By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Phoenix is known as one of the trickiest tracks on the circuit, and it lived up to that billing today. In today’s practice sessions at Phoenix International Raceway we saw a total of five drivers spin out.
The most intriguing thing about the spins were the drivers piloting the cars… None of the drivers were backmarkers or start and parkers, they were champions, and championship contenders alike.
Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, David Reutimann, Marcos Ambrose, and even the four-time champion Jimmie Johnson went into the spin cycle today.
On a sidenote Denny Hamlin, who is coming off of surgery on his ACL paced the first practice session. He ran a total of 22 laps, with the fastest one being 131.210 mph, before giving way to relief driver Casey Mears. The team practiced changing the drivers, and it is currently unclear how long Hamlin will race Saturday night.
Michael McDowell who swapped numbers with Dave Blaney this week was second quick in the first session in the 66 car. McDowell tweeted that he likes his car, but will he start and park?
Jeff Gordon was fastest in “Happy Hour”. This of course if the final chance for the teams to adjust their cars before raceday, so good speed here bodes well for Saturday night.
A.J. Allmendinger was second quickest, followed by Greg Biffle, and Jeff Burton. Jimmie Johnson rebounded from his spin to clock in the fifth fastest lap time of the session.