At the conclusion of nearly a week of action, NASCAR’s most prestigious race has come to a close. The 2022 Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s season opener and the first step to visiting Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 6 with a chance to win a championship. Sports360AZ was there all week to cover Arizona’s three NASCAR drivers: Alex Bowman from Tucson, J.J. Yeley from Phoenix, and last year’s Daytona 500 champion, Michael McDowell from Glendale.
Sunday – NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500
The 64th running of The Great American Race the third straight event won by a driver with a new team. 2020 Xfinity Series champion, by virtue of his win at Phoenix Raceway in the Championship 4, Austin Cindric, opened up his rookie season with a bang, solidifying his place in NASCAR history for all time. Michael McDowell flexed his muscle in his championship defense after claiming the 2021 Daytona 500 but settled for 7th at the checkered flag. Alex Bowman was tackled by a flying Harrison Burton machine and was forced to conclude the race in the 24th position.
What an incredible weekend as the next generation of NASCAR hit center stage at the World Center of Racing.
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 22, 2022
Saturday – NASCAR Xfinity Series
A rookie found the checkered flag in Saturday’s Xfinity Series action. After many successful seasons in the Truck Series, Austin Hill found himself in victory lane to begin his rookie campaign with Richard Childress Racing. Phoenix’s J.J. Yeley concluded the night in the 13th position.
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 20, 2022
Friday – NASCAR Truck Series
Following back-to-back seasons falling short of winning the championship at Phoenix Raceway, Zane Smith joined a young Front Row Motorsports team for their single-truck effort. After a chaotic closing sequence of laps, Smith earned his fourth career NASCAR win, doing so in the Love’s Travel Stop colors that Michael McDowell did for FRM in the Cup Series one year before.
As racing action prepares to go green on this Saturday #DAYTONA500 race weekend, let's take a look back at our @santanford Friday recap from a wild ending in the @NASCAR_Trucks #NextEraEnergy250. pic.twitter.com/wV0PdtnXzp
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 19, 2022
Thursday – NASCAR Cup Series Duels
NASCAR split the field in half to determine starting positions 3-40 and decided which drivers were going home, unfortunately including Phoenix’s J.J. Yeley. Bowman was guaranteed his second starting position from qualifying while Michael McDowell placed 2nd in his duel, earning him the 6th starting position in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Two drivers will represent Arizona in the 64th running of the #DAYTONA500
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 18, 2022
Wednesday – NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying
— Devon Henry (@devonhenry77) February 17, 2022