Phoenix - NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race Pre-Race Thread

StandOnIt

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Phoenix Raceway
3:00pm/et, Sunday, November 5
TV: NBC
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM
Stage Laps: 60/185/312
Practice: 8:05-8:55pm/et, Fri., Nov. 5. TV-USA.
Qualifying: 4:35-6:00pm/et, Sat., Nov. 6. TV-USA.

Who is going to win it all?
 

Mispeedway15

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I will say this, as ridiculous as the guy can be, I legitimately feel bad for Denny. The fact that he, Junior Johnson & Mark Martin all never won championships is pure disbelief. Reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers, as great as that dude is the fact he has only 1 super bowl is wild.

Also, lets appreciate this is Kevin Harvick's last race. 60 wins is a hell of a career and it's only fitting the guy he first replaced isn't far away from him on the all time wins list. His 8 win season in 2018 was epic as hell
 

Jorge De Guzman

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I will say this, as ridiculous as the guy can be, I legitimately feel bad for Denny. The fact that he, Junior Johnson & Mark Martin all never won championships is pure disbelief. Reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers, as great as that dude is the fact he has only 1 super bowl is wild.

Also, lets appreciate this is Kevin Harvick's last race. 60 wins is a hell of a career and it's only fitting the guy he first replaced isn't far away from him on the all time wins list. His 8 win season in 2018 was epic as hell
I've been partial to Harvick since his first race in the 3/29 in 2001. Bought a few hats and t shirts along the way, It was fun as hell cheering for him. I'm going to tune in one random Sunday Raceday and realize "Man I miss watching that dude race", he would have about 20-25 more wins if he had left RCR earlier to say jump in the 5 that Mark Martin drove in the late 2000's. It's a huge bummer he couldnt win one more time this year.
 

Speedbowl14

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I will say this, as ridiculous as the guy can be, I legitimately feel bad for Denny. The fact that he, Junior Johnson & Mark Martin all never won championships is pure disbelief. Reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers, as great as that dude is the fact he has only 1 super bowl is wild.

Doesn't surprise me he doesn't have a championship as Denny chokes wayyy to much. Still makes rookie mistakes. But, props, they did not choke at Martinsville last week, just got beat. Still, how many more points could he have had if you take out 80% of his pit road speeding penalties? He'd almost certainly be in the final 4.
 

StandOnIt

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36 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
Some of the drivers entered include: #15-J.J. Yeley, #42-Carson Hocevar, #51-Ryan Newman, #78-B.J. McLeod.

1698701463924.png
 

Truex_rox

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I read somewhere that this is the youngest final four we’ve had so far. I legitimately don’t know who to root for out of them.

Byron’s had the best season, so arguably should be the guy, but Larson’s a previous champion and capable of rising to the occasion.
Bell is no stranger to this territory, and evidently carries the clutch attribute.
YRB I kind of see as something of an upset if he pulls it off. Good driver for sure, but wow, where did he come from? For a while, he was chugging along on a Kurt Busch-esque trajectory. A Round of 8 ceiling with 1-2 wins… nttawwt… so this is the breakthrough we’ve been anticipating?
 

Daytripper

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I read somewhere that this is the youngest final four we’ve had so far. I legitimately don’t know who to root for out of them.

Byron’s had the best season, so arguably should be the guy, but Larson’s a previous champion and capable of rising to the occasion.
Bell is no stranger to this territory, and evidently carries the clutch attribute.
YRB I kind of see as something of an upset if he pulls it off. Good driver for sure, but wow, where did he come from? For a while, he was chugging along on a Kurt Busch-esque trajectory. A Round of 8 ceiling with 1-2 wins… nttawwt… so this is the breakthrough we’ve been anticipating?

Kurt Busch won a championship early in his career and was one of the best drivers in NASCAR early in his career so I don't really understand that analogy.
 

Truex_rox

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Kurt Busch won a championship early in his career and was one of the best drivers in NASCAR early in his career so I don't really understand that analogy.
Correct, so I’d like to clear that up. I’m talking about later on in KB’s career, when this format came to being. Take a glance at the stats, and they’re consistent with what I’m saying. He could be relied on to seemingly pull one out of the hat and run deep into the post-season, but never got into the final four (I wish he could’ve.)
 

Speedbowl14

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Bell, Larson, and Byron would all be great champions. Blaney also had a good season. I believe Bell is the most consistent, no?
 

