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Drivers, teams react to big Phoenix Raceway news
Phoenix Raceway , along with parent company International Speedway Corporation, announced on Monday a massive, $178 million modernization project designed to make the fan and race experience even better. The project is set to debut in the fall of 2018, but drivers, teams and other tracks were already talking about it. Here's what was said on social media. Interesting changes. Hoping for a little extra elbow room in that Cup garage. https://t.co/HHjnS2nUhT — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 30, 2017 https://t.co/WJN2nVm4er — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) January 30, 2017 Huge announcement from @PhoenixRaceway ! https://t.co/Jsstu1XoV6 — Watkins Glen Int'l (@WGI) January 30, 2017 This is awesome! https://t.co/oFHxnqADrh — Auto Club Speedway (@ACSupdates) January 30, 2017 Super Excited for @PhoenixRaceway Can't Wait to See Those Checkered Flags in the Desert!!! https://t.co/Qc577OOZLf — Martinsville Spdway (@MartinsvilleSwy) January 30, 2017 https://t.co/jBiS1ZdTBN — Richmond Raceway (@RIRInsider) January 30, 2017 There are major upgrades coming to @PhoenixRaceway in the next 2 yrs! The S/F line will also be repositioned. #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/pvUMdERdHK — Red Horse Racing (@RedHorseRacing) January 30, 2017 We're loving this @PhoenixRaceway ! #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/ItYd7jvxXJ — Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) January 30, 2017 #NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton: "We're very honored to be a part of this and are excited about what it holds." #PhoenixRacewayProject — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 . @joeylogano On The New Start/Finish Line: Turn 3 will get very interesting...You'll see a lot of slide jobs + excitement on the racetrack! — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 Lots of changes coming at PIR! Check 'em out: https://t.co/nptsujOCDs : @PhoenixRaceway pic.twitter.com/BGEwZyeT9v — Furniture Row Racing (@FRRacingTeam) January 30, 2017 We're beyond excited for the changes that are coming to @PhoenixRaceway ! #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/StUAopGVOI — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) January 30, 2017 . @Daniel_SuarezG "The big investment will be amazing for the fans...They will get to interact more with the drivers." #PhoenixRacewayProject — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 Have you seen these newly announced changes coming to @PhoenixRaceway ? Looks awesome!! #NASCAR https://t.co/zyfrl3bBfS — LeavineFamilyRacing (@LFR95) January 30, 2017 " Phoenix has been a great place for me with amazing fans; this investment by @PhoenixRaceway is going to be great for the fans!" pic.twitter.com/W6HW3mEiJl — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) January 30, 2017 Class photo with everyone in attendance at today's announcement. @PhoenixRaceway pic.twitter.com/8T2cahqe8I — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) January 30, 2017 Big news from our friends @DCSolar and @PhoenixRaceway ! See below #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/BLHWGSMe3c — Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) January 30, 2017
Phoenix Raceway unveils details for $178 million modernization project
MORE: Buy tickets for the March race RELATED: Fast facts on Phoenix project PHOENIX , Ariz. -- Officials with International Speedway Corp., and Phoenix Raceway jointly announced plans for a $178 million facelift for the 1-mile facility on Monday that focuses on improving the fan experience while also including a competition twist that will see the relocation of the track’s start/finish line. The facility, located in Avondale, Arizona, annually hosts two NASCAR race weekends, and has hosted what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 1988. The track's first 2017 race weekend is scheduled for March 17-19 and will feature the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series .
Keselowski's No. 2 Ford fails post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings " Detailed breakdown Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Team Penske Ford team could face penalties this week after his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride failed post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday night. The No. 2 failed weights and measures after Keselowski piloted it to a fifth-place finish. No other cars failed post-race tech inspection. Ryan Newman's No. 31 race-winning Chevrolet, Kyle Larson's runner-up No. 42 entry and Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Ford will all head back to NASCAR's R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further routine inspection.
Hot Lap: Phoenix International Raceway
Take a virtual lap around the Phoenix International Raceway with Jimmie Johnson.
