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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am


Monster Energy Cup


Site: Phoenix

Schedule: Friday, practice, 12:35 p.m. (FS1), qualifying, 5:15 p.m., (FS1); Saturday, practice, 12:05 & 2:30 p.m. (FS1); Sunday, race, 3:30 p.m., FOX.

Track: ISM Raceway (oval, 1 mile).

Race distance: 312 miles, 312 laps.

Last year: Ryan Newman, after starting just 22 and leading just six laps, won the spring race in Phoenix.

Last week: Kevin Harvick won for the second week in a row in Las Vegas.

Fast facts: Harvick now has 100 career wins — and a huge jump on the field after just three races. Harvick has 13 playoff points to just five for Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon. Harvick has also led 395 of the 697 laps he’s run so far in 2018. ... Jimmie Johnson was sent to the back of the field for the start of the Las Vegas race because his car needed four trips through inspection. Johnson rallied to place 12th, his first finish inside the top 25 this season.

Next race: Auto Club 400, March 18, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California.



Site: Phoenix

Schedule: Friday, practice, 2:05 & 4:05 p.m., (FS1); Saturday, qualifying, 1:05 p.m. (FS1), race, 4 p.m., FOX.

Track: ISM Raceway

Race distance: 300 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Justin Allgaier held off Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and William Byron to cross first.

Last week: Kyle Larson dominated in Vegas, leading 142 laps for the win after starting on the front row.

Fast facts: Larson picked up his first win in Las Vegas after finishing second in both Cup and Xfinity there in 2017. Larson was also the 10th consecutive different driver to win a series race at Vegas. ...Tyler Reddick and veteran Elliott Sadler head to Arizona deadlocked atop with leader board with 123 points. Sadler is the only series regular with three top 10s to open 2018, while Reddick won the season opener at Daytona.

Next race: March 17, Auto Club Speedway.




Site: St. Petersburg, Florida

Schedule: Friday, practice, 11:20 a.m. & 3:10 p.m.; Saturday, practice, 11:10 a.m., qualifying, 2:20 p.m.; Sunday, race, 12:30 p.m., ABC.

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg (street, 1.8 miles).

Race distance: 198 miles, 110 laps.

Last season: Josef Newgarden won his first series title for Team Penske.

Last year: Sebastien Bourdais plowed through the field from the back and opened 2017 with an upset win.

Fast facts: Newgarden won his first series championship in his debut with Penske. The American is looking to become its first repeat champion since Gil de Ferran won CART championships in 2000 and 2001. ...Four-time series champion Scott Dixon has 41 career wins, but none of them were at St. Petersburg. Dixon has finished second on this street course three times. ...Rookies Rene Binder, Jordan King, Matheus Leist and Robert Wickens will make their IndyCar debuts this weekend.

Next race: Phoenix Grand Prix, April 7, ISM Raceway, Phoenix.

Camping World Truck

Last week: Kyle Busch won in his hometown of Las Vegas, his 50th victory in the series.

Next race: Alpha Energy Solutions 250, March 24, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Virginia.

Formula One

Last season: Lewis Hamilton won the F1 championship for the third time in four seasons.

Next race: Australian Grand Prix, March 25, Melbourne.


Last event: Steve Torrence took first in Top Fuel in the season opener two weeks ago in Arizona.

Next race: GatorNationals, March 18, Gainesville Speedway, Gainesville, Florida