The short run out west this season has a couple different tracks, but the track that has consistently been one of those that challenges all on the circuit is happening this weekend. Ever since Phoenix Raceway went into reconfiguration, this facility has become one that is unpredictable.
For many years, everyone had one singular focus on who was going to be the one, or ones, to beat at this place. Pick your poison, as it was either Jimmie Johnson or Kevin Harvick.
But, that was when the track had the setup of where the start/finish line was located at what is now the backstretch.
Now that the setup for the track has been altered, with the start/finish line right before the now frontstretch “kink”, this place has been a challenge to predict. Maybe that’s why it has become the track that has become the season-finale and the one to decide the championship. At the same time, the new configuration has also taken all the notes one could have in prior years and made them a bit on the non-important list.
This new setup has made Phoenix a really unique place to run for all the teams.
It also has given FOX an opportunity to really have fun with its on-air personalities. How can we not talk about this place without including the 2012 incident that sent Clint Bowyer into the wall, Jeff Gordon to the trailer, Bowyer’s team into a scrum, and finally Bowyer doing his best to show he should’ve been part of the US Olympic relay team? We can’t, because it is one of those moments that no one can forget.
Have those two forgotten about that moment…highly likely no, since the following week it was these two finishing 1-2 at Homestead and it was Gordon that won that event.
Not that Bowyer is still bitter about it, but I think he still wants payback, although you’d think he already got that in the rental car.
In any case, the final leg of NASCAR goes west is here, so let’s dust it off and get the green flag in the air.