Zalenski survives Phoenix melee for first NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series win
RELATED: See the complete iRacing schedule Rookie NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series driver Bobby Zalenski scored his first victory at Phoenix International Raceway Tuesday night, holding off Ray Alfalla and Ryan Luza on two late-race restarts. Zalenski took the lead on a restart with ten laps to go when leader Andrew Fayash missed a shift. Logan Clampitt, who was restarting second, also moved alongside Fayash as the three raced door-to-door into Turn 1. Zalenski had such a sharp angle into the corner he could not keep his car on the bottom which led him to hit Clampitt, spinning the erstwhile series leader out of contention. Zalenski escaped with minimal damage and had the race lead, but he would need to execute on one more restart with the two strongest drivers in 2017 thus far right behind him. The green flew with five laps left but before Alfalla and Luza could challenge for the win, Michael Conti spun Fayash entering Turn One leading to a race-ending caution. Alfalla finished runner-up, right in front of Luza as both rebounded from their problems at Texas. Dylan Duval finished fourth and Zack Novak was fifth, the first time either driver has finished in the top five this season. Matt Bussa started on pole and led the race to the green flag, building a comfortable lead on Luza during the opening laps. Bussa led the entirety of the first run, only relinquishing the lead to pit for tires and fuel on Lap 53. However, Bussa would not return to the front after the stops as several sim racers short-pitted including Michael Conti, who assumed the lead. A caution on Lap 59 brought nearly all the lead lap cars back into the pits for tires with Conti leading the pack off pit road. Conti would restart third but only took one lap to pass Adam Gilliland and Marcus Richardson to retake the lead. Unlike the first run when Luza kept in touch with Bussa, nobody came close to matching Conti's speed on the long run as the No. 5 drove off and left the field. Like Bussa, Conti led until pitting for routine service on Lap 106 and just like the first round of stops, a caution interrupted the pit cycle before it was complete, costing Conti and other frontrunners some track position. The final 40 laps were quite the wreckfest as drivers tried to gain positions after restarts. Chris Overland held the lead briefly but Fayash got by shortly after the restart. Despite not showing speed early in the race, Fayash looked quite strong out front and led until his unfortunate missed shift and subsequent crash one restart later. Luza is back on top of the standings thanks to his third-place effort and Clampitt's troubles. He leads Zalenski by five points while Clampitt slips to third, seven points adrift. Alfalla sits fourth, but is within striking distance as he is only 13 points out of the lead. Darik Bourdeau rounds out the top five, 32 points back. Next up is a date with Richmond International Raceway , the second-consecutive short track on the schedule. Look for many of the same faces to be up front as Luza, Alfalla, Clampitt and Zalenski look to break away from the field. With 2017 looking like one of the most competitive NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series seasons ever, can anyone break away and become the favorite for the sim racing title? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive!
Pole winner Logano leads final Phoenix practice
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix RELATED: Final practice results " Best 10-lap averages Coors Light Pole winner Joey Logano continued to show speed at Phoenix International Raceway as he led Saturday's final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, turning a lap at the 1-mile track at 134.736 mph in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Matt Kenseth was second in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 134.519 mph. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch in the No. 18 JGR Toyota at 134.399 mph, Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford at 134.384 and Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 134.368 mph, respectively. Daniel Suarez's car spun early in the final practice session, and the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota skidded toward the inside wall before stopping short of it. He returned to practice with about nine minutes remaining in the session. RELATED: Suarez spins in final practice SECOND PRACTICE " Results Earlier in the day, Chase Elliott led the opening practice Saturday, traveling around the 1-mile track in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet at 135.977 mph. This came on the heels of Elliott topping Friday's only practice in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at 137.101 mph. Logano was second at 135.446 mph in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Kyle Larson (Chevrolet), Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) and Keselowski (Ford) rounded out the top five. RELATED: Stenhouse hits the wall in practice Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall early in practice, bringing out the red flag and doing minimal damage to the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Stenhouse indicated it was a brake problem that caused him to lose control of the car. He came back out on track with the same vehicle (i.e. not a backup car). Three teams served 15-minute penalties at the start of practice for issues during pre-qualifying inspection: The No. 3 of Austin Dillon, the No. 13 of Ty Dillon and the No. 38 of David Ragan. Monster Energy Cup Series returns to the track Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET for the Camping World 500 (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). &lt;/p&gt;
Darlington Raceway to host expansive open test
