Ray Alfalla from Slipangle Motorsports held off a late charge from Gale Force Racing 's Nick Ottinger at Phoenix International Raceway en route to his second victory in the 2015 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series Powered by iRacing. Ottinger had to settle for second, less than one tenth of a second behind and a single position short in his quest for a third straight win. Polesitter Casey Tucker ( Last Row Motorsports ) finished third, followed by series championship leader Kenny Humpe ( The TEAM ) and PJ Stergios. Alfalla, who led a race-high 86 of 156 laps, took advantage of some timely cautions and a solid pit strategy and found the winner's circle for the first time since the season opener at Daytona. Ottinger appeared to have a slightly better car than anyone else on the long run but a decision to short-pit cost him when a caution flew for a wreck before the rest of the front runners made their stops. The untimely yellow trapped Ottinger back in traffic with just 45 laps to go which, later, lead him to remark that his second place finish "felt like a win." The night got underway with Humpe taking the lead on Lap Three and quickly opening a one second margin over the field. Humpe held the lead until the first yellow flew on Lap 29 and the field pitted for fresh tires and fuel. Humpe's crew was sluggish, losing him three positions in the pits and handing the lead back to Tucker. On the restart Ottinger jumped to the lead but, after a flurry of cautions, Alfalla went to the point as he raced hard for the clean air out front. After a few laps it was Ottinger who prevailed and the race settled into the longest green flag run of the night. With nobody able to make it on fuel to the end, Ottinger decided to play some pit strategy and short-pitted as soon as his fuel window opened. The move was risky as it put him a lap down but if the pit stop cycle completed he would own a massive lead thanks to his fresh tires. Unfortunately for Ottinger, a crash on the frontstretch on Lap 104 trapped him a lap down as Alfalla and a handful of other cars had yet to make their stops. Ottinger would get back on the lead lap by taking the wave around but now had older tires than Alfalla and the rest of the frontrunners. Ottinger received some help by way of another caution just 11 laps after taking the wave around which allowed him to pit for tires. When the race restarted with 31 laps remaining Ottinger was in fifteenth but now had fresher tires than the leaders and began charging back to the front. In just seven laps Ottinger was already up to eighth and yet another caution bunched the field up, playing right into his favor. As so often happens at short tracks, cautions breed cautions and the frequent yellows at the end of the race enabled Ottinger to maximize the benefit of his fresh tires. After going from fifteenth to eighth, he picked up two more spots on the next restart and three additional places on the next before the ninth and final yellow flag of the night flew, setting-up a five lap shootout for the win. Alfalla still led, Tucker was second, and Ottinger was behind the front row in third as the race went green. Ottinger made quick work of Tucker and started reeling-in Alfalla. By the time the white flag flew Alfalla had a mirror full of the 05 car but would not be denied as he calmly negotiated Turns Three and Four a final time to take the checkered flag with Ottinger right on his bumper. The win allowed Alfalla to slightly close on Humpe in the championship standings but Humpe still enjoys a massive 109-point advantage. Alfalla also distanced himself from Stergios, who is now 39 points adrift in third. Bryan Blackford and Matt Bussa are tied for fifth, 23 points behind Stergios and three points in front of Chris Overland who fell in the standings due to last night's disappointing 30th place finish. With just three races remaining in the 2015 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series the series shifts to Darlington Raceway , one of the toughest tracks on the circuit. Humpe will have a chance to officially clinch the championship if he can leave "The Lady in Black" with a 97 point lead, leaving Alfalla with some work to do if he hopes to keep the pressure on an additional week. Darlington generally favors the veteran sim racers so it would be no surprise to see Alfalla, Ottinger, and Humpe battling for the win once again. Can anyone else break up the dominant threesome? Tune into iRacingLive in two weeks' time to find out!
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
Take a virtual lap around the Phoenix International Raceway with Jimmie Johnson.
Phoenix International Raceway to be called Jeff Gordon Raceway for one day BUY: Phoenix tickets Phoenix International Raceway will be called Jeff Gordon Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Nov. 15, a track representative announced Friday. The race is No. 35 of 36 in the 2015 season and also Gordon's penultimate race as a full-time driver. Gordon has two wins and 23 top 10s in 33 career Cup starts at Phoenix . It was also the site of one of the most controversial moments of his distinguished career in 2012 when he wrecked championship contender Clint Bowyer in the closing laps. Since he announced his intention to step down from full-time competition (although he still hasn't used the word "retire") in January, tracks have honored Gordon in a variety of ways. Las Vegas Motor Speedway gave him a customized blackjack table and changed the speed limit around its facility to 24 mph; Atlanta Motor Speedway offered a red No. 24 Bandolero car, with the names of Gordon's two children, Ella Sofia and Leo, over each door; and Bristol Motor Speedway had Ella Sofia and Leo give the command prior to its April race. This story will be updated.
No. 88 driver has finished in the top four in all three 2015 races RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s string of three consecutive top-five finishes came to a halt here Sunday when the Hendrick Motorsports driver suffered a tire failure and crashed during the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway . "Not a lot of guys are having tire problems," Earnhardt Jr. said after exiting the infield care center. "(Sam) Hornish had one similar to us. You just can't abuse it. We were really, really loose and just abused the tire. You want to get angry but you've got to get the balance of the car better. "A lot of guys are running without any problem. We were super, super loose; it just wore the tire out." The incident occurred on Lap 181 of the 312-lap race. According to Goodyear officials, the right-rear tire problem was the result of a melted bead and was the same issue suffered by Hornish, who had a tire go down earlier in the race. Earnhardt opened the season with top-five finishes at Daytona, Atlanta and Las Vegas and entered Sunday's race second in the points standings. Damage to the No. 88 Chevrolet was too extensive to try and repair and get the driver back out before the conclusion of the race. Earnhardt said crew chief Greg Ives had told him the team had seen no previous tire issues on previous stops Sunday. "We were progressively getting worse and worse on entry," Earnhardt said. "I imagine we put that set through hell compared to the other ones. "I like the tire a lot and I applaud Goodyear for trying to soften it up because the other tire we had here wasn't a lot of fun. This one is pretty good to race with, the car's still real, real hard to pass with. Shifting is a little annoying … it's a little bit of a pain in the ass to shift. "But the tire's OK. We were too loose. We’ve got to get the balance better.” Earnhardt was credited with a 43rd-place finish. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Keep tabs on the activity at Phoenix International Raceway This week brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series to Phoenix International Raceway . The Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 will be held on Sunday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX. The XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 is on Saturday, March 14 at 4 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX. For more information on track times, press conferences and GarageCam, you can check out the full weekend schedule . We know you may not have the time to watch the race action without any interruptions, so if you're on the go, here's how to keep up at Phoenix . NASCAR.com's live Sprint Cup Series leaderboard and XFINITY Series leaderboard update in real-time and offer constant text updates of lead changes, cautions, strategies, strong runs and everything in between. From the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard, fans can also access live standings . On the go? Download the NASCAR Mobile app to follow the leaderboards live from your device. Lap-by-Lap will keep you caught up even if you can only take a peek here and there. Check in to read back through all the laps you've missed, or keep an eye on the feed for real-time race updates. We'll also send race updates via Twitter through the official @NASCAR and @NASCARStats handles. RaceBuddy will have enhanced views and coverage for the Sprint Cup Series and for most XFINITY Series races with 10 HD live race views, including up to eight in-car cameras, two mosaic views, live leaderboard and interactive chat. Haven't tried RaceView yet? If you sign up, you'll get virtual videos of cars on the track from various angles and hear what your favorite team is saying over the radio in both the Sprint Cup and select XFINITY Series races. Use it as a second screen or as your only screen. Just want to scan the radios? You can have that too with Scanner (formerly RaceView Audio). On a mobile device? Get RaceView Mobile here . If you want to be more involved in the on-track action, you can manage your fantasy team on NASCAR.com and follow your team's performance in NASCAR Fantasy Live . Mobile users can also download NASCAR Connect , a game from OneUp Sports that allows users to play other fans with race predictions for some off-track competition while drivers battle it out on the track. Live Press Pass video streams will keep the NASCAR action rolling even after the winner goes in and out of Victory Lane. Catch interviews with the top finishers and series champions immediately following the checkered flag for both national series events, and stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the week for the latest news. FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See where your favorite driver will pit on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Following Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying session at Phoenix International Raceway , drivers were given the opportunity to select their pit stalls for the XFINITY Series race later that day. Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano had the first pick of stalls on pit road. The reigning Daytona 500 champion selected the stall closest to the exit of pit road, giving him a speedy departure during pit stops. Outside pole-sitter Kevin Harvick chose a stall with an empty spot in front of it, lessoning that chance that he will get blocked in on pit road. The first stall on pit road was not selected, but Elliott Sadler chose the second stall onto pit road. The Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter 200 at Phoenix begins at 4 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Team Penske driver leads 176 of 200 laps, ends XFINITY dry spell Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " RELATED: Race results AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Joey Logano summed up his dominating victory in one word. "Finally!" Logano exclaimed after taking the checkered flag in Saturday's Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway . Logano had reason to be frustrated. He had finished second in his last four XFINITY Series starts, the last three after winning the pole. And the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford hadn't been to Victory Lane in the series since Sept. 28, 2013 at Dover International Speedway . On Saturday, however, Logano won the pole and closed the deal. Though race runner-up Matt Kenseth dogged his rear bumper all day long and closed to .294 seconds at the finish, he couldn't catch the No. 22 Ford, which