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Race 4: Phoenix

Posted by Amy in NASCAR

Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag at ISM Speedway in Phoenix (Photo source: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch may not have gotten the sweep he was hoping for at his home track in Las Vegas, but he put on a clinic in Phoenix. I miss going to the Phoenix race- I love it, but it is just too much vacation time for me to take enough to get through the Vegas race and the Phoenix race since they moved to a “west coast swing” schedule several years ago.  I love the Phoenix area, and even when I am not at the track, I end up having fun in Scottsdale.

Ryan Blaney captured the pole with Chase Elliott hot on his heels and completing the second row.

However, Kyle Busch stole the show at ISM speedway, leading a good chunk of the race in the middle, and then again at the end when it counted most.

One thing about this configuration of ISM is the weird way the drivers cut corners through what use to be the infield. I will be honest; I don’t like it as much as I did the previous configuration of the one-mile track.

I was impressed to see Jimmie Johnson in the top ten- a solid run for a team that seems to have been struggling so far this year.  It is a new crew chief for Johnson so I wonder if part of that isn’t the issue. The team is still learning to gel together.  I hope for him that the team gets a win soon. Of course, I love the Ally bank paint scheme- mostly because purple is my favorite color and I think there needs to be more purple cars. Ha!

Also impressive was Clint Bowyer’s run. He was solidly in the top 5 most of the race.

What I find ironic is that the two drivers who scuffled during qualifying, Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell, both did kind of poorly during the race itself. It almost made the scuffle inconsequential.

Next week we are off to Fontana.

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