ORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: PHOENIX NOTES
NASCAR’s three-race western swing concludes this weekend at Phoenix Raceway, where the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series will compete. Here’s a look at a couple of Ford driver streaks that are on the line, along with some notable race wins from the past.
This Week’s Schedule:
Saturday, March 12 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 4:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
Sunday, March 13 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT PHOENIX
- Ford has 17 series wins at Phoenix Raceway.
- Alan Kulwicki won the first series race at Phoenix Raceway in 1988.
- Current Ford drivers Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano have series wins.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT PHOENIX
- Ford leads all manufacturers with 15 series wins at Phoenix Raceway.
- Ford has won at least once at Phoenix Raceway in three of the last four seasons.
- Owners Jack Roush (9) and Roger Penske (5) have combined to win 14 series races.
ALMIROLA RUNS TOP 10 STREAK TO THREE
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang, is the only one to post top-10 finishes in each of the first three races as he extended it on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a sixth place showing. He finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 and was sixth at Auto Club Speedway. Almirola, who is in his final year of full-time competition, has seven top-10 finishes in 22 career starts at Phoenix Raceway.
HARVICK HOLDS PHOENIX RECORD
Kevin Harvick holds the record with nine career NASCAR Cup Series wins at Phoenix Raceway with his latest coming in 2018. That’s the most victories for Harvick on any track currently on the NASCAR schedule. Michigan International Speedway ranks second on his personal list for career wins with five while New Hampshire Motor Speedway is third with four. In addition, Harvick goes into Sunday’s scheduled race having posted 17 consecutive top-10 finishes. The streak started in 2013 when he won the next-to-last race of the season, igniting a six-race stretch that saw him win five times, including four straight, and finish second once.
KULWICKI WINS FIRST CUP RACE IN PHOENIX OPENER
Alan Kulwicki, driving the No. 7 Zerex Ford, won his first NASCAR Cup Series race in the debut event at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 6, 1988. Kulwicki, who celebrated by taking a Polish Victory Lap for which he is still remembered for today, passed leader Ricky Rudd with 16 laps to go and ended up taking the checkered flag in his 85th start by 18 seconds over runner-up Terry Labonte. Fellow Ford drivers Davey Allison and Bill Elliott finished third and fourth, respectively. Kulwicki, who ended up leading four times for 41 laps in taking the next-to-last event of the season, went on to win four more Cup races during his career.
WALLACE RAINS IN 1998
Rusty Wallace had only three more chances to keep his streak of winning at least one race a season alive when he rolled into Phoenix Raceway in 1998. He had gone to victory lane in each of the previous 12 seasons and didn’t want to see it come to an end, so that’s why what he did on Oct. 25 was so impressive. Wallace, who started sixth, made a beeline to the front and pretty much stayed there all afternoon until rain came and halted the race after 257 laps. The event was eventually called, marking the first rain-shortened race in the track’s NASCAR history, but there was no doubt Wallace deserved the win. He led 196 of the 257 laps, including the final 73. Wallace’s streak eventually reached 16 seasons before it was snapped in 2002.
BUSCH WINS DEBUT NIGHT RACE
Kurt Busch made Phoenix Raceway history when he drove his No. 97 Irwin/Sharpie Ford Taurus to victory in the first NCS night race held at the track on Apr. 23, 2005. Busch dominated from the start as he led 132 of the first 133 laps, and while others like Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip led multiple laps at different stages of the event, it was Busch who proved to be too strong down the stretch. He passed Waltrip with 44 laps to go and was never threatened again as he won by 2.315 seconds. Busch led 219 of the 312 laps as Phoenix hosted the first of two annual Cup dates each season for the first time.
EDWARDS ENDS DROUGHT
When Ford went to victory lane at Phoenix in the second race of 2013, it snapped a 70-race winless drought for Carl Edwards, whose previous victory came in Las Vegas in 2011. Edwards led 122 of 312 laps, including the final 78, to win the, but there were anxious moments, particularly at the end when a green-white-checker finish had most of the leaders wondering if they had enough gas in the tank to reach the end. Edwards did and managed to beat Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line.
FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT PHOENIX
1988 – Alan Kulwicki
1989 – Bill Elliott
1991 – Davey Allison
1992 – Davey Allison
1993 – Mark Martin
1995 – Ricky Rudd
1997 – Dale Jarrett
1998 – Rusty Wallace
2000 – Jeff Burton
2001 – Jeff Burton
2002 – Matt Kenseth
2005 – Kurt Busch (1)
2010 – Carl Edwards (2)
2013 – Carl Edwards (1)
2016 – Joey Logano (2)
2018 – Kevin Harvick (1)
2020 – Joey Logano (1)
FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT PHOENIX
2000 – Jeff Burton
2001 – Greg Biffle
2003 – Bobby Hamilton Jr.
2005 – Greg Biffle (1) and Carl Edwards (2)
2006 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2008 – Carl Edwards (2)
2009 – Greg Biffle (1) and Carl Edwards (2)
2010 – Carl Edwards (2)
2014 – Brad Keselowski (2)
2015 – Joey Logano (1)
2018 – Brad Keselowski (1)
2020 – Austin Cindric (2)
2021 – Austin Cindric (1)
Ford Performance PR