NASCAR: Phoenix Raceway: A Beacon Competition in the Desert

In impressive fashion, Hendrick Motorsports displayed their 1.5-mile package prowess by dominating the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway finishing 1-2-3 with drivers William Byron, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman, respectively. The Hendrick contingent managed to lead a combined 241 of the 271 laps completed (88.9%), with Byron scarfing up the lion’s share with 176 laps led out front.

With the big win, Byron is now the third different driver to secure his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and also the NASCAR All-Star Race, which will be held at the newly renovated North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 21. Byron joins DAYTONA 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Auto Club Speedway winner Kyle Busch on the series postseason list. The Las Vegas win also jumped Byron up 16 spots in the point standings, he is now ranked 13th.

The victory at Las Vegas was the fifth for William Byron’s NASCAR Cup Series career, and the first at the 1.5-mile track located just outside Sin City. Byron will look to keep the momentum going this weekend at Phoenix Raceway, the track that will play host to the Championship Race later this season. Byron has made 10 career starts at Phoenix, posting five top-five finishes. His average finish at the 1-mile track is 13.0.

Trackhouse Racing looks strong early, both teams in series points top five

Through three races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Trackhouse Racing drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez have been putting up some impressive performances and as a result both are ranked inside the top five in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings for the second consecutive week – the first season the organization has had both drivers ranked within the top five in points.

Following Las Vegas, Ross Chastain leads the NASCAR Cup Series points standings by a mere three points over second place Alex Bowman and 21 points up on third place Kevin Harvick. Chastain’s teammate Daniel Suárez is currently ranked fourth in the series standings, only 25 points back from Chastain in the series lead. Suárez is the one of only two drivers to score top-10 finishes in all three races this season – Alex Bowman is the only other driver to accomplish the feat.

Looking ahead to Phoenix, expect the Trackhouse Racing success to continue. In this race last season at Phoenix, Chastain finished runner-up to race winner Chase Briscoe and Suárez finished in the top-10 (ninth).

Chastain has made nine series starts at Phoenix Raceway posting two top-five finishes. His average finish at the 1-mile track is an 18.5.

Suárez has made 12 series starts at Phoenix, and the Monterrey, Mexico native has put up three top-10 finishes.

Chase Elliott sidelined with broken leg, Josh Berry to pilot the No. 9 at Phoenix

Blazoned across nearly all of the motorsports’ media outlet websites this last week was the news of Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott being sidelined after breaking his left tibia in a snowboarding accident.

As a result, JR Motorsports’ driver Josh Berry was tapped to pilot the No. 9 Chevrolet at Las Vegas, and after crew chief Alan Gustafson and the No. 9 crew worked feverishly to set the car up for Sunday. Berry finished 29th in his series debut.

Now, with Chase Elliott’s length of absence looking to be nearly six weeks, Berry will have another shot at jumping behind the wheel of the No. 9 this weekend at Phoenix Raceway and all oval events Elliott might miss. IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car star Jordan Taylor will drive the No. 9 at Circuit of The Americas.

“We’re focused on getting Chase back to 100%, so we’ll take however much time is necessary and make sure he has the best resources available,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Josh was impressive this weekend under difficult circumstances, and we look forward to having him drive the oval tracks until Chase is able to return. Jordan is a world-class road racer and has recently been working with our Garage 56 team preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He’ll be able to step in and do a great job at COTA.”

This will be Berry’s NASCAR Cup Series track debut at Phoenix Raceway, but the 32-year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee has made three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 1-mile track posting one top-five finish.

Phoenix Raceway: A beacon of competition in the desert

After three great races to start the season producing three different winners – Rick Stenhouse Jr. (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Auto Club) and William Byron (Las Vegas), the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Phoenix Raceway for the United Rentals Work United 500 this Sunday, March 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted 53 NASCAR Cup Series races prior to this weekend producing 26 different pole winners and 28 different race winners.

Ryan Newman (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008) and Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch (2006, 2012, 2016, 2019) lead the Cup Series in poles at Phoenix Raceway with four each. Eleven of the 26 Phoenix Raceway pole winners are active this weekend.

Previous Article

Jaguars Notebook: Club Puts Franchise Tag on Engram; Waive Perry

Next Article

THE PLAYERS NOTEBOOK: Jon Rahm Withdraws from Event

You might be interested in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *