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Phoenix 500 Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

After a trip to the Nevada desert, where we saw Kyle Larson win the Las Vegas 400 in absolute domination, the teams will have a short trip to the other side of the desert in Phoenix, Arizona for the fourth race of the season. 

Las Vegas 400 Race Debrief

The race started off with Joey Logano, the pole-sitter, leading the field to green flag racing. Kyle Larson soon took the lead but a caution flag was flown after Christopher had a flat right rear. Chris Buescher won the race on pit road and took the lead on the restart, but William Byron immediately passed Buescher for the lead in the following lap. 

After a red flag for the wall that was damaged by Buescher’s loose right front, Daniel Suarez led the field back to green, but the lead was quickly taken by Kyle Busch. After 20 laps, Larson took the lead, and won stage one.

After the stage break, Martin Truex Jr briefly held the lead but Larson soon retook it. This went on for most of the rest of stage two, and Larson won the stage yet again. The No.5 Chevy driver led the field back to racing after the final stage break, and held a comfortable lead for a while. 

However, he had a challenger in Tyler Reddick, who was chasing him down for the entire stage. Reddick was 0.4 seconds behind, but Larson hung on for dear life and claimed the win.

Track Preview

The Phoenix Raceway is located in Avondale, Arizona, some 20 miles away from downtown Phoenix. It is a low-banking, tri-oval racetrack that was first opened in the year of 1964. The drivers will race around the dogleg layout, named due to the turn down the front straight.

The dogleg layout has a length of 1 mile (1.61 kilometres), while the turns have a banking ranging from 8 degrees to 11 degrees. The drivers will drive 312 laps around the track, with 60 laps in stage one, 125 laps in stage two, and 127 for the final stage. 

This race first ran in 2005 after Phoenix was awarded a second race on the calendar, and has been a part of the early season races ever since.

According to the weather forecast, there will be clear skies on the weekend. The race will commence on Sunday, March 10th, at 15:30 ET (12:30 PT, 21:30 CET).

Race Predictions

In the past four years, the wins have been split between the three manufacturers. Ford won two of those races, while the other two manufacturers each achieved one. 

Ford has shown that they could perform in this track during recent years, as evident in Joey Logano and Chase Briscoe winning here in 2020 and 2022 respectively, along with the two championship races in the last two years won by Logano and Ryan Blaney. They could have a real shot at breaking the hot start from Chevrolet, but Chevrolet is the big dog here.

In the 19 regular season Phoenix races, Chevrolet has won 11 of them, including the latest one where Byron took an overtime win last year. The odds are favouring the Chevys heavily, after back to back wins from Byron, Suarez, and Larson. The prediction, ultimately, would be a Chevrolet winning the race, yet again, bringing the active win tally to four in a row.


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