led 176 of the 200 laps at the one-mile track. "It felt good," said Logano, who collected his second win at Phoenix and the 22nd of his career. "It took a long time to get our next win. We've been so close to winning -- obviously, a lot of poles and things are going well. We just needed a little more speed, and it was awesome to get it today." Logano, who posted the second perfect driver rating of his career, pulled away after a restart on Lap 144 and stayed out front the rest of the way, with Kenseth in close pursuit. "I was able to take off faster on restarts and get a nice lead and then Matt's car was looser than mine, so that is why I was able to get a lead," Logano said. "Once we started running a few laps, I would get tight and he would start catching up to me because his balance was a little more free. "I kept hoping for lapped traffic, because I was better in traffic, and that's where I made up time." Kenseth said he thought he had a better car for the longer runs, but traffic and dirty air proved his downfall. "For whatever reason, after our last pit stop, we just didn't fire off as fast," Kenseth said. "I had way less grip than (after) every other pit stop. ... He (Logano) got away pretty good, and then when it was time to go, I just got tight running him down with all the lapped cars, and I couldn't quite get there." Kevin Harvick ran third, followed by Austin Dillon and Erik Jones , subbing for injured Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Ty Dillon came home sixth and retained the series lead by 14 points over 14th-place finisher Chris Buescher . The NASCAR XFINITY Series will be back on track next weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Contributing: Staff report s MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Stewart-Haas Racing driver: 'It was good to ... shake hands with all the guys' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live AVONDALE, Ariz. -- In his first trip back to the race track since being indefinitely suspended on the eve of this year’s Daytona 500 , Kurt Busch shook off the rust, survived an uneventful practice and qualified eighth for Sunday's Campingworld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway . Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick will start on the pole Sunday. "Overall, it was just a pleasant day with overwhelming support from the team and the garage area," Busch said. "I'm thankful to be back and to have this competitive car that I can put in the top 10 on the first day out. Tomorrow, we'll settle back into race trim where the car showed some speed. "And this is the first short track of the year. It will put everybody on even ground, but I have the least amount of experience with the new (rules) package. So, mine is a little bit of learn as you go with the draft and the dirty air on Sunday." Busch was 17th on the speed chart in the day's only practice. But he was fast enough in each round of qualifying to advance all the way to the third and final round of 12. NASCAR suspended the 36-year-old Busch after former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll was granted an Order of Protection of Abuse by the Family Court of the State of Delaware. The indefinite suspension was lifted March 11, in part because the State Attorney General's office for the state of Delaware determined no charges would be filed against the driver. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Regan Smith competed for the team in Busch's absence, finishing 16th at Daytona, 17th at Atlanta and 16th last weekend at Las Vegas. Busch had competed in the non-points Sprint Unlimited at Daytona as well as one of two Daytona 500 qualifying races before his suspension. " Phoenix is probably the track that I have the most amount of laps on in my career," he said. "It was great to roll right off the hauler and be towards the top of the chart. It's not me; it's the team. The team is building very competitive cars. "Overall, I'm pleased with how I was able to get back in the seat and show some speed and now you've got to work on those little things that pay dividends at the end of these races on Sunday." Although he missed the first three races, Busch remains eligible for one of the 16 spots in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet earns fourth top-six result in five races Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live FONTANA, Calif. -- Coming off a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway , Dale Earnhardt Jr . is feeling good. That finish is especially welcomed when just one week prior in the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway , the 12-time NMPA Most Popular Driver Award winner suffered a tire failure that sent the No. 88 into the wall and to a last-place finish, demolishing his streak of three consecutive top-five finishes to open the season. "We're just glad to be able to rebound," Earnhardt Jr. said Sunday at Auto Club Speedway . "Last week was very dismal, disappointing and frustrating." Although Dale Jr. was the one piloting the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at Fontana, he has his team -- newcomers and old faces -- to thank for his performance on the oldest asphalt on the Sprint Cup Series schedule. "Greg's real sharp," Dale Jr. said referring to his crew chief, Greg Ives, who is in his first season atop the pit box for the No. 88 team. "He's still, you know, learning the ropes and taking everything in. He's a sponge, just absorbing everything he can. He's got a great help, too. Kevin Meendering is my lead engineer from last year. There's a lot of great information that Kevin already knows about me, what I like, don't like, what's worked for us in the past to make our cars work. So he's feeding off of that. I'm sure Kevin is giving him a lot of great information." Junior might still be adjusting to Ives, but his performances this season don't show a lack of familiarity between driver and pit boss as he is currently fourth in the driver standings with three top-fives and four top-10 finishes. The Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500 (March 29, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) next weekend where Dale Jr. won the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 in October of 2014, earning his first grandfather clock. "I'm surrounded by a bunch of great guys, a great crew," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Look forward to getting to the next race. We want to get a win, get that in the bank if we can." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule