CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Phoenix International Raceway for the penultimate race of the season.
And with two races remaining in the Chase, Jimmie Johnson has eyes on another win before heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend to compete for a championship.
“Phoenix is going to be like every other race weekend for this Lowe’s team,” Johnson said. “We are heading there to win. There is no such thing as a ‘throw away’ race in my mind.”
In addition, Alex Bowman, a native of Arizona, is ready to head back to his home state and take on Sunday's race.
“I’m ready to get to Phoenix,” Bowman said. “At Hendrick Motorsports with the No. 88 team, we really haven’t discussed expectations at all – we’ve all just been doing the best job we can.”
Before watching the drivers hit the track at Phoenix, take a look at the key notes below.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on MRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, Nov. 11:
1:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
6:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, Nov. 12:
3 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
6 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, Nov. 13:
2:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The penultimate race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the final event of the season with SunEnergy1 on board Chase Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS as the primary scheme. The black and white colors of Kobalt Tools will adorn Johnson’s Chevrolet SS and Bowman will race the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports has earned 10 wins, 10 pole positions, 45 top-five finishes and 76 top-10s at Phoenix International Raceway. Those 10 wins are spread among six drivers, with Johnson accounting for four. Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded the organization’s most recent Phoenix victory in November 2015.
KAHNE AT PHOENIX: Kahne heads to Phoenix this weekend coming off of an eighth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. He scored one win at Phoenix in November 2011 with a 0.802-second margin of victory over Carl Edwards. Kahne’s average starting position of 10.8 over the past 10 races at the track ranks him fourth among active drivers competing full-time this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
STRONG RESULTS IN THE LONE STAR STATE: This past weekend at Texas, while the No. 24 team didn’t take home a win, it still took home an impressive fourth-place result among other awards. Elliott was once again named the Sunoco Rookie of the Race, extending his lead in the yearly standings. No. 24 team crew chief Alan Gustafson also earned an award, claiming his fifth MOOG Steering and Suspension Problem Solver of the Race title of the season. It moved him into the lead ahead of the Nos. 20 and 41 crew chiefs with just two races remaining in the season.
HOT IN THE DESERT: During the years of 2007 and 2008, Johnson put together a streak of three wins in a row at the oval racetrack in the Valley of the Sun. He won the season's penultimate event in 2007, followed by sweeping both events in 2008. The last time Johnson won at Phoenix came before the track was repaved in November 2009. Johnson won the pole for this event one year ago.
AZ NATIVE: Bowman’s journey to the NASCAR stage began on short tracks in Arizona and California at the age of 7. He started driving quarter midgets in United States Auto Club (USAC) competition before moving to full-bodied stock car racing at the age of 17. He drove in select races in the Pro Cup Series in 2010 before moving to the NASCAR Pro Series East in 2011. Bowman finished sixth in series points, winning Rookie of the Year. The now 23-year-old competed in two ARCA Racing Series events during the 2011 season, winning both events, and moved to full-time ARCA Series competition in 2012, earning three wins. Bowman made his debut in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2012 and ran fill-time in 2013. Over the next two seasons, Bowman made the jump to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. All totaled, Bowman’s résumé includes more than 125 starts across NASCAR's top-three series.