Greg

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I posted the following during the November race in 2018. It is dedicated to the forgotten souls in Avondale that nobody seems to care about. The need is still desperate and it is all so very unjust.

"The reason we can't have overhead shots of the Phoenix race is that it is actually in Avondale, 30 minutes away. Those helicopters are probably all the way to the grand canyon l by now, and still looking.

NASCAR's quest to deny the Avondale skyline it's due recognition not only confuses the helicopters wanting to get an overhead shot, it also hurts the children.
Makes them question their self worth, " ain't my sky-line good enough, Momie?
Oh my God, are we no better than the forgotten people in Fort Worth?
 

Efisher131

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Bell, Larson, and Byron would all be great champions. Blaney also had a good season. I believe Bell is the most consistent, no?
Bell didn’t have a top 5 for almost 20 races through the mid part of the season, from Bristol dirt to Watkins Glen, but he’s scored the third most points all year. He’s had that Matt Kenseth 2003 type season.
 

Mispeedway15

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I've been partial to Harvick since his first race in the 3/29 in 2001. Bought a few hats and t shirts along the way, It was fun as hell cheering for him. I'm going to tune in one random Sunday Raceday and realize "Man I miss watching that dude race", he would have about 20-25 more wins if he had left RCR earlier to say jump in the 5 that Mark Martin drove in the late 2000's. It's a huge bummer he couldnt win one more time this year.

Him and Chase have both fallen off with the new car. Both guys are great at running the low line and staying smooth thru slow corners. This new car is runs multiple grooves much better than the previous gen (thank God) and it’s a bit out of their wheelhouse
 

hmmm298

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Him and Chase have both fallen off with the new car. Both guys are great at running the low line and staying smooth thru slow corners. This new car is runs multiple grooves much better than the previous gen (thank God) and it’s a bit out of their wheelhouse
So you’re saying they have a more limited skill set?
 

kkfan91

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Him and Chase have both fallen off with the new car. Both guys are great at running the low line and staying smooth thru slow corners. This new car is runs multiple grooves much better than the previous gen (thank God) and it’s a bit out of their wheelhouse
Chase led the series in wins last year...and is remarkably consistent
 

Conover

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So glad Hambone is out…again. Will be rooting for Blaney to win it, but will be OK with Byron if he earns the championship. The jockey probably should be the favorite, but don’t care much for little Larson. Bell is just not someone I can pull for.
 

MRM

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What are the chances Sheldon Creed is a very uncompetitive car for the Xfinity race after what happened at Martinsville?
 

Mispeedway15

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So you’re saying they have a more limited skill set?
Nope, just certain tendencies. Just look at how Larson is always in the mix at Homestead, the man loves being able to run that high side.
Chase led the series in wins last year...and is remarkably consistent
But where did he win? Dover, Nashville & Pocono along with a couple of plate races. I'm not saying he isn't great, just that all drivers have certain tracks they prefer with a certain style. The old car suited his skill set a little better in my opinion.
 

jaqua19

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So you’re saying they have a more limited skill set?
All the drivers have similar skill sets as far as talent goes. Some are just better at certain things than others and as a result certain tracks and certain packages just fit their wheelhouse.

This kind of car seems to favor drivers who like the right rear to have a bit of play in it. Chase Elliott strikes me as a Kyle Busch, who wants the right front in the track kind of feel maneuverable, with the rear in the track. Same as Harvick. Harvick and Busch are both super talented, but they were never really guys who preferred a bit more of a loose feel. Sure, Busch had the talent to still run well with a loose car, but he'd complain, and usually wasn't at his best with a car a bit sideways like a Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson or Carl Edwards were.

It also favors agression, which, Elliott has been at times, especially when he's confident or on

That doesn't mean he has a more limited skillset. I like a pen that has more smooth ink, and I write neater with those than ball points.

Doesn't mean someone im less skilled in penmentship than someone who prefers a ball point pen

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

wi_racefan

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I just want to see Harvick break the steak of final 4 guys winning, drop the mic and walk away.

I'm guessing Rodney has all the tricks out for this one. Just don't tech it too close!

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Revman

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Bell didn’t have a top 5 for almost 20 races through the mid part of the season, from Bristol dirt to Watkins Glen, but he’s scored the third most points all year. He’s had that Matt Kenseth 2003 type season.
Great point. Here's what is interesting to me--and I am biased as hell--the 20 was terrible from Friday to Saturday last year. They played catch up all weekend. They were very good in the spring race with the new package. Bell likes this place. I think that Friday will be crucial. If Bell unloads good...and qualifies good...it's on. If he has to play catch up, he has to have something special happen. I think this is Larson v. Bell.
 

