NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500
Phoenix International Raceway Distance: 312 miles (312 laps)
Sunday, March 13 3:30 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200
The Place: Phoenix International Raceway Distance: 200 miles (200 laps)
Saturday, March 12 2:30 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250
Martinsville Speedway Distance: 131.5 miles (250 laps)
The Date: Saturday, April 2 2:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Car 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with 5 laps remaining to win the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – his 1st win in 33 races at the (Auto Club 2015).
The key to the race was a late race call by crew chief Paul Wolfe, the Car 2 Ford driver wouldn’t have taken home the checkered flag.
Keselowski came back from a pit road speeding penalty on lap 180.
Car 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet
Harvick is the favorite to win at Phoenix
Car 4 Chevrolet driver has won 5 of the last 7 races, including four of the last 5 at the one-mile track. Overall, he boasts a record 7 wins at the Arizona oval and will go for number eight in Sunday’s Good Sam 500 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX).
Harvick’s 1,345 career laps led and his 264 laps led in a single race (Nov. 2014) are both track records.
Since PIR debuted its repaved surface in Fall of 2011, Harvick leads all drivers with five wins, a 4.6 average finish, 1,028 laps led and a 130.1 driver rating.
Car 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Nationwide Chevrolet
In 27 starts at PIR, the car 88 Nationwide Chevrolet driver has 3 wins, 8 Top 5 & 13 Top 10s. He has been strong in his last 6 Phoenix starts, producing 4 Top 5 & 5 Top 10s.
Car 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75 Toyota
The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion leads the series points standings by 6 over Jimmie Johnson. He finished 3rd in both of the races prior to Las Vegas.
In 21 starts at Phoenix – the site of the next NSCS race – Busch has 1 win, 4 Top 5s, 13 Top 10s & 2 poles. He boasts the fourth-best average running position (11.6) and 5th-best driver rating (97.3) among active competitors. Dating back to last season, Busch has logged a Top-5 finish in his last 7 starts.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Race Off To Exciting Start
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year race has been as good as advertised.
First-year full-time drivers have strutted their stuff, providing entertaining racing and strong finishes.
In the latest chapter on Sunday at Las Vegas, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney ran in the top 10 for the majority of the race. Elliott got tangled up in a wreck on lap 225 that ruined his day, but Blaney strolled to a sixth-place showing – his career-high finish at an open-motor track.
Blaney leads Elliott in the NSCS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by seven points. Brian Scott and Chris Buescher trail tied for third (-10), while Jeffrey Earnhardt ranks fifth (-22).
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Suárez Takes Over Points Lead, Hits Major Milestone
On the strength of three consecutive top 10s to start the season, Daniel Suárez took the points lead for the first time in his young – and impressive – career.
It was also the first-time in NASCAR history that a driver born outside the United States has led the standings in any NASCAR national series. The Mexico-born driver also matched his best finish of second last weekend at Las Vegas.
Suárez is currently three points ahead of second-place Elliott Sadler and seven points ahead of third-place Ty Dillon and fourth-place Brandon Jones.
Suárez has made two starts at Phoenix, posting one top five and an average finish of 7.5.
NASCAR’s Loop Data points to Suárez running strong in Phoenix. He is ranked in the top 10 in three major statistical categories: seventh in pre-race driver rating (101.1), fifth in average running position (7.4), and first in percentage of laps run in the top 15 (100.0%).
Top Four In The Standings Are Separated By Seven Points
Three races into the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, the top four drivers in the standings are separated by just seven points.
Daniel Suárez holds the lead – three points ahead of second-place Elliott Sadler, and seven points ahead of third-place Ty Dillon and fourth-place Brandon Jones.
Competition has been tight this season. JR Motorsports’ veteran Elliott Sadler dropped to second in the points this week following his third top-10 finish of the year. Sadler has posted an average finish of 7.0 this season, yet he couldn’t stop Suárez.
Sadler rolls into Phoenix looking to make his 15th series start there. In his previous 14 starts, he has posted one win (2012), four top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 12.4.
Nipping at Sadler’s heels is Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon, whose 2016 season has seen one top five and two top 10s. Dillon runs well at Phoenix. In four starts at the one-mile oval, he has posted two top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 6.2.
Brandon Jones is the highest ranked Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the series driver standings. This season, he has posted two top-10 finishes and an average finish of 8.0. He will be making his series track debut at Phoenix this weekend.
Rookies On The Move: Erik Jones, Poole Are Climbing The Series Standings
Two of the biggest movers in the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship points this past weekend were Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates Erik Jones (+4 point positions) and Brennan Poole (+4 point positions).
Jones has been on a tear the past two weeks. Following Atlanta, Jones vaulted 11 spots in the points from 22nd to 11th. This past weekend, he jumped another four up to seventh; which shouldn’t be surprising because he has rallied off two third-place finishes in his last two starts.
Expect Jones’ ascension in the standings to continue this weekend at Phoenix. In three starts at the one-mile track, he has posted two top fives and an average finish of 4.7.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Brennan Poole has been playing catch-up these past few weekends due to his 27th-place finish in the season opener at Daytona that buried him in the standings (18th). The resilient Poole finished 14th at Atlanta, jumping three spots in the points and finished 11th last week, moving him up an additional four spots to 11th.
Poole has made one start at Phoenix, finishing 26th after starting 21st.
Erik Jones leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by six points over second-place Brandon Jones following Las Vegas.
Double Duty: Busch, Elliott, Dillon and Keselowski Will Line up Saturday
Four popular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will be competing this weekend in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway: Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, and Brad Keselowski. All four are former series champions who are returning to the series where they made their names.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has a three-weekend hiatus leading up to the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway (Saturday, April 2, 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1).
Through two races, Johnny Sauter and John Hunter Nemechek have clinched the first two spots in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase by winning at Daytona and Atlanta, respectively.
Parker Kligerman leads the NCWTS in points. He is followed by Daniel Hemric (-1), Nemechek (-3), Timothy Peters (-6) and Tyler Young (-8). Ryan Truex (-10), Brandon Brown (-12), Ben Rhodes (-12), Grant Enfinger (-13) and Sauter (-14) round out the top 10.
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR