NASCAR Xfinity Information – Phoenix International Raceway
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Next Race: Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200
The Place: Phoenix International Raceway
The Date: Saturday, March 14
The Time: 4 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 laps)
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Ty Dillon Grabs XFINITY Series Standings Lead Early
Dillon has been adamant since the season opener that 2015 is a championship or bust season for himself and the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet team. Now he sits at the standings point, six markers ahead of Roush Fenway Racing driver Chris Buescher in second and 15 points ahead of third-place Ryan Reed.
His NASCAR Loop Data supports his impressive performance; his season-to-date average running position is 7.698 (second-best) and his driver rating is 103.8 (second-best).
Dillon heads to Phoenix this weekend having made two starts at the one-mile raceway posting one top five and two top 10s. His average finish at Phoenix is 7.0. Last fall Dillon started seventh and finished fourth at PIR.
Young Top Five In Points Turns The Spotlight To The Youth
The youth movement in NASCAR continues, this week’s average age of the top five in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings (21.2) supports just that. The next generation of great drivers are being groomed now in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the series where names are made.
The elder statesman of the youth contingent is points leader Ty Dillon who just turned 23 years old on Feb. 27. The second, third and fourth-place positions in the standings belong to Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher (22 years old), Ryan Reed (21 years old), and Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Darrell Wallace Jr. (21 years old) respectively. The youngest of the group is fifth in points; the 2014 series champion Chase Elliott at the age of 19.
Four of the top five in points have made starts at Phoenix and two have average finishes inside the top 10: Ty Dillon (7.0), Chase Elliott (7.0), Chris Buescher (13.5) and Ryan Reed (18.7). This will be Darrell Wallace Jr.’s series debut at Phoenix this weekend. Wallace is familiar with Phoenix International Raceway; he made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the one-mile track, posting one top 10 and an average finish of 13.0.
Strong Sprint Cup Cavalcade Rides Into Phoenix
A stout double duty lineup awaits fans in Phoenix. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Austin Dillon will compete at Phoenix’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 on March 14 (4 p.m. ET on FOX).
Among the four entered, Harvick (Atlanta) and Dillon (Las Vegas) have already scored wins this season, but Matt Kenseth has the best Phoenix pre-race statistics heading into this weekend. Kenseth’s driver rating is 118.4 (second only to Kyle Busch’s 122.8), and his average running position of 4.747 is the series’ best.
Harvick posted a victory at Phoenix in 2006 and has an average finish of 8.0 after 22 starts.
Logano sat on the pole and won the race at Phoenix last fall. In his eight series starts at Phoenix he hasn’t finished outside the top 10.
Dillon has made five series starts at Phoenix posting two top fives and four top 10s.
Richard Childress Racing A Force In ’15
Car owner Richard Childress has put the pedal to the floor this season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Not only does his grandson, Ty Dillon, and the No. 3 team currently lead the series driver standings, his other grandson, 2013 series champion Austin Dillon, just won last weekend at Las Vegas to catapult the No. 33 team into the series owner standings lead.
Currently, Richard Childress’ No. 33 team has a one point lead over Roger Penske’s No. 22 team in the owner standings. The No. 33 team of Richard Childress Racing has tapped drivers Austin Dillon and Paul Menard to get behind the wheel thus far this season. Team Penske has strapped in Brad Keselowski Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 in 2015. Logano will race the No. 22 in Phoenix; Dillon will once again race the No. 33.
Sunoco Rookie Update: Daniel Suarez Continues To Improve
Darrell Wallace Jr. continues to lead the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings following the third race of the season by five points over second-place Ross Chastain and eight points ahead of third-place Daniel Suarez.
The 23-year-old, Monterey, Mexico native, Daniel Suarez, continues to improve with each start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Ever since the season opener at Daytona where he was caught in a late race accident relegating him to a 39th-place finish, Suarez has bounced back, finishing 14th at Atlanta and then posting his first series career top 10 last weekend at Las Vegas. It was also the first top 10 by a Mexico-born driver since 2007 (Jorge Goeters and Adrian Fernandez at Autodromo Hemranos Rodriguez in Mexico City).
“I definitely feel like we’re improving,” said Suarez. “We are learning about everything. We are getting more confident each race and that’s good. I really think that we are going to be even stronger in Phoenix.”
Suarez’s success on the track is translating to the point standings as well. He jumped seven spots in the overall series driver standings from 20th to 13th this past weekend.
Suarez returns to Phoenix International Raceway, where he won the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series race in 2014.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.:
HScott Motorsports didn’t miss a beat last weekend when they started Brennan Poole in the No. 42 Chevrolet in Kyle Larson’s stead. Though it was Poole’s series debut, he performed like a veteran. Poole started 16th and raced his way to a ninth-place finish. Poole will look to continue his momentum this weekend as he will be back in the No. 42 at Phoenix.
- Previous Stewart-Haas Racing – Teleconference With Kurt Busch (3-11-2015)
- Next NASCAR Sprint Cup Information – Phoenix International Raceway