The 2020 Xfinity Series rolls on for its first of two Phoenix races during the season. This is the fourth race of the season and we have seen three different drivers win the first three races. Noah Gragson won at Daytona, Chase Briscoe won at Las Vegas and last week, 19-year-old Harrison Burton took the win at Fontana.
Phoenix Raceway is a one-mile track with turns ranging from 8-11 degrees in banking.
One big change to this race, compared to the previous three, is the additions of defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and 2012 Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. These are the two previous winners of the spring Xfinity race as Busch won last year and Keselowski in 2018. These two are the favorites for today’s race as Keselowski is looking to pick up his first win of the year, while Busch is looking for his second after winning the truck series race in Las Vegas.
The last Xfinity Series race to take place on this track was the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 last November, which was the race before the championship at Homestead. Justin Allgaier won the race after taking the lead from Briscoe with about 60 laps to go and held the lead from there to advance to the championship race.
This is a very important race for Allgaier, who came into this season as one of the favorites to win the championship, as he has struggled since that win last November. He struggled in the championship race with a 14th place finish and this season, he has not finished higher than eighth place. Allgaier’s car has looked sluggish at times compared to other drivers and if he wants to win the championship, those building blocks need to start now.
Yesterday was a good start for Allgaier’s team at this track as he finished second in the final practice behind Busch and had the best 10-consecutive lap average speed at 128.490 mph. Austin Cindric, Briscoe and Alex Labbe rounded out the top five from the practice yesterday.
Today, Allgaier finished sixth in qualifying. Busch will start on the pole with Cindric on the front row. Harrison Burton and Keselowski will start third and fourth for today’s race respectively.
My prediction is that Busch will pull away to win easily during stage three. Keselowski and Allgaier will be second and third.
The stages will end on lap 45, lap 90 and the finish at lap 200.
The race will start at 2:00 p.m. MST. You can catch the race on FS1 and MRN.