RAPID REACTION: A New-Man in Victory Lane
In the month of March, it seems as if everyone is talking about the unexpected winners. As the drivers of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drove into Arizona, you could say an upset stole the show.
For the first time since 2013, Ryan Newman and Richard Childress Racing are victorious, after leading just two laps.
Newman and his team overall had a quiet day, running inside the top-15. Late in the race, he had worked his way into the top-10, but during the race’s final caution, they decided to make a big move.
Oh The Irony
After a pit road scuffle last weekend, it looked like Kyle Busch was going to get his redemption in Phoenix. After taking the lead on Lap 194, the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion took control of the race and didn’t look back. With 15 to go, Busch held a 2.5-second lead and looked to be coasting to victory, but that changed quickly.
With five laps to go, a caution came out as a result of Joey Logano blowing a tire. Recall it was Logano whom Busch fought against last week.
During the race’s final caution, Busch and his team lost the race off pit road to Kyle Larson. Also, Busch also lost additional track position with drivers staying out, forcing him to restart fifth. During the final two laps, he’d only be able to fight back to third.
Speeding Leads to Long Day For Logano
Two weeks ago in Atlanta, Kevin Harvick had a dominant effort cut short after a speeding penalty. Two weeks later, a speeding penalty was a burden to yet another driver’s day.
Logano, who led all but one lap in Stage 1 of Sunday’s Camping World 500, was sent to the rear of the field during a caution early on in Stage 2, after being caught too fast entering. Logano fought back to run in the top-10, but a blown right front tire resulted in a 31st place finish for the 26-year-old.
In what’s becoming a reoccurring theme, Kyle Larson finished second for the fourth time in the last five races.
The 24-year-old ran up front all day and looked to be in a position to get a win late, restarting fourth for the Overtime finish, the highest of anyone who came down pit road for two tires. With fresher tires and the preferred lane, Larson seemed to be in a position to take the lead. Unfortunately, contact with Stenhouse held him up, and he’d have to settle for another runner-up.
Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
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