At least 10 teams expected at track Wednesday RELATED: Buy tickets for Darlington At least 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected to participate in a one-day open team test Wednesday at Darlington Raceway . The historic 1.366-mile track, the first paved speedway to feature NASCAR competition, will host the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, Sept. 6. Drivers scheduled to take part in this week's test are: Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Greg Biffle ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ), Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Ryan Newman ( Richard Childress Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ). The test is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. ( UPDATE: End time pushed up to 4:45 p.m. ET because of expected showers.) Biffle, Bowyer, McMurray and Newman will also be on hand Tuesday for a single-day Goodyear tire test. "This is a great, free opportunity for fans to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams race around our famed oval for the first time in nearly 14 months," track president Chip Wile said. "This will be the only time the teams and drivers will be able to see Darlington before the series returns on Labor Day weekend." The Sprint Cup Series hasn't visited Darlington since April of 2014. An offseason schedule change moved the event back to the holiday weekend, a spot it held on the schedule for more than 50 years. The open test will be the seventh of the season. Future single-day tests are scheduled for Richmond International Raceway , Chicagoland Speedway , Bristol Motor Speedway , Homestead-Miami Speedway , Kansas Speedway , Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway . Nearly all of the tests follow one- or two-day Goodyear tire tests at the individual tracks. The Richmond team test, scheduled for June 17, is a recent addition. Meanwhile, a two-day Goodyear tire test at Bristol was changed to a single-day open team test (July 30). NASCAR banned private team testing for 2015, developing the National Series Master Unified Test Schedule instead to provide teams an opportunity to work with this season's new rules package. Only one team from each Sprint Cup organization is allowed to participate in the open team tests. The four teams taking part in the Goodyear portion are the only ones from their organizations allowed to participate in the open test, if they choose. "With the Bojangles' Southern 500 being the second-to-last race before the Chase cutoff, I'm sure the teams will be looking for a little something extra to get to … Victory Lane and potentially secure a Chase berth before times runs out," Wile said. Two sections of the Colvin Grandstands, located on the backstretch, will be open to fans. Kevin Harvick , 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is the defending winner of the Bojangles' Southern 500 . In addition to the Sprint Cup race, Darlington Raceway will also host the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race Saturday, Sept. 5. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Allgaier triumphs at Phoenix , wins Dash 4 Cash prize
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Detailed breakdown AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Justin Allgaier popped a tire during his celebratory burnout after Saturday's DC Solar 200 at Phoenix International Raceway . But you can forgive the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet if he was a trifle rusty with his donuts -- Allgaier hadn't been to Victory Lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series since August in 2012 at the road course in Montreal. On a blistering afternoon that brought emotions to a boil at the 1-mile race track in the Sonoran Desert, Allgaier sailed away with a magnificent restart with four laps left and finished .741 seconds ahead of runner-up Ryan Blaney, who started 33rd after inspection issues kept him off the grid during qualifying earlier in the day. "You have no idea how proud I am of you," Allgaier radioed to his team after he crossed the finish line and broke an 80-race drought.
Harvick, Junior, Suarez highlight crucial preseason Phoenix test
RELATED: Buy tickets for Phoenix races in March and November Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick has won six of the last nine races at Phoenix Raceway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . Which is why, teammate Clint Bowyer said, it makes sense for the 2014 champion to represent SHR during next week’s organizational test at the 1-mile track located in Avondale, Arizona. The two-day test is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Only one team per organization is allowed to participate in NASCAR organizational tests and Bowyer, being the new kid on the SHR block, no doubt could use the seat time as he begins the next chapter in his racing career. "I probably could have really pushed and pouted and tried to get that test, but ultimately here’s a guy that’s won out there eight times," said Bowyer, one of four drivers for SHR. "I would be a fool not to let him go out there and establish that baseline for all of us across the board, and then go out and try to beat him and everybody else with it. "That’s the kind of teamwork that you have to have and that you can have when you’re at an organization like this -- as big as it is and the depth that it has with the drivers." Bowyer joined SHR after a one-year stint with the now-defunct HScott Motorsports . He replaces team co-owner/driver Tony Stewart in the organization’s No. 14 entry. Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick round out the SHR driver lineup for 2017. BOWYER: 'New chance, new crack of the bat' Thirteen Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams are scheduled to participate in the two-day test. Among them are Dale Earnhardt Jr ., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports , and Daniel Suarez , driver of the No. 19 Toyota, for Joe Gibbs Racing . Earnhardt Jr., the series' most popular driver and for many the face of the sport, missed the final 18 races of the 2016 season due to concussion-like symptoms. His last official start came July 9 at Kentucky Speedway . "Being out of the car, you hope you can jump back in … and not miss a beat," Earnhardt said. "But … this is the top series and any time you’re away you’re getting behind. "I’m really anxious and curious where we shake up early in the season, how competitive we can be (and) what, if any, learning curve there is for me." RELATED: Dale Jr. ready for new season to get here Suarez, the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, was scheduled to defend his title this year. The surprising departure of Carl Edwards , however, expedited Suarez's advancement into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . The test will be the first for many teams with NASCAR’s newest rules package. Four teams took part in a two-day Goodyear tire test earlier this month at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the ’17 setup. This year’s race package features reductions in the size of the splitter and spoiler height, a tapered rear deck fin and zero net rear steer. RELATED: Breaking down the 2017 rules package On the safety front, enhancements include anti-intrusion plating and toe board foam in the footbox area of the car, the addition of a roof hatch and changes in steering column mounting. The structural changes resulted in NASCAR increasing the minimum vehicle weight by 20 pounds for all events. The safety moves are mandatory for competition on superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) and optional for all other venues. They will become mandatory for all tracks in 2018. Other drivers scheduled to attend the test are Austin Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ), Ty Dillon ( Germain Racing ), Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), AJ Allmendinger ( JTG Daugherty Racing ), Erik Jones ( Furniture Row Racing ) and Michael McDowell ( Leavine Family Racing ). Additional organizational tests for 2017 are slated for New Hampshire Motor Speedway (May 30-31), Chicagoland Speedway (Aug. 15-16), Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 10-11) and Homestead Miami Speedway (Oct. 24-25). A single-day open test for NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series teams is set for May 2 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Drivers expect plenty of action with new start/finish line at Phoenix
RELATED: Drivers, teams give initial thoughts on Phoenix enhancements AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Three more Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races will take place at Phoenix Raceway before track officials move the location of the start/finish line at the 1-mile facility. That move will be one of the final steps in a $178 million renovation project that is expected to be completed in November of 2018, just before the series returns for a second time next season. Drivers say the change will make for interesting times going forward at a track that has hosted NASCAR national series events since 1988. "I think it's going to be a good thing," Joey Logano , driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Ford and a former winner here, said Jan. 30. "I think you'll see more action on restarts." The current layout sends drivers piling into a very narrow Turn 1, where passing opportunities are almost non-existent. Track position on restarts is crucial. "You can't really go three-wide in the corner (now)," Logano said. "We've seen what happens when you do. There really isn't much opportunity to pass on restarts here, that's why lane selection becomes important. … This opens it up." The new location of the line likely means that drivers will immediately fan out after taking the green flag and they work their way through the widest portion of the track. It will be "completely opposite" of the current situation, according to Logano. "It will be the most open corner entry for a restart that we will have, going into a flat corner that’s basically like a parking lot," he said. Drivers will try to spread out, some dive-bombing off the exit of Turn 2 while others hug the high side of the track. But all are headed to the same spot -- Turn 3 where the track will narrow with no change in the nine-degree banking. "Right now it's not wild in Turn 1 and 2; it's wild off 2 and into 3-4," Logano said. "And that's after half the field has spread out. Now everyone will be on top of each other. They're going to crash. We're going to crash, there's no doubt. It will be a challenge. A lot of opportunity to take advantage of that, good or bad." But dive-bombing cars all racing toward a tight turn won't be the only concern -- just getting a good restart in the middle of a corner will present its own set of problems. "I think it will be really interesting to have the restarts while we are in the turn," Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . said during a break in testing the track on Jan. 31. "You are going to be coming through this corner -- imagine if you are 20th , middle of the pack trying to get a good restart while you are in a corner. "It's going to be interesting to throttle up out of the turn for a restart." WATCH: Dale Jr. takes laps around Phoenix Earnhardt, a three-time winner at Phoenix said he expects to see drivers "all over the place" going through the dogleg portion of the track just past the start/finish line for a variety of reasons. "Because on restarts you have guys that accelerate better than others," he said. "Guys in the right lane, the wrong lane; it's going to be chaos coming through the dogleg (with) guys trying to shortcut to get into the new Turn 1. "It will be some action." Two other facilities currently hosting Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races have moved the location of the start/finish line -- in 1997 Darlington Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway moved the line to the opposite side of the track as part of expansion projects. 2000 series champion Bobby Labonte won the first race on the new Atlanta configuration while four-time champion Jeff Gordon won the first race at Darlington following the swap. &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;