The NASCAR Cup Series closes out the west coast swing with the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR has divided the teams into two groups; each will get a 20 minute practice session prior to making a one lap single car qualifying.

A 22 year NASCAR veteran, Kurt Busch is the only active driver in the field to have raced with Dale Earnhardt Sr.

After two rounds of qualifying, Ryan Blaney sits on the pole with a time of 27.127 seconds; Denny Hamlin will start alongside on the front row.


Inspection issues continue to plague the teams as they continue to become familiar with the new Next Gen car and its various nuances.  This week nine teams had inspection issues and failed the inspection process twice.  As a result, they will lose a crew member and their pit stall selection; however, they will get to qualify and keep their qualifying spot to start the race.

Drivers whose cars failed inspection twice…
Tyler Reddick in the number eight car
Garrett Smithley in the number 15 car
Kyle Busch in the number 18 car
Christopher Bell in the number 20 car
Todd Gilliland in the number 38 car
Cole Custer in the number 41 car
Ty Dillon in the number 42 car
Erik Jones in the number 43 car
and Landon Cassill in the number 77 car

According to the NASCAR rule book there is no penalty for failing an inspection once; but failing twice results in the ejection of a crew member and loss of pit stall selection, failure three times results in the loss of a crew member and pit stall selection and the driver must serve a pass through penalty upon race start.  If a car fails the inspection process four times, not only does the team lose a crew member and pit stall selection plus the pass through penalty; they are also charged with an L1 penalty, resulting in fines and suspensions.

After his Hendricks Motorsports team chose to repair a steering issue in Kyle Larson’s number five car, NASCAR has charged the team with making unapproved adjustments.  As a result, Larson will have to give up his seventh place starting spot and start the race from the back of the field.


The starting lineup for the Ruoff Mortgage 500:
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
William Byron
Christopher Bell
Aric Almirola
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Larson – moved to the back of the field
Austin Cindric
Alex Bowman
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Tyler Reddick
Austin Dillon
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Ross Chastain
Brad Keselowski
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Ty Dillon
Michael McDowell
Daniel Suarez
Harrison Burton
Cole Custer
Chris Buescher

Bubba Wallace
Justin Haley
AJ Allmendinger
Corey LaJoie
Landon Cassill
Cody Ware
Todd Gilliland
BJ McLeod
Garrett Smithley
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Danica Patrick returns to join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the FOX broadcast booth for today’s race.

Stages one of the race is 60 laps, stage two is 125 laps, and stage three is 127 laps for a total of 312 laps around the one mile track.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag and edges out for the lead.  Kyle Busch starts the race running down on the apron and is picking up positions.

Ryan Blaney leads laps one.
Lap two, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Chase Briscoe.  After starting in 12th place, Kyle Busch is up to seventh.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25.

There are no out of bounds at Phoenix Raceway, the entire track is open to the drivers.

Lap six, Ryan Blaney has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.  After starting the race from the back of the field, Kyle Larson is in28th place.  Harrison Burton also started the race from the back of the field and is now in 30th place.

Lap eleven, Ryan Blaney has led every lap so far.

Lap 17, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a two second lead on Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Chase Briscoe, and Ky Busch round out the top five.  All 36 drivers are on the lead lap.

Lap 23, Kyle Larson has entered the top 20.

Lap 25, Ryan Blaney has begun to lap slower traffic with a lead of nearly two seconds on Denny Hamlin.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.  Cody Ware is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Joey Logano taking only two tires.  Kyle Busch stalls on pit road, losing several spots.  Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Michael McDowell were all caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field. 

After taking only two tires, Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 and gets out in front for the lead.  Kyle Busch restarts the race in 19th place.  Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin restart in 27th and 28th place.

Lap 33, the top five are Chase Briscoe, Joey Logano, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 35, Kyle Busch is in 15th place, Ryan Blaney is 24th, and Denny Hamlin is 28th.

Lap 36, Kyle Larson has entered the top 10.

Lap 37, Chase Briscoe leads the race by nearly a second with Joey Logano in second; William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 40, Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch make contact when Dillon gets loose.  The track stays green.

Lap 45, Chase Briscoe leads the race.  Kyle Larson has entered the top 10 in ninth place but Denny Hamlin has not advanced very far moving up only two spots to 26th.