Nitro Dude

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Great point. Here's what is interesting to me--and I am biased as hell--the 20 was terrible from Friday to Saturday last year. They played catch up all weekend. They were very good in the spring race with the new package. Bell likes this place. I think that Friday will be crucial. If Bell unloads good...and qualifies good...it's on. If he has to play catch up, he has to have something special happen. I think this is Larson v. Bell.
If Bell and Larson puts on as good a show this coming Sunday as they did at Turkey night in Ventura a few years ago we are all in for a treat. I can’t wait to see one of my great HMS drivers racing to victory in an awesome Chevrolet this weekend.🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠🤠
 

StandOnIt

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Pockrass is going with Heim in the trucks, Custer in Xfinity and Larson in Cup. I'd change it to Allgaier in Xfinity just cause.

 
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Goodyear Fast Facts — Phoenix​

NASCAR Cup Series — Race No. 36 – 312 laps / 312 miles Phoenix Raceway (1.0-mile oval) – Avondale, Ariz.
Fast Facts for November 3-5, 2023

Tire: Goodyear Eagle 18-inch Speedway Radials (NASCAR 75 edition)

Set limits: Cup: 3 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 9 sets for the race (8 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying)

Tire Codes: Left-side — D-5214; Right-side — D-5216

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,251 mm (88.62 in.); Right-side — 2,276 mm (89.61 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front — 14 psi; Left Rear — 14 psi; Right Front — 30 psi; Right Rear — 26 psi

Storyline – Change in Cup tires to introduce more lap-time fall-off at Phoenix: The tire set-up that Goodyear brings to Phoenix Raceway has traditionally lined up with what is run at similar tracks like New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway. After a test and successful race at New Hampshire this July, NASCAR Cup teams will move to that same set-up for this weekend. The change moves along lines that Goodyear has rolled in at many tracks throughout the 2023 season – the second on the Cup Series’ Next Gen car – that increases grip and tire wear, which leads to lap-time fall-off.

“Increasing fall-off has been something we’ve worked on with a lot of our tire set-ups this season,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “For the group of tracks that Phoenix falls into, we held a test at Loudon earlier in the year and made a change to that set-up for the July race. That race went very well, and after further confirmation at a Richmond test, we decided to bring the new set-up to Phoenix for the championship weekend. Tire wear and fall-off is an important element to good racing because it brings the driver more into the equation with tire management. Those drivers that are easier on their tires early in a run are the ones you see gaining spots later. That means more passing throughout the field and, ultimately, better racing for the fans.”

Notes – Cup teams switch to New Hampshire tire set-up at Phoenix: Being on 18-inch bead diameter tires, NASCAR Cup teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Xfinity and Craftsman Truck Series for at Phoenix this week . . . this is a different tire set-up than Cup teams ran at Phoenix in March . . . compared to what was run in that earlier race at this track, both this left-side and right-side tire feature compound changes to add grip and introduce wear . . . this tire set-up debuted at New Hampshire in July . . . with this 18-inch tire, and its lower profile sidewall, NASCAR Cup cars do not run inner liners in any of their tires.

NASCAR 75 – Goodyear to run special sidewall design at Phoenix (see attached photo): To commemorate NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season, Goodyear will run a special logo on the sidewall of all its tires for Championship Weekend at Phoenix . . . Goodyear is the longest-running continuous partner in NASCAR history and has been the exclusive tire supplier to the sanctioning body’s top three national divisions since 1997 . . . 2023 is also a milestone year for Goodyear, marking the company’s 125th year in business dating back to 1898.
Wet Weather Tires – Goodyear bringing wet weather tires to Phoenix: Goodyear will bring its 18-inch wet weather radial tires to Phoenix for the NASCAR Cup cars, should NASCAR determine that conditions warrant . . . Cup teams will have a maximum of four sets of wet weather tires for the event . . . NASCAR Cup teams last ran a wet weather tire in competition at the Chicago street course in July, and last ran it on a short track in the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro in May . . . in addition to the obvious difference of a tread pattern versus Goodyear’s dry weather “slick” tires, the “Goodyear” and “Eagle” lettering on the sidewalls of the wet weather tires is white, not the standard yellow.
 
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