There is a ton on the line this weekend! There are still two spots in the championship race next week to be decided and there are six drivers still alive for those spots. The pressure will lead to some amazing racing and this is a track that lends itself to some daring strategies and maneuvers on the track. ISM Raceway is nestled in front of a mountain range just outside of Phoenix and it’s possibly the most scenic track, but don’t let the views distract you.
This 1-mile track is relatively flat at just 12 degrees of banking at the most but it’s the layout of the 1-mile surface that gets noticed. Just after Turn 4 and the start/finish line lies the “Dogleg” portion of the track that is pretty much a wide sweeping turn of a straightaway section that has no out of bounds line. That means you will see divebomb moves all race long and restarts will be extraordinarily chaotic as it spreads five-wide as the drivers fight for real estate heading into Turn 1. With it being the full 750-horsepower package, the laps will be clicked off quickly and this is one of the faster races of the year, time-wise. The 500 in the race number is for 500 kilometers and thus the race is 312 miles and laps in length.
There is a history here of laps led dominators as it can be tough to pass for the lead with so many laps clicking off quickly. Overall five winners have come from the Pole but none since 2013 and the newly moved start/finish line from the middle of the straightaway to right before the dogleg gives the ability for late-race restarts to really shift the finishing order.
For a further breakdown, see the Track Breakdown, Practice Notes, and Podcast that are all out on the NASCAR page.
Average Points By Starting Spot
This tool is meant to be a representation of what each spot scored over the last five FALL races at Phoenix regardless of which driver was in that spot each race. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but more of a guide of sorts.