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NASCAR Phoenix Preview

Phoenix Raceway (Getty Images)

After a history-making Daytona 500, all three of Nascar’s national touring series head west to Phoenix Raceway this weekend.

20-year-old Trevor Bayne has been busy this week with media obligations after pulling off a real shocker winning the a 500 on his first try – just his second Sprint Cup race.  He’s been all over the country to appear on radio and TV shows and he’s also taken dozens of phone calls – even one from the White House where he was told the President would like to talk to him.

Despite winning at Daytona, Bayne is sticking with a limited Sprint Cup schedule.  He’ll run in only 18 Sprint Cup races this year including the first six.  He’ll concentrate on the Nationwide Series this season.  And because of Nascar’s new rule, only the points he earns in the Nationwide Series will count.  So he didn’t earn any points for his win at Daytona. 
That means second-place finisher Carl Edwards leads the point standings heading to Phoenix. 

Last time they raced in Phoenix Edwards snapped a 70-
race winless streak so for Edwards he couldn’t be going to a better track right off the bat.

Next time they race at Phoenix will be in November and between the two dates the track will be repaved for the first time since the track opened in 1988.

Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four wins at Phoenix.  Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin have two victories each.

Johnson’s bid for a sixth straight Sprint Cup championship didn’t begin too well with just a 27th place finish at Daytona.  But he has plenty of time to make it up.

Nascar also begins its new qualifying procedure this weekend. The qualifying order will be based on the slowest to fastest practice speeds. If bad weather
cancels qualifying, the starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds.
The lineup would be set by  owner points if  weather forces cancellation of practice as well.

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