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NASCAR Heads to Phoenix

Phoenix International Raceway (Getty Images)

After opening the season last Sunday at Daytona, Sprint Cup and Nationwide drivers head to Phoenix Raceway. The Nationwide event is Saturday. The Sprint Cup race is Sunday.

Denny Hamlin was the winner last year with Kevin Harvick coming in second. Phoenix is a one mile oval with between 8 and 11 degrees of banking. This one going 312 laps – the odd number because they’re going 500 kilometers.

This is the first of two stops at Phoenix. They’ve been there twice a year every year since 2005. They’ll return in November.

Coming off his win at Daytona, Jimmie Johnson has the record for most victories at Phoenix with four including three in a row. He and Mark Martin also have the most top-five finishes at Phoenix, each with 1.

Two drivers made their first career Cup starts at Phoenix: Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer. Newman has won the most poles there.

The quickest Sprint Cup race at Phoenix was in 1999 when Tony Stewart finished in 2 hours, 38 minutes.

Kyle Busch is the youngest driver to win a Cup race at Phoenix. He won there in 2005 when he was 20 years old. Mark Martin is the oldest driver to win there at the age of 50 in 2009.

You may not see flyovers at sporting events as part of federal budget cuts. Air Force planes and the Blue Angels typically do flyovers at events like NASCAR races, but if the cuts are fully implemented the Air Force says they might have to stand down for a while. Flyovers are typically done as part of scheduled training exercises. The Air Force says they typically do about a thousand flyovers at sporting events each year.

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