BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway will air live on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to a television? The race can be heard live on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Below is the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the weekend:
Friday, March 17
2 p.m. ET: NASCAR Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1
7:45 p.m. ET: NASCAR Cup Series qualifying, FOX Sports 1
Saturday, March 18:
12 p.m. ET: NASCAR Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2
2:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 2
Sunday, March 19:
3:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR Cup Series race, FOX
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: For the first time this season Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS. Chase Elliott will man the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, Jimmie Johnson will drive the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will debut the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS for this Sunday’s race at Phoenix.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports has earned 10 wins, 11 pole positions, 45 top-five finishes and 78 top-10s at Phoenix International Raceway. Those 10 wins are spread among six drivers, with Johnson accounting for four. Earnhardt recorded the organization’s most recent Phoenix victory in November 2015.
KAHNE AT PHOENIX: The 36-year-old heads back to Phoenix this weekend after earning a 13th-place finish in last year’s November race. Kahne has captured one win at the one-mile track. It came in November 2011 with a 0.802-second margin of victory over Carl Edwards. In Kahne’s 10 starts at Phoenix while driving for Hendrick Motorsports, he has started in the top 10 six times. His 55 laps led at the track rank 12th among active drivers.
ELLIOTT’S PHOENIX STATS: Elliott collected top-10 finishes in both races at Phoenix International Raceway during his 2016 Rookie of the Year campaign. He averages a 10.0 starting position and an 8.5 average finishing position at the one-mile track. The 21-year-old driver has also competed in five NASCAR XFINITY Series races at the Avondale, Arizona, track, garnering two top-five finishes and five top-10s.
JOHNSON’S PHOENIX STATS: According to NASCAR loop data since 2005, Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Phoenix with a score of 111.2. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
EARNHARDT’S RECENT PHOENIX WIN: Earnhardt won at Phoenix in November 2015 after a rain-shortened event. The wet weather didn’t put a damper on Earnhardt, who led 22 laps en route to his 26th career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his third at the track. The 42-year-old driver earned his first two Phoenix wins back-to-back, going to Victory Lane in November 2003 and November 2004 when the one-mile tri-oval hosted one Cup event per season. By virtue of his three wins, Earnhardt ranks third on the all-time wins list at Phoenix behind Kevin Harvick (eight) and teammate Johnson (four).