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.

DriverStarting PositionAvg. DK Pts.RankAvg. FD Pts.RankDriverStarting PositionAvg. DK Pts.RankAvg. FD Pts.Rank
Kyle Busch157.80166.602Michael McDowell2138.201160.325
Joey Logano240.65553.3617Jimmie Johnson2238.80960.583
Denny Hamlin348.40348.8822Bubba Wallace2323.502449.2221
Martin Truex Jr439.40857.629Ricky Stenhouse Jr2431.601755.2015
Kyle Larson529.701955.5214Ryan Preece2518.603142.9229
Chase Elliott635.551256.9210John Hunter Nemechek264.404029.6038
Kevin Harvick730.751852.1818Daniel Hemric2726.702050.4820
Kurt Busch852.55267.741Austin Dillon2832.001654.1016
Erik Jones911.403739.2034Ty Dillon2933.951455.5813
Ryan Blaney1038.301057.808David Ragan3024.852248.4024
DriverStarting PositionAvg. DK Pts.RankAvg. FD Pts.RankDriverStarting PositionAvg. DK Pts.RankAvg. FD Pts.Rank
Aric Almirola1125.602151.6819Corey LaJoie3116.803340.7433
Brad Keselowski1223.602345.1826Ross Chastain3223.202546.7225
Clint Bowyer1340.50760.444Landon Cassill3320.902844.0428
Alex Bowman1441.10456.5211Bayley Currey3423.202544.6427
Daniel Suarez1522.502748.6023Garrett Smithley3513.603534.0636
Matt DiBenedetto1617.703242.5831Joe Nemechek3616.803338.3635
Chris Buescher1720.652942.5432Reed Sorenson3711.803630.8837
William Byron1840.60659.546Joey Gase3820.403042.8230
Paul Menard1932.401555.6812JJ Yeley3910.203928.7639
Ryan Newman2035.501358.367      


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