NASCAR Racing At Phoenix International Raceway


Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Saturday was qualifying day for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, followed by qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Phoenix International Raceway. The Nationwide Series raced in the Bahas’ Supermarkets 200 after all the qualifying.

This year qualifying is done different than it has been done. Instead of drawing when they will come on the track, they now come out based on speeds in practice, with the slowest coming out first and the fastest last on the track last. For those not locked into the top 35 in owner points (top 30 for Nationwide and top 25 for Trucks), the procedure is the same after the top 35. This makes sense because now if qualifying cannot be completed, drivers will line up for the race based on practice speeds, rather than on owner points. I’m not sure how that will work if a driver not in the top 35 is fastest in practice.

For the Nationwide race, 18 Kyle Busch will start from the pole with 60 Carl Edwards beside him on the front row. Kyle’s speed was 134.30 mph and 26.80 seconds around the track. 33 Kevin Harvick and 20 Joey Logano had to qualify on speed as they are not locked into the top 30 in owner points. (33 points went to KHI 2 car piloted by Elliott Sadler, while 20 points went to 11 Brian Scott.) While Cup drivers do not get championship points for Nationwide races, they still do get to start from the pole and win Nationwide races. And get owner points. Only 40 cars were entered into this race, so all will race.

Qualifying for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 was next, with 99 Carl Edwards capturing the pole with a speed of 137.28 mph and 26.22 seconds. 22 Kurt Busch will start next to him on the front row. 92 Brian Keselowski is the lone driver going home. (For the life of me, I can’t figure out why one driver should go home when he could fill the final row. But that’s just my opinion.)

Now for the Bahas’ Supermarkets 200 Nationwide race. 18 takes off from the pole with 60 staying in second. The first caution is for debris. 88 Aric Almirola gets back on the lead lap. 18 comes out of the pits first with 60 right behind. 18 again takes off. The second caution comes out when 22 Brad Keselowski blows a tire and gets into the wall. 01 Mike Wallace also has a flat tire. 88 again gets back onto the lead lap. The third caution comes out when 16 Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500 champion) blows a tire and gets into the wall.

In the closing laps 70 Shelby Howard limps on the apron and 11 Brian Scott spins but there is no caution for either. 60 tries to pass 18 for the lead and nearly does a couple of times. In the end, 18 Kyle Busch wins the Bahas’ Supermarkets 200 having led all 200 laps with 60 running in second the whole way. Exciting? Well, not to this NASCAR fan. Kyle will now be going for the Trifecta, having won the Camping World Truck Series race and the Nationwide race.

However, since Cup drivers do not get any points, 32 Reed Sorenson leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.


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