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