DAVID MAYHEW WINS TALKING STICK RESORT 50
Pole-sitter David Mayhew executed a neat slide up in front of Daniel Suarez coming off turn 2 on the first lap of the Talking Stick Resort 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday evening. Mayhew never looked back and led all the way to victory lane in his MMI Services/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet.
Mayhew made the third trip of his career to victory circle at PIR and expressed his confidence from the time he tugged his belts tight. He said, "We were fast in practice and pretty well felt we were the car to beat."
It was fairly easy until Mayhew had to negotiate four slow cars with three laps to go. He smoothly swept under the clustered quartet of racers and emerged cleanly before turn 4.
Dylan Kwasniewski finished second in his Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford, but not without a spirited battle with Chase Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott. On the white flag lap, Kwasniewski and Elliott, running closely in second and third place, also encountered the same batch of lapped traffic as Mayhew had. This occurred between turns 1 and 2.
The two youngsters survived the traffic tangle all the way to turn 3, but it prevented Elliott from making a run at Kwasniewski. Elliott made his move coming off turn 3 but couldn't make his Hendrickscars.com/Aaron's Chevrolet stick. He skidded into the wall, and the yellow flag waved as Mayhew took the checkers. Elliott finished 17th.
Kwasniewski, the youngest ever K&N West Series Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year last year, said, "We had a shot (at Mayhew) at the beginning, but he was too fast. I'm glad we were able to get second place." His margin behind first was 1.198 seconds.
Suarez brought his Telcel/Finsa/Rocaacero Toyota home in third place, with Greg Pursley fourth and Derek Thorn fifth.
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Phoenix International Raceway is encouraging fans to prepare for race day traffic by arriving early and enjoying the full NASCAR experience during the CampingWorld.com 500 event weekend, March 13-15. In addition to the CampingWorld.com 500 on Sunday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m. PST, the race weekend at PIR will include the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. PST and the Toyota 120 NASCAR Mexico Series race on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. PST.