NASCAR: Slight change to weekend schedule at Phoenix

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Phoenix, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Phoenix, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

NASCAR is not using its usual Cup Series race weekend schedule ahead of Sunday afternoon’s United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

The third and final NASCAR Cup Series race of the annual west coast swing is scheduled to take place this Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway.

The United Rentals Work United 500, the fourth of 36 races on the 2023 schedule, is set to be a 312-lap race around the four-turn, 1.058-mile (1.703-kilometer) Avondale, Arizona oval.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe is the defending winner, having earned his first career Cup Series victory at the track last March. Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the most recent Cup Series race at the track back in November to secure his second career championship.

This weekend’s schedule, however, is unlike anything we have seen for the Cup Series as of late.

NASCAR introduced a new practice and qualifying format ahead of last season.

Before the two-round, single-car qualifying session, the field is split up into two groups. Each group gets a 15-minute practice session (20-minute practice session on road courses) before qualifying, in which the top five drivers in each group advance to the second round.

However, because the new aerodynamic rules package which NASCAR has introduced for the short tracks and road courses is set to debut this weekend at Phoenix Raceway, this schedule has been modified.

Instead of a 15-minute practice session before qualifying on Saturday, there is a 50-minute practice session, and it is scheduled to take place on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 2).

Qualifying is still scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1), but with no practice immediately beforehand like there usually is.

The race itself is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox).

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