Page 2 for the week of November 3

The First Reid: The Phoenix race may be a case of “last man standing”

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

So you thought Talladega was intense?

Wait until next week, when the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN) decides which four drivers advance to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with their championship eligibility intact.

“Next week’s going to be pretty crazy,” predicted Kevin Harvick, runner-up in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Harvick goes to Phoenix with a score still unsettled. After Matt Kenseth wrecked Harvick at Martinsville, Harvick vowed revenge.

“He won’t win this championship,” Harvick promised. “If we don’t, he won’t.”

There was no payback at Texas, where Harvick chose not to endanger his own car, which he felt was a potential race winner.  At Phoenix, if Harvick’s car isn’t just right, Kenseth may need to watch his back.

Same with Brad Keselowski, who on Sunday at Texas added Jeff Gordon to an enemies list that already included Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kenseth.

Gordon, who finished 29th after contact from Keselowski on a late restart cut the left rear tire on the No. 24 Chevrolet, also goes to Phoenix with revenge on his mind.

“You don’t go slam someone and cut their left rear tire,” Gordon said. “If that’s what it takes, then no problem. We can do the same thing to him.”

The grudges simply add a level of intensity to a race that will eliminate four drivers from championship consideration. And that alone could make for a wild and crazy afternoon.

@nascarcasm

BradK

And after Jerry Springer gives his final thought, the race will be over.

“Hey Jimmie – cool new guns. Say…can I borrow…” “NO, Jeff.”

Time change tip – you “spring forward” on the spring. You “fall back” after Brad Keselowski cuts your tire.

Feuds all around. Harvick Vs. Keselowski. Keselowski Vs. Gordon. Elliott Sadler Vs. Digestive System.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own – but chances are you have probably figured that out by now.)

NASCAR NUMBERS

By Reid Spencer­

18: The point spread between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin (tied for first in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings) and eighth-place Kevin Harvick. With eight drivers competing that closely for four spots in the season finale at Homestead, Sunday’s final Eliminator Round event at Phoenix promises to be the wildest yet.

14: The number of positions gained by Brad Keselowski by staying out on old tires under caution on Lap 253 of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. That call by crew chief Paul Wolfe turned the race around for the No. 2 Team Penske Ford, eventually leading to Keselowski’s third-place finish.

9: The finishing position of Chase driver Carl Edwards, who at one point in Sunday’s race was two laps down in 30th place. Edwards used wave-around and a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car to return to the lead lap. Over the last 81 laps, the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford showed a net gain of 21 positions.

191: The number of laps led by race winner Jimmie Johnson in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. That brings his career total to 889, most ever at the 1.5-mile track. Bragging rights for most career laps led at Texas actually changed hands twice during the race, with polesitter Matt Kenseth briefly holding the honor at 834 before Johnson surpassed him.

8: The finishing position of Kurt Busch in his maiden voyage with crew chief Tony Gibson, after Stewart-Haas drivers Busch and Danica Patrick swapped crew chiefs and road crews before the Texas race. Patrick wasn’t as fortunate in her first outing with Daniel Knost on her pit box. After hitting the wall, Patrick finished 36th, nine laps down.

NASCAR NOTES

Currently eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, Kevin Harvick can guarantee himself a Championship Round berth at Homestead by winning at Phoenix. With a series-leading five victories at the one-mile tri-oval, including wins in three of the last four races there, the No.  4 Chevrolet driver heads to The Grand Canyon State as a heavy favorite. … Following a 31st-place finish in the Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville, it looked like series wins leader Brad Keselowski had to visit Victory Lane at Texas or Phoenix to advance to the series championship. After a bounce-back third-place performance in Fort Worth, Keselowski now ranks seventh in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, just five points behind Jeff Gordon for the final Championship Round spot. … For the second consecutive week, a non-championship-qualifying driver won a race as Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag at Texas for the third fall in a row. He will attempt to play spoiler again at Phoenix where he boasts four wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s in 22 starts.

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, Nov. 3 – Nov. 9

Monday, November 3

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Most Outrageous Moments, FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

Tuesday, November 4

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Closest Calls, FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Wednesday, November 5

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Wildest Throw-downs,

FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Thursday, November 6

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., The 10: NASCAR’s Most Bizarre Moments,

FOX Sports 2

7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2

Friday, November 7                                            

7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

7:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

8:30 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBC Sports Network

Noon, NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice, FOX Sports 1

1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice,

FOX Sports 1

3 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice,

FOX Sports 1

4:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, ESPN2

8 p.m., NCWTS SetUp, FOX Sports 1

8:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Phoenix, FOX Sports 1

4 a.m. (Sat.), NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Phoenix (re-air), FOX Sports 1

Saturday, November 8

11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice,

FOX Sports 2

12:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2

2 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 2

2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice,

FOX Sports 2

3 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Countdown, ESPN

4 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Phoenix, ESPN

Sunday, November 9

11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice (re-air),

FOX Sports 2

Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice (re-air), FOX Sports 2

1 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1

2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown, ESPN

3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix, ESPN

7 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

12:30 a.m. (Mon.), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix (re-air), ESPN2

National Series Schedule

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

The Next Race:Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500

The Place:Phoenix International Raceway

The Date/Time:Sunday, Nov. 9, 3 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN

Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

The Next Race:DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans

The Place:Phoenix International Raceway

The Date/Time:Saturday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN

Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

The Next Race:Lucas Oil 150

The Place:Phoenix International Raceway

Date/Time: Friday, Nov. 7, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Channel 9

NASCAR National Series Standings

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field was trimmed down to eight for the Contender Round, after the four winless drivers with the lowest points totals following Talladega were eliminated.

Points for all championship-qualifying drivers, regardless of Contender Round victories, were reset to 4,000.

This year, wins matter more than in any season in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Just like the previous Chase segments, a victory in the three-race Eliminator Round automatically advances a championship-qualifying driver into the Championship Round event at Homestead.

At the conclusion of the Eliminator Round’s third race (Phoenix), the four winless drivers with the lowest points totals will again be dropped from the Chase.

Chase Standings
Pos     Driver                     Points

1        Joey Logano            4,072

2        Denny Hamlin         4,072

3        Ryan Newman         4,070

4        Jeff Gordon             4,060

5        Matt Kenseth          4,059

6        Carl Edwards           4,059

7        Brad Keselowski     4,055

8        Kevin Harvick          4,054

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos        Driver                 Points

1      Chase Elliott #            1,146

2      Regan Smith               1,098

3      Brian Scott                 1,083

4      Elliott Sadler              1,078

5      Ty Dillon #                  1,071

6      Trevor Bayne             1,017

7      Chris Buescher #          943

8      Brendan Gaughan        903

9      Ryan Reed #                  847

10   Dylan Kwasniewski       813

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos    Driver                      Points

1        Matt Crafton               756

2        Ryan Blaney                733

3        Darrell Wallace Jr.     713

4        Johnny Sauter             704

5        Timothy Peters           680

6        Joey Coulter                645

7        German Quiroga        636

8        Jeb Burton                   629

9        Ben Kennedy #           619

10     Ron Hornaday Jr.        526

 

 

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