Fresh generation of drivers emerging on NASCAR circuit
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 23:35
Unlike the earlier stop, Elliott won the race off pit road with just two tires and fuel, while everyone else took four tires.
Blaney finished second in this year's Daytona 500; Larson won at MI last year and finished second in the last two Cup races.
Newman earned his first victory in four years and also the first for Richard Childress Racing since 2013, the year before Newman joined the team.
Kyle Busch, the leader for almost all of the final stage of the race, was third on a day when the temperature soared to 97 degrees at Phoenix International Raceway. He had a win stripped from him late last week at Phoneix because of a late caution caused by, of all people, Joey Logano, who Busch owes a payback.
Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford lost four spots on pit road during the caution while the team struggled to get the left rear tire off. Logano was able to maintain his lead off pit road.
That opened the door for Kyle Busch, who dominated much of the second half, only to have a caution fly late and force a green-white-checkered finish, where a gutsy call by Ryan Newman's crew chief handed him the win. Larson finished second in the race.
Blaney feels hes closing in on that first win.
Then the race went into overtime.
And before you say, "old school racers fought", 'old school racers had an edge.' That is true. Our race stuff has been pretty good though and we will just look to do that again..
A six-time champion owner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, a victor of 106 races and a newly minted member of the sport's hall of fame, the 71-year-old might have been forgiven doubts of when he would flirt with either of the first two experiences again.
"When I started, we had two cars at DEI and it was two different teams and two different buildings and not sharing everything", he said. The El Cajon native holds the track's record with six wins, 13 top-fives and 980 laps led in 22 starts. I've won more races with no tires than I ever have before, so I'm just proud of these guys. We had a good auto all day.
Site: Phoenix Schedule: Sunday, race, 3:30 p.m., FOX.
As for Busch, well, he finished third.
Logano won the first stage and Chase Elliott the second in NASCAR's new three-stage system.
Ultimately, even with the small victories made by Logano and Elliott, there was only one true race victor, and for Lambert, that is what makes NASCAR so tough and entertaining.
Defending champion Kevin Harvick, an eight-time victor in Phoenix, had trouble and qualified 23rd.
On the final restart, Newman came out of nowhere and brought home his first win of the season, and the first win for Roger Penske.
Monster Energy Cup Series Sunday Phoenix International RacewayAvondale, Ariz. On an afternoon that peaked at 95 degrees in Phoenix, Newman said he was exhausted from the blistering heat around Lap 150.
To clear the air and ensure there would be no further retaliation, NASCAR met with Busch and Logano on Friday prior to practice at Phoenix.
Another driver with a good weekend was rookie Erik Jones, who wheeled his No. 77 5-hour Energy Toyota to his first top-10 at the Cup level in just his seventh attempt on the big-boy circuit.