It’s only the fourth race of the season, but the FanShield 500 in Phoenix might give drivers and fans a glimpse into how the championship race could play out in November. Homestead-Miami Speedway has been the final race in the NASCAR playoffs for the last 18 years, but this season the champion will be determined in Phoenix.
ISM Raceway underwent a $178 million upgrade this offseason. The FanShield 500 is NASCAR’s first chance to show it off — and also the last chance for drivers to get a feel for it before the final race of the season in November. The last time NASCAR raced at ISM Raceway, there were only eight lead changes in the entire race. Fans were, quite frankly, bored with such little action. The move has been made to go from the “high downforce” cars to “low downforce” cars with much smaller spoilers and front overhangs, which decreases control and emphasizes skill.
The FanShield 500 will consist of 312 laps around a one-mile track, equating to 500 kilometers. Chase Elliot will start in the pole position, alongside Kevin Harvick.
“Phoenix is definitely interesting; it is challenging,” Chase Elliott told Sporting News on Friday. “The two ends of the track are very different from one another. It’s a real challenge to get them both driving perfect, or as close as you can. So that’s always a challenge, just trying to get the corners as linked up as you can.”
Sporting News is tracking live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s race at Phoenix Raceway. Follow below for complete results from the FanShield 500:
NASCAR at Phoenix live updates, highlights from FanShield 500
3:53 p.m. — Chase Elliot started on the pole position and has kept the lead after the first 10 laps.
3:50 p.m. — You’re not wrong, NASCAR.
3:48 p.m. — We are officially underway in Phoenix.
What time does the NASCAR race start today?
As the final race of the Cup Series’ early-season West Coast swing, Phoenix marks the last 3:30 p.m. ET start for a race until June (Pocono).
The next seven races on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule will start at 2 p.m. ET before the first night race (Martinsville, 8 p.m. ET on May 9) of the season.
NASCAR at Phoenix starting lineup
(i) Ineligible for series points.
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