Phoenix turned out to be a huge success. Not only for Newman, but the stage racing too. Phoenix proved to be track that help stage racing finally earn its name for the current format. With lead changes and constant battles for position, I was sure on the edge of my seat the whole time. "Everything is Great" became a great tag line for Kyle Busch as he came off a scuffle with Joey Logano from Vegas on the last lap of the Kobalt 400. Kyle was spoken to about his actions afterward. During the first stage, Logano had a hard fought victory for the first stage with Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. I've said before before that I question certain tracks that kinda bring boring racing such as New Hampshire and yes Phoenix International Raceway. The stage racing however proved my thoughts on that wrong as it provided a great shuffle of position creating an exciting event that fans have desired for along time and yet this year. The second stage did just that with Chase Elliott winning it, but Kyle had the lead for the second half of the race. Thinking Kyle would redeem himself with a win this weekend having it in the bag. His hopes were was ironically shut down as a late race caution came out with Logano blowing a tire. On the restart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr slipped on the restart with Truex Jr and Kyle Busch behind him making it impossible for Busch to retake the lead. Ryan Newman shot out with a good lead with Kyle Larson trailing him in what looked even more ironic view from 2014 when Newman used Larson on worn tires to go to the final four at Homestead. Newman went onto win snapping a 127 winless streak since 2013 at the Brickyard 400. What made the race so great and I think most of us agree is that we had many position changes throughout the race and with those changes Newman winning is what makes the format we have now Legit.
All photos used with permission by Nascar Media.