NASCAR closes out west coast swing at Phoenix

The most effective issues about NASCAR racing in Las Vegas and Phoenix is that you just don’t have to fret a lot concerning the climate, besides possibly the nice and cozy temperatures.

In Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Sequence occasion, it was cool by comparability to the Cup Sequence race the subsequent day. The monitor was 30 levels hotter on Sunday, however the climate had little impact on both race.

For the primary time this 12 months, the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence had a repeat winner with Austin Cindric placing his No. 22 Crew Penske Mustang into the winner’s circle. That was adopted by Martin Truex Jr., who grew to become the fifth totally different driver this 12 months within the NASCAR Cup Sequence, besting Joey Logano in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry. It additionally occurred to be his first victory since Martinsville Speedway final June. He’s the second driver from JGR to punch a ticker into the NASCAR playoffs after Christopher Bell received on the Daytona Street Course.

Additionally Learn: How Martin Truex Jr. received at Phoenix

However there have been a number of different developments from the NASCAR weekend that want some consideration whereas not being headline grabbers. So here’s a have a look at the NASCAR weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

A NASCAR driver getting into reverse?

The season began with a bang. By successful the Daytona 500, Michael McDowell secured his NASCAR playoff spot, leaving the remainder of the season to only drive and accumulate as many bonus factors as attainable. A lot for these plans after 5 races.

McDowell adopted up his victory within the Nice American Race with an eighth and sixth, respectively, on the Daytona Street Course and Homestead-Miami Speedway. A P17 at Las Vegas was regarded as an anomaly, nevertheless it was P23 in Phoenix on Sunday.

So far as amassing playoff bonus factors, he has none. He has not received a stage in any NASCAR race. So far as stage factors, he has exactly 4. He’s tied with Cole Custer and Matt DiBenedetto, with solely Aric Almirola (3) and Ross Chastain (2) behind him.

It’s nonetheless early, however the pattern has to fret Bob Jenkins, the Entrance Row Motorsports proprietor. His different automotive, pushed by Anthony Alfredo, is struggling with a season-best end of P22. A crash 87 laps in ended his day on Sunday. Nevertheless, McDowell was getting his props for the early-season success, and there was discuss of him having a fantastic season. Now?

As NASCAR heads again to the east coast, the subsequent race is at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a monitor that has not been good to McDowell. In 10 begins on the Georgia venue, his finest is a P22 twice and he has a median end of 33.8. Possibly he can look to the Bristol dust race to get issues again on monitor.

Justin Allgaier saves JR Motorsports, however …

It’s laborious to have fun a primary top-10 of the season, however Justin Allgaier virtually noticed that vanish on the ultimate two laps of the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence Name 800 Earlier than You Dig 200. Restarts are at all times chaotic at Phoenix Raceway, and despite the fact that he was purported to be on the entrance row, he used the choose-rule to line up behind the race chief.

Additionally Learn: Did crew chief value Bubba Wallace at top-10?

When the inexperienced flag waved, the mad scramble started, and Allgaier bought some assist entering into the wall, ending his probability on the win. He would end a disappointing P8, however contemplating how his season has unfolded, it is as shut as he has been to discovering victory lane. It’s additionally lots higher than his teammates at JR Motorsports.

As a staff, JRM has struggled out of the gate with one top-five (Noah Gragson at Las Vegas) and 6 top-10s by 5 NASCAR Xfinity occasions. The darkish cloud that has adopted the staff hovered over Phoenix, with three of the 4 vehicles failing to make it to the top of the competition.

Noah Gragson was the primary one out after 67 laps with a blown engine marking his third DNF of the season, ending P39. His crew didn’t realize it was a problem till they noticed it on the Fox Sports activities 1 feed. Michael Annett would additionally lose a motor after operating within the high 20 for many of the race. He made it to Lap 93 for his second DNF.

Josh Berry had a day he want to neglect. He has 4 NASCAR Xfinity begins and has extra top-10s (2) than another JRM driver, however it might be a collection of calamities that may finish his day after scoring a P8 on the finish of Stage 2.

Late within the race, he got here in for service and needed to return to the pits due to unfastened lugs. He was then bagged for rushing. He restarted P31 within the again with slower vehicles, and you may just about guess what occurred subsequent. It was his second crash DNF.

It’s laborious to get untracked if you don’t end races. In virtually half the begins for JR Motorsports (4 vehicles, 5 begins), the staff has 9 DNFs thus far. To paraphrase a tune from the long-running TV present Hee Haw, “If it weren’t for dangerous luck, they’d haven’t any luck in any respect, gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

A NASCAR (hearth) go well with and Ty, what’s subsequent for the prodigy?

It doesn’t appear to be his first win in his first NASCAR nationwide collection begin was a fluke. Some folks thought Ty Gibbs bought his journey on the Daytona Street Course on the again of his household title. Those self same folks haven’t any drawback with NASCAR drivers not fairly prepared for prime time getting seat time as a result of they’ve sponsors to deliver with them. It’s an odd place to take, however Gibbs bought his probability as a result of he earned it.

It’s protected to say; Ty Gibbs is the actual deal. The child wins and wins and wins. Put him in a automotive and level him to the checkered flag. How are these numbers?

  • NASCAR Ok&N Professional Sequence East – Six begins, one win, six top-fives.
  • NASCAR Ok&N Professional Sequence West – One begin, one win.
  • ARCA Menards West – Two begins, one win, two top-fives.
  • ARCA Menards East – Six Begins, one win, 5 top-fives.
  • ARCA Menards Sequence – 29 begins, 9 wins, 21 top-fives, 25 top-10s, together with a win and a fourth in two races this 12 months.

Gibbs received on Friday at Phoenix Raceway in ARCA and began the NASCAR Xfinity Name 800 Earlier than You Dig 200 Saturday. He wasn’t in an enviable place beginning P27, however that didn’t cease the 18-year outdated. On the finish of Stage 1, Gibbs was P10. Stage 2 finish, he gained one spot to P9. He made runs towards the entrance within the remaining stage, nevertheless it was the ultimate restart that put him able to win once more.

The No. 54 Supra averted the same old Phoenix restart mayhem (see Justin Allgaier above) and got here away unscathed and had Austin Cindric in his sights. Gibbs was about 5 automotive lengths behind on the white flag and closed the hole solely to fall brief on the finish.

“It was a studying expertise greater than something,” Gibbs mentioned in a Toyota launch. “I’m simply studying how these items race on the ovals, however I’m very grateful to be right here. I can’t thank (sponsor) Pristine Public sale sufficient. Only one spot brief.”

You possibly can guess that Ty Gibbs might be round on the finish of many NASCAR races sooner or later.

Printed 15 Mar 2021, 06:27 IST

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