Five Questions for Phoenix Raceway

Welcome to Week 5 of the 2021 NASCAR season, also known as “the best season ever,” according to the frequent television commercials. It’s a bit too early to claim that title, but it’s been quite a ride so far.

This weekend, Phoenix Raceway hosts three races: ARCA on Friday, Xfinity on Saturday, and Cup on Sunday. What can we expect?

Will the Cup winner be a tried-and-true favorite or another surprise? 

Five (there’s that number again) current drivers have more than one win here. Only seven in this week’s race have ever finished first at Phoenix. Kevin Harvick leads with a whopping nine checkered flags. None of the track's previous winners have won a race so far this season. The safe bet would be Harvick, but it could also be the No. 2, who starts on the pole.

Why does BK have the pole? 

Well, that’s an excellent question. Since there hasn’t been any actual qualifying yet this season except for the Daytona 500, starting lineups are being determined by some sort of mathematical formula that it seems only Bob Pockrass understands. 

But really, this is where you hope you paid attention in math class, right? The formula uses the following statistics, which are weighted as follows:

A driver’s finish in the previous race = 25%

Owner’s finish in the previous race =  25%

Owner points standings rank = 35%

Driver's fastest lap ranking in previous race = 15%

But what if a driver didn’t participate in the previous race? 

They are given 41st place for their finish and fastest lap, since there can only be 40 cars in a race.

Will there ever be qualifying again? 

Seven more Cup races this season will have qualifying:

March 28 – Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt
May 23 – Circuit of the Americas
May 30 – Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
June 20 – Nashville Superspeedway
July 4 – Road America
Aug. 15 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Nov. 7 – NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway

Will it rain in the desert this weekend? 

Ironically, there is rain forecasted in Phoenix for Friday, which may affect the ARCA race, but Saturday and Sunday are looking good. The weekend will be uncharacteristically cool for Arizona, with highs only in the mid 60s to low 70s -- perfect weather for watching a race.


Five Questions for Phoenix Raceway Five Questions for Phoenix Raceway Reviewed by laweez on Friday, March 12, 2021 Rating: 5