Instacart 500 Recap

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


Photo via NASCAR.com

NASCAR continued this past weekend with some very entertaining racing at the championship race site at Phoneix International Speedway. This week also marked the 5th different winner in 5 races to start the cup season. Many drivers dub this “Covid Racing” because most of the races have no practice, no qualifying, and no time to get their setup done. While this may be a struggle for the drivers and teams, the people who really benefit from this are all the fans who get to watch the captivating racing. Phoenix was no different since it is a flat track and there are many lanes to race on the front stretch. Let’s break down this weekend’s race!

Coming into Phoneix Brad Keseslowski inherited the pole via NASCAR’s formula to determine the starting lineup which includes Owners points, Driver finishing position in the previous race, and owners points. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin traded the lead in the early parts of the race but it started to change after the competition caution. Hamlin led 33 laps and Keselowski led 19 laps on the day respectively and both finished in the top five. Towards the end of stage one Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney cars began to come alive and led most of stage one and two. Blaney edged out Logano to win stage one and he led 143 laps on the day. Blaney ended up finishing 10th on the day despite having a very strong car. Joey Logano dominated the second stage by winning easily and looking like the car to beat.

It was a tough day for former champion Kyle Busch who was wrecked by Ross Chastain in stage three and struggled to recover finishing 25th on the day. Busch has long been a dominant racer however since Covid hit has just not looked like his former self. Busch has chalked it all up to no practice and time to tune the car in. Moving on in stage three, Martin Truex Jr. was able to dial his car in and run down Logano. Truex dominated the third part of the race and led 64 laps taking home his first victory on the year. Logano finished closely behind in second and defending champion Chase Elliott rounded out the top five. Some drivers who were slated to start near the front but were sent to the back with unapproved adjustments such as Kyle Larson and William Byron were able to recover. Larson finished seventh leading one lap, while William Byron finished eighth on the day. It was another entertaining race and next week NASCAR heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway. As always I will bring you the recap!

-All Stats via NASCAR.com

-CM

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