The caution flag comes out on lap 47 when Corey LaJoe hits the wall hard and loses a wheel.  He takes the car to the garage.  Cody Ware hits the errant tire on the track.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Ross Chastain narrowly misses hitting Harrison Burton coming out of his pit stall.

The teams have just nine sets of tires for today’s race.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart but William Byron jumps out in front as drivers get four and five wide across the track.

Lap 54, William Byron leads the race; Chase Briscoe, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 58, William Byron has a lead of over half a second on Chase Briscoe; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.  With Kyle Larson in seventh, all four of the Hendrick Motorsports cars are in the top 10.

William Byron wins stage one for his ninth career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
William Byron
Chase Briscoe
Chase Elliott
Tyler Reddick
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
Kyle Larson
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Austin Dillon

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 70 with Kyle Busch alongside.

Ryan Blaney leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 72, once again, Ryan Blaney pulls out in front of the field and has a half second lead on Kyle Busch.

Lap 76, Ryan Blaney now has a lead of over a second on Kyle Busch; Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 80, Ryan Blaney has increased his lead on Chase Elliott to two seconds; Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and William Byron round out the top five.

Old tires do not seem to be an issue for Ryan Blaney who is now two and a half second in front of Chase Elliott.

Lap 89, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with a two and a half second lead on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick round out the top five. 

Lap 92, Ryan Blaney is reporting a vibration in the steering.  His lead is down to less than a second and a half on Chase Elliott.

Lap 96, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Chase Elliott in second; William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five. 

Lap 103, Ryan Blaney has a one second lead on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.  Blaney is driving on tires 15 laps older than the drivers who stopped at the end of stage one.

Lap 110, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race but his lead is now down to just over half a second on Chase Elliott; William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.  Kyle Larson is just outside the top five in sixth place.  There are 28 cars on the lead lap.  Corey LaJoie is out of the race.

Harrison Burton gets into the wall but the track stays green.

Ryan Blaney has led 77 of the 114 laps in the race so far.

The caution flag comes out on lap 117 when Christopher Bell spins out with a flat tire.  Brad Keselowski is the “lucky dog”.

Several drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.

With 26 cars on the lead lap, Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 126 with Ryan Blaney alongside.  Drivers spread out three and four wide with Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney battling for the lead. 

Lap 127, Chase Elliott takes the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 129, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.  Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Denny Hamlin’s team reports that they had an issue with fueling the car and are not sure they have enough fuel to make it to the end of the stage.

Lap 134, Ryan Blaney takes the lead form Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 136, Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 140, Ryan Blaney is back out in front and pulling away from he field with Chase Elliott in second.

Lap 145, Ryan Blaney has a lead of a second and a half on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 154, Ryan Blaney has a once second lead on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 161, Ryan Blaney continues to dominate the race with a one second lead on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Ross Chastain is reporting a brtak shake.

Lap 169, Ryan Blaney has a one second lead on Chase Elliott.

Lap 176, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race but Chase Elliott is closing the gap on the leader; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 181, Aric Almirola brushes the wall but the track stays green.

Chase Elliott has caught up to leader Ryan Blaney with Kevin Harvick in third.

Ryan Blaney wins stage two.  Blaney is the sixth different driver in 3 2/3 races to win a stage this season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
William Byron
Kyle Larson
Tuler Reddick
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Austin Dillon
Joey Logano

Kevin Harvick is reporting a very loose condition.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road.  Ryan Blaney comes out fourth.

Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr hold the record for the most top 10’s at a single track with 18; Kevin Harvick could tie that record today if he finishes the race in Phoenix if he finishes the race in the top 10.

Chase Elliott narrowly avoids a major penalty when he begins to leave pit road with the fuel tank still attached but the tank falls off of the car and stays in the pit stall.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 195 and the drivers quickly get five and six wide across the track.  Tyler Reddick and Chase Elliott battle for the lead with Elliott taking the lead.

Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick make contact when Harvick spun his tires on the green flag.

Lap 197, the top five are Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Chase Briscoe.

Lap 202, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Tyler Reddick who has Ryan Blaney on his bumper; Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 204, there are 22 cars on the lead lap.  Corey LaJoie is the only driver out of the race.

