Fan Shield 500 Preview: The Desert Jewel
Fan Shield 500 Preview: The Desert Jewel

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

After consecutive weeks of racing on intermediate and large ovals, we move to a track of a completely different configuration.  This oval is anything but ordinary.  This week NASCAR's top racing series stops at one of the more unique tracks on the circuit, Phoenix Raceway.  

The track at Avondale, Ariz., is an irregular "D-shaped" oval with very flat banking in the corners of 9 to 11 degrees.  The straights are completely flat, and very fast as they carry off into the sweeping corners.  This oval is completely different than Daytona, Las Vegas and Fontana.  Phoenix boasts the high speeds that borders on intermediate ovals with the close confines of short track racing as well.  As we have witnessed in the last several years, it's often the driver who brings the fastest car to the Arizona desert that walks away with the trophy.  This race is typically marked by dominant performances, and very rarely by late momentum swings that catapult drivers into victory lane.  The driver who has led the most laps in the event has won the last three Phoenix races.  This is a trend that will likely continue this Sunday.

Since we are making our first stop of the season in the Arizona desert this week, we can only really look back on past statistics for Phoenix Raceway.  This style of racing is a big departure from the standard ovals and Daytona that we've spent the first three weeks of the season competing on.  At this point we're tracking

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Taylor
Taylor is RotoWire's senior NASCAR writer. A nine-time FSWA finalist, Taylor was named the Racing Writer of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2017. He is also a military historian, focused specifically on World War II and the U.S. Navy's efforts in the Pacific.
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