is piloting his new FlashPoint paint scheme, Jr is 3 wide for 4th. We’re still on lap 1, 312 to go.
Lap 5, the other Earnhardt in the field is the first to have issues. Jeffrey Earnhardt is up in smoke. He pulls to the garage, the first car to exit the races. We’re still green.
50 to go in stage 1, Team Penske is dominating. Joey Logano has lead every lap so far, Brad Keselowski is no in 2nd. Caution. 47 to go, Corey Lajoie has slammed the backstretch wall exiting the dogleg. Parts and pieces fly off directly ahead of the leader. The field hits pit road. Joey Logano exits as the leader. Brad Keselowski loses a whole bunch of spots, he nearly falls outside the top 10. Most took 4 tires.
Green, 43 laps remaining in stage 1. 3 wide for 6th place. It’s Kyle Busch, he’s been aggressively climbing through the field. The usual Phoenix master, Kevin Harvick is hiding all the way back in 16th. 38 to go, trouble again for Kurt Busch, battery issues have surfaced for the 2nd week in a row. He will need to turn off all the interior blowers. Not good at Phoenix, in-car air temp is upwards of 135 degrees.
9 to go in stage 1 at Phoenix. We have a battle for the stage win. Kyle Larson has been on the rise in 2017. He’s now trying to take the stage win from Joey Logano. 6 to go, lap traffic has stacked the leaders. Brad Keselowski is now in the picture, running 3rd.
We’ve got a battle for stage points. 5 to go, Brad Keselowski looks under Kyle Larson. He’s there but can’t make it stick. All this has brought another two cars into the scene, Chase Elliot and Jamie McMurray.
2 to go, the side-by-side racing for 2nd has allowed Joey Logano to clear by 3 car lengths. Kyle Larson give it one last try in turn 4. It doesn’t pay off, Joey Logano wins stage 1 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Phoenix Stage 1 Results: 1) Joey Logano; 2) Kyle Larson; 3) Brad Keselowski; 4) Chase Elliott; 5) Jammie McMurray; 6) Kyle Busch; 7) Ryan Blaney; 8) Jimmie Johnson; 9) Ryan Newman; 10) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The whole field pits. They resume on track in nearly the same order. Kurt Busch hits pit road for the second time. His digital dash has gone black. They are changing the battery.
Joey Logano speaks on the race so far, “It’s not a bad start. It got pretty intense there at the end. Got a long way to go, so we’ll keep fighting hard.”
Green flag on stage 2. Lap 2, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott split the leader down the front straight away, 3 wide for the lead. Chase Elliott is now the leader, Larson 2nd and Logano runs 3rd.
Lap 27 of 75, Chase Elliott has pulled away by 1 second. He’ll likely have less tires toward the end of this run. 75 laps can be stretched the length of a fuel run. We may not see pit stops, if it stays green.
45 to go, Kyle Busch has caught Joey Logano. They are racing for 4th. Logano runs high and basically lets him go by. Kyle Busch is excited, so excited he nearly smacks the wall on the exit of turn 4. He might have a scrape or two on the right rear.
Caution. 33 to go, Corey Lajoie has hit the wall. This time it’s a tire or brake issue. The car didn’t turn at all on corner entry. The field hits pit road. Chase Elliot is 1st off pit road. He’s followed by Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. Trouble, Joey Logano is hit with a speeding penalty, the pole sitter is sent to the tail. Green, 28 to go in stage 2.
3 to go in stage 2, Chase Elliott is gone. He’s gapped Kyle Larson by nearly 3 seconds. Chase Elliott will win stage 2. Joey Logano, winner of the first stage is outside the top 20.
Phoenix Stage 2 Results: 1) Chase Elliott; 2) Kyle Larson; 3) Kyle Busch; 4) Jimmie Johnson; 5) Brad Keselowski; 6) Jamie McMurray; 7) Erik Jones; 8) Ryan Blaney; 9) Denny Hamlin; 10) Kevin Harvick.
The whole field pits to begin the 3rd and final stage with fresh tires. Kyle Larson nearly beats Chase Elliott off pit road, a foot short.
Jeff Gordon interviews the driver of the #24, asking what changed to get him up front. Chase Elliott responds, “Yeah, honestly we really haven’t changed a whole lot. It’s really been more, just air. Trying to get that clear air, as you know… It’s huge, especially at this place.”
Green, lap 158 of 312. Kyle Busch looks to make it 3 wide for the lead, 100 feet after the green was thrown. He bails. Chase Elliott resumes as the leader.
121 laps to go, Matt Kenseth and the Tide car have pounded the wall. Right front tire has exploded. He hit the wall hard, on impact the radiator also exploded. Water runs down the front-straight. He exits the car and appears to be ok.
Green. Kyle Busch is now your leader, they grabbed the lead on pit road. He’s followed by Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott. Joey Logano has rebounded, he sits just outside the top 10.