Lap 206, Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick battle for second with Chase Elliott in the lead by half a second.

There are 96 laps remaining in the race; Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Tyler Reddick; Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr brings out the caution flag on lap 221 when he spins out and hits the wall hard.  Truex reports that he had a flat tire.  Truex is out of the car and walks to the ambulance for the ride to the infield care center.  All drivers involved in a crash and unable to keep driving are required to make a visit to the infield care center.

With 91 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are on the outside edge of their fuel window.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road by a large margin.

Daniel Suarez was caught speeding on pit road.

Martin Truex Jr is out of the infield care center and fine.

Ryan Blaney’s team had an issue on pit road and Blaney restarts the race in ninth.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with 84 laps to go.  Drivers get four and five wide across the track.

Chase Briscoe takes the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain,and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 232, Chase Briscoe leads the race with Chase Elliott in second; Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.  Ryan Blaney is in tenth place.

Kyle Larson reports an issue with his car, a possible engine issue.  He is currently in 13th place.

With 75 laps to go, Chase Briscoe has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott.  Kyle Larson takes his cr to the garage with a broken valve spring.

Kyle Larson brings his car down pit road.  The crew has the hood up trying to determine and fix the issue.
Seventy laps to go, Chase Briscoe has a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Ty Dillion gets into the wall but the track stays green.

Sixty to go, Chase Briscoe has a one second lead on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

With 55 laps to go, Chase Elliott has closed the gap on leader Chase Briscoe to just over half a second; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick and William Byron have been battling for several laps; Reddick finally gets around Byron.


Fifty to go, Chase Elliott has caught leader Chase Briscoe and is beginning to challenge for the lead.

Ryan Blaney is reporting that the steering wheel is shaking badly.  Blaney is currently in fifth place.

With 45 laps to go, Chase Briscoe has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Forty to go, Chase Elliott has once again caught up to leader Chase Briscoe as they approach slower traffic.

Thirty to go, Chase Briscoe has a lead of less than half a second on Chase Elliott; Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 286, Erik Jones brings out the caution flag when he gets loose and hits the wall.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and fuel.  Chase Elliott reports a tight condition.  Chase Briscoe wins the race off of pit road with Kevin Harvick out second.

Kyle Busch was caught speeding on pit road.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with just 20 laps remaining in the race.  Drivers gets four and five wide across the track with Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain battling for the lead.

Chase Briscoe edges out in front of “the watermelon man” for the lead; Tyler Reddick, KeHarvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick passes Ross Chastain for second but the battle continues.

The top three drivers have yet to win a Cup Series race.

Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin make contact but the track stays green.

Lap 298, Chase Briscoe leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

With eleven laps to go, Kevin Harvick battles with Ross Chastain for third.  Chase Briscoe has a  half second lead on Tyler Reddick. 

The caution flag comes out on lap 303 when Chase Elliott spins out.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires with just seven laps remaining in the race.  Leaders stay out.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Tyler Reddick on the outside with just three laps remaining in the race.  Drivers get four and five wide across the track with Chase Briscoe in the lead.

Chase Briscoe takes the white flag with a lead of over half a second.

Chase Briscoe wins the race for his first Cup Series win to become NASCAR Cup Series race winner number 200.  Briscoe idolized Tony Stewart as a child; he is now the winner of a Cup Series race in the same car number and team that Tony Stewart drove. 

With his sixth place finish, Kevin Harvick is now tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr for the most top 10’s at a single track with 18.

“Watermelon man” Ross Chastain follows up his third place Las Vegas finish with a second place finish in Phoenix.

After some contact with Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon finished the race by getting into the wall.

The unofficial results of the Ruoff Mortgage 500:
Chase Briscoe
Ross Chastain
Tyler Reddick
Ryan Blaney
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Daniel Suarez
Chris Buescher
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Alex Bowman
Ty Dillon
Cole Custer
Justin Haley
William Byron
Todd Gilliland
AJ Allmendinger
Austin Dillon
Bubba Wallace
Brad Keselowski
Austin Cindric
Erik Jones
Christopher Bell
Michael McDowell
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Harrison Burton
Landon Cassill
Cody Ware
Garrett Smithely
BJ McLeod
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr
Corey LaJoie