Phoenix provided for some very exciting action! Both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races were very action packed. Here are the recaps of the races.
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Dollar General 200
Coming off a wild race in Daytona, the NASCAR Nationwide Series headed into the desert in Phoenix. Qualifying took place on Saturday morning before the race. Kyle Busch took the pole followed by his two teammates, Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth. These three drivers gave Joe Gibbs Racing the top three starting spots of the race.
The race began with Kyle Busch quickly showing how dominant and fast his car was with him leading a majority of the opening laps. A big setback came for him when the caution came out and everyone headed down pit road. Kyle overshot his pit box and then got a pit road speeding penalty. He had to go to the rear of the field on the ensuing restart. This didn’t keep Kyle down as he remained humorous and positive on the radio with his crew chief.
He quickly shot his way back up to the front of the field and eventually passing Brad Keselowski for the lead and winning the race. This snapped a long winless streak for Kyle in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He spent all last year winless in the series. This was also his first win in the #54 Monster Energy Toyota. His brother Kurt previously held the only win in the car.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Subway Fresh Fit 500
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series began their weekend with a qualifying session on Friday. This would set the lineup for the race on Sunday. The pole was won by Mark Martin in the #55 Aaron’s Toyota. Three cars had to go to the rear of the field: Kurt Busch due to a backup car, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch due to engine changes.
At the start of the race Kurt, Kyle, and Denny stormed through the field and quickly found themselves up front. A problem came when Kyle Busch drove in too deep into a turn causing the car to spin out and messing up the splitter. Kurt and Denny were solidly in the top 10 at the time of Kyle’s wreck. The biggest wreck of the day came when #10 Danica Patrick wrecked into the wall causing #34 David Ragan to hit her and destroying both cars.
A late race caution put Carl Edwards in the lead in the race off of pit road. With about 3 laps to go, a caution came out for the #32 of Ken Schrader causing it to be a Green-White-Checkered finish.
Carl Edwards was the leader followed by Jimmie Johnson in 2nd, Brad Keselowski in 3rd, and Denny Hamlin in 4th. Brad pushed Carl to the lead and Carl took off from there to emerge victorious breaking a long winless streak that dates back to the 2011 season.
I thought the races this weekend were pretty good. The recent repave at Phoenix has made the racing there much more exciting. It was cool to see Carl win because he hasn’t won in a long time. My race pick Denny Hamlin brought home a 3rd place finish and had there been another restart I think he could’ve given Carl a run for the win.
I was also happy to see my favorite, Kyle Busch win the Nationwide Race on my birthday! (Also got a Happy Birthday tweet on Twitter from Kurt Busch) I enjoyed the races this weekend and I look forward to Las Vegas. Please be sure to like my Facebook page for daily updates and photos from all around NASCAR.