The final race weekend of the 2021 NASCAR season is here. Phoenix Raceway will host the Championship races for each of the 3 national touring series this weekend. Four drivers from each series are set to battle it out for a title. Only three will be crowned a NASCAR champion by week’s end. In terms of format, it’s pretty simple: The highest finishing driver of the Championship 4 in each race will be crowned the champion. This weekend in the desert could get wild as these drivers throw it all on the line.
Read on for some history and insight on Phoenix Raceway, site of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race for the second straight season.
Phoenix Raceway Overview
Phoenix Raceway was opened in 1964. The track is a one-mile oval. Turns One and Two are banked at eight degrees. The track’s dogleg, as well as Turns Three and Four, are banked between 10 and 11 degrees. The NASCAR Cup Series first raced at the track in 1988. In the very first race, Alan Kulwicki won and did what he called the Polish Victory Lap as part of his celebration. Since that year, NASCAR has held at least one race at the track every season. Kevin Harvick has the most all-time wins at Phoenix Raceway with nine.
In 1995, the Truck Series joined the NASCAR Cup Series in running at Phoenix Raceway. Then in 1999, the Xfinity Series would complete the national series trifecta. In 2005, the track earned a second race date for the spring. The Instacart 500 was first run as the “Subway Fresh 500” that year. The sponsor of the spring race has changed hands several times in the seasons since.
Phoenix Raceway Undergoes Multiple Renovations
Phoenix Raceway was renovated in 2011. Part of the renovation included putting an end to the road course that was attached. The track was again renovated following the NASCAR spring race in 2018. The start/finish line was moved from the straightaway to just after what was previously Turn Two. Starting in 2020 and for the foreseeable future, Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for all three NASCAR national series.
Spring Cup Series Race Recap
Team Penske came out of the gates strong as Brad Keselowski led at the start of the race, and Ryan Blaney won the first stage. Joey Logano continued the Penske day with the Stage 2 win. In the end, Martin Truex Jr. was able to hold off a hard-charging Logano and earn the win for Joe Gibbs Racing. A season-sweep of Phoenix Raceway this Sunday would allow Truex, a Championship 4 driver, to capture the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix Raceway | Weekend Racing Schedule
Lucas Oil 150 (NASCAR Truck Series Championship)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Date: Friday, November 8, 2021
Start Time: 8 P.M. EST
Distance: 150 miles
NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021
Start Time: 8:30 P.M. EST
Distance: 200 miles
NASCAR Cup Series Championship
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, November 7, 2021
Start Time: 3 P.M. EST
Distance: 312 miles