108 laps to go, big crash! David Ragan cuts a left rear while racing for the free pass. Gray Gaulding is on his outside, they both slam the outside wall. Kurt Busch will become the ‘free pass’ car. Under yellow, Denny Hamlin thinks he has a flat tire. He pits.
Green flag with 101 laps to go. Kyle Busch leaps off the restart. He leads off turn 2. Kyle Larson is all over Brad Keselowski for 2nd. The Penske driver holds him off.
75 to go, Kyle Busch continues to pull away, lap by lap. Brad Keselowski is running 2nd. Stage 2 winner, Chase Elliott runs 5th. Stage 1 winner, Joey Logano is now moving in the wrong direction, he’s running 16th.
Caution. 56 to go, Cole Whitt has is the wall. Kyle Busch had just caught lapped traffic, Keselowski was starting to reel him in. The field pits. Kyle Busch exits pit road as the leader. Kyle Larson beats Brad Keselowski to the pit exit line. Martin Truex Jr has big problems with an air hose, it’s stuck under the side skirt. Ryan Blaney, too fast on pit road. This is likely the last pit stop of the race, aside from a caution.
Green. Kyle Busch beats Kyle Larson. Kevin Harvick has appeared in the picture. Harvick is racing for 2nd. Erik Jones get passed Chase Elliott for 5th. Logano is now running 7th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr is just trying to limp it home. He’s lost his brakes, the pedal is nearly on the floor. He’s losing a lot of entry speed as he enters the corner light on the pedal. 40 laps to go, that’s a long way to limp a car home without brakes. He could be the next caution. Kurt Busch is also having issues, the team is out of batteries.
25 to go. Logano is again, moving in the wrong direction. Michael McDowell is all over the rear bumper of AJ Allmendinger for 26th. McDowell slams his bumper several times. They race hard and continue to swap positions, something has happened to heat both these drivers up. Denny Hamlin has rebounded from his cut tire, he runs 10th.
Caution. 6 to go and Joey Logano is in the wall. A blown tire send him hard into the turn 1 wall. Kyle Busch had a 3 second lead over Kyle Larson, that’s just evaporated. Kurt Busch misses his pit stall, on purpose, to avoid contact with his brother as he exited his pit stall. 3 cars have stayed out on track. Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Martin Truex Jr.
Green, white and checkered. Ricky Stenhouse Jr slides into turn 1. He tags Kyle Larson, the #42 gathers it and holds on to 2nd. Ryan Newman is the leader, 1 to go. Kyle Busch is 3rd.
Ryan Newman wins on a pit stop gamble! He beats the 45:1 odds against him. The rocketman will take Richard Childress Racing to victory lane at Phoenix International Raceway. The first win for the team came at this very track in 2013. Larson holds on for 2nd, Kyle Busch 3rd.
Ryan Newman exits his car in victory lane. A tornado of spayed Coka-Cola and confetti, “I lost count. That’s how long it’s been.” He continued, “That was a gutsy call by Luke [Lambert]. I called for two tires, he called for none. I’ve won more races with no tires, than I have with four. We had a good car all day. Kept it out of trouble and collected at the end. I had the chills about lap 150, I’m done.”
Kyle Larson pickup up yet another runner up finish. He will leave Phoenix as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point leader.
Kyle Busch was interviewed by Jamie Little post race, “Everything’s great! We got a top 5, that’s what we set out to do. It was just awesome there at the end, guys made some really good calls on it. We had a little miscue there on pit road with Kurt. We definitely needed the outside there, like Larson had. Overall, we should be proud of our run today.”
Author: Shane Walters
Phoenix International Raceway Final Laps Video
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
March 19, 2017
Phoenix International Raceway Results
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
March 19, 2017
1) Ryan Newman
2) Kyle Larson
3) Kyle Busch
4) Ricky Stenhouse Jr
5) Brad Keselowski
6) Kevin Harvick
7) Daniel Suarez
8) Erik Jones
9) Jimmie Johnson
10) Denny Hamlin
11) Martin Truex Jr
12) Chase Elliott
13) Clint Bowyer
14) Dale Earnhardt Jr
15) Jammie McMurray
16) Ty Dillon
17) Eric Almirola
18) Austin Dillon
19) Trevor Bayne
20) Kasey Kahne
21) Paul Menard
22) Danica Patrick
23) Ryan Blaney
24) Michael McDowell
25) Kurt Busch
26) AJ Allmendinger
27) Chris Buescher
28) Landon Cassill
29) Matt DiBenedetto
30) Reed Sorenson
31) Joey Logano
32) Timmy Hill
33) Derrike Cope
34) Cole Whitt
35) David Ragan
36) Gray Gaulding
37) Matt Kenseth
38) Corey Lajoie
39) Jeffrey Earnhardt
Side note: Phoenix International Raceway will soon change drastically. A $178 million Phoenix reconfiguration is expected to be completed by November 2018.