Time For NASCAR’s XFINITY Series To Race In The Valley Of The Sun

Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – AVONDALE, AZ – Kevin Harvick isn’t racing in this weekend’s XFINITY Series race from ISM Raceway, a track he usually dominates in the XFINITY and Cup Series, respectively. After last week’s shellacing in Las Vegas, he’s decided to focus his efforts on the Cup Series race this weekend. The other XFINITY drivers could not be more excited.

ISM Raceway, formerly known as Phoenix International Raceway, is a technical track in the way of the lines the drivers choose on the track. A lot of drivers like to cut off some of the dogleg, but they do pay a price. The transition from banking to suddenly a flat racing surface can cause the car to get loose and lose traction to the rear tires. The result is the car wants to fishtail out of control.

Another issue drivers face when taking the short way around the track is risking damage to the front splitter. Clearances are already so close, there’s not a lot of give when it comes to front splitter height. Over the course of the race when a driver shoots off the banking in the dogleg, the splitter wears down and can cause issues if the damage gets to be too excessive.

My Pick to Win is…
Justin Allgaier
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro
JR Motorsports

Allgaier won this race two years ago, and one of Allgaier’s favorite tracks. In 15 starts, he has 10 top-10s, and five top-fives, including the win in 2016. JR Motorsports is off to a strong start so far in the 2018 campaign, and Allgaier is coming off a third-place finish last week in Las Vegas.

Race Info
Saturday, March 10
4:00 PM ET
DC Solar 200
Radio: Motor Racing Network

NASCAR XFINITY Series Power Rankings
Post-Las Vegas

  1. Elliott Sadler: Sadler has scored three top-fives in the season’s opening three races, but has yet to find Victory Lane. If he can’t find it soon, the frustration may start to mount in the No. 1 camp. Last Week: 1
  2. Tyler Reddick: A solid Las Vegas showing following a 19th-place finish in Atlanta the week prior has Tyler Reddick on top of the standings with his win at Daytona. Last Week: 2
  3. Christopher Bell: Two-straight top-threes have Christopher Bell’s stock rising. I expect him to perform well this weekend, and contend for the win. Last Week: Not Ranked
  4. Spencer Gallagher: Gallagher is having a quietly-good start to the season so far, with two top-10s. Last Week: 5
  5. Brandon Jones: A kerfuffle with teammate Kyle Busch last week had Jones in the headlines, but ended the day on a good note, scoring his second top-10 of the year. Last Week: Not Ranked