Phoenix Winners and Losers as the NASCAR Cup Series teams head back East to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.
The west coast swing is now under wraps. The FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway is the last of three races out west following the season-opening Daytona 500. And it ends with the season’s first repeat winner, as Joey Logano picks up his second win of the season. Besides the winner and where everybody finished, the race made headlines for a few other reasons.
Phoenix Power Ranking features the NASCAR Cup Series after the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway
NASCAR visited its first short track of the 2020 season on Sunday, with 38 drivers hitting the track at Phoenix Raceway, a 1-mile flat track. The race was also the ground-breaker for the new aerodynamic package, with a much smaller rear spoiler and much less downforce. It ended with Joey Logano becoming the first repeat race-winner of the year, picking up his second win in four races, and it leads to a new number one in the Phoenix power ranking.
The FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway wrapped up the three-weekend west coast swing. This track gave the NASCAR Cup Series drivers a new test. Tight corners on a one-mile circuit are the opposite of what they were racing in the previous three weeks. With this, they also had a new short-track package to race. Smaller spoilers with a smaller splitter took downforce away from teams. With these adjustments, the excitement built up into a great afternoon of racing.
Chase Elliott is once again the victim of Murphy’s Law at Phoenix Raceway
In Friday’s time trials, Elliott won the pole for Sunday’s FanShield 500, marking the eighth straight top-ten start at Phoenix for the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Finishing races at the one-mile track, however, has been a problem for Elliott, and that proved true once again in the fourth NASCAR Cup Series event of the 2020 season. Elliott led the first 60 laps and finished second to Kevin Harvick in Stage 1.
Tyler Reddick in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet wasn’t running at the finish of Sunday’s FanShield 500, but the top finishers in the NASCAR Cup Series event certainly knew he had been there.
Reddick started 29th in a field of 38, but by the time the second stage ended on lap 190, he had worked his way up to fourth, having passed Kyle Busch for the position. But after a two-tire call and a second-place restart on lap 222, Reddick was shuffled back in the running order.