All three major NASCAR series are heading into their second-last week of the 2013 season, and there is plenty of unfinished business. Everyone is on hand at the one-mile track in the desert known as Phoenix International Raceway, a testy little track that will present more than its share of challenges.
Tonight at 8 p.m. EST, the trucks hit the track for the the Lucus Oil 150, where Matt Crafton will be driving the No. 88 Duke Thorson. Chevrolet can wrap things up over his year-long rival, James Buecher driving the Turner Motorsports No. 31 Chevy. He is trailing by 46 points in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.
Broadcast info: TV — Fox Sports 1 with the radio on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90.
The Nationwide series will showcase the ServiceMaster 200. Another drivers’ championship could get settled in the desert on Saturday. Sam Hornish Jr. is the only driver who scored his first career Nationwide victory at Phoenix (Nov. 12, 2011). He enters this race just six points behind leader Austin Dillon, and a misstep by either driver could be a problem headed into the final race of the season next week at Miami-Homestead.
Kyle Busch holds the record for most Nationwide wins at Phoenix with five. Busch started on the pole and won the spring race there in March. Carl Edwards has the second-most victories at this track with four. Edwards is not entered in this weekend’s race. Jack Roush has the most car owner wins in Nationwide races at Phoenix with eight, followed by Joe Gibbs with five.
Broadcast info: TV — 4 p.m. EST on ESPN2 with the radio on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90.
The Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship gets going on Sunday at 3 p.m. EST with the running of the Advocare 500.
It’s almost beyond comprehension that the Cup title won’t come down to the final laps of the Nov. 17 season finale at Homestead, Fla. Going into Sunday’s race, Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson has a seven-point lead over Toyota driver Matt Kenseth, a 40-point lead over Chevy driver Kevin Harvick and a 54-point lead over Toyota driver Kyle Busch.
It seems unlikely Johnson can be as overpowering this weekend in Arizona as he was last weekend in Texas. So for the fifth year in a row, the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship will be settled in South Beach — or at least not too far from the beach.
Broadcast Info: TV– 3 p.m. on ESPN with the radio on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Channel 90.