By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Courtesy: NASCAR Twitter page
We head into our fourth race of the season at Phoenix. It does not take long for Kyle Busch to shoot down to the very bottom of the track in the Dogleg of the track. He passed roughly five cars within just a few laps. Ryan Blaney holds the lead until the competition caution. However, multiple drivers were caught speeding on the pit road. This sent Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Michael McDowell to the rear. Things were very smooth until something broke in the front of Corey LaJoie’s car and he hit the wall hard. His right front tire came off and Cody Ware hits what is left of the tire. This will make things interesting with only a few laps left in stage one. Crew chiefs will have a tough call to make that can determine the possibility of how stage one will end and two will start. William Byron will pass close to the end and will win stage one.
We start stage two and it has started as the Ryan Blaney show once again. He is on older tires so this could cause a problem later down the road. It will depend on how cautions may or may not play out. Ryan Blaney has radioed in to his team that he is starting to get tight and starting to struggle. It is not long before Harrison Burton has an issue after scrubbing the wall. However, it is not Harrison that brings out the caution. Christopher Bell brings out the one caution for stage two. This will allow for needed gas and tires to the end of the stage. Chase Elliott will take over the lead but Ryan Blaney will quickly take back over. Ryan Blaney leads the way through stage two. He will win stage two.
We start stage three by going seven wide. We funnel down to four wide then finally back to two wide. The battles continue throughout the field. While the battle upfront continues to fluctuate. Martin Truex Jr will bring out the first caution of stage three. This will put everyone just on the bubble of making the fuel window. Daniel Suarez was caught speeding and was sent to the rear. We go green once again and Chase Briscoe took over the lead. Erik Jones had another issue with a tire and hit the wall hard. This will mix things up once again. Kyle Busch was caught speeding and sent to the rear. We get back to racing and NASCAR ends up throwing a caution as Chase Elliott spins. Which will come down to a three-lap shoot-out. Chase Briscoe goes to the bottom and takes the lead. He gets a decent lead and holds off the field. He will get his first unofficial win.