PHOENIX

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

The Progress-Index - - NASCAR THIS WEEK - — God­win Kelly, god­win. kelly@news-jrnl.co m

1. The Logano burn

Two races into the NASCAR Cup Se­ries Round of 8 and Joey Logano has a pair of high-pro­file driv­ers giv­ing him the stink-eye. Logano did a bump and run on Martin Truex Jr. at Martinsville and roughed up Aric Almirola at Texas dur­ing a late restart, which prob­a­bly cost Almirola five fin­ish­ing po­si­tions. Both Truex and Almirola have vowed re­venge, if nec­es­sary. Logano’s haters list will likely grow at Phoenix.

2. Bub­ble boy saga

Half the Cham­pi­onship Round field has been de­cided. Any of the re­main­ing six hope­fuls can win at Phoenix and get in for Home­stead. At least one driver will go in on points. Kyle Busch has a slim three­p­oint lead on Martin Truex Jr. In the must-win cat­e­gory are Chase El­liott, who is mi­nus 39 to the leader, fol­lowed by Aric Almirola (-57) and Clint Bowyer (-73). “I am fired up. Let’s go,” Almirola said.

3. Long truck­ers

The NASCAR Camp­ing World Truck Se­ries doesn’t get much ink on this page be­cause there is so much go­ing on in the Cup Se­ries. Af­ter tak­ing a peek at this week’s sched­ule, well, just a tip of the hat to those truck­ers. First, it is a 2,100-mile drive. Once they get to ISM Race­way in Avon­dale, Ari­zona, they do all their busi­ness Fri­day, start­ing with prac­tice at 10:30 a.m. and end­ing with a race at 8:30 p.m. Chins up, guys.

[AP/PAUL SANCYA]

Joey Logano is smil­ing now, af­ter qual­i­fy­ing for the Cham­pi­onship Round, but is he mak­ing too many garage-area en­e­mies to win the ti­tle?

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