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BC-CAR--NASCAR-Phoenix

March 10, 2019
AP Sports Writer

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan Blaney is trying to continue Roger Penske’s dominance of the NASCAR Cup Series from the pole Sunday at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

Chase Elliott is starting alongside him in the first row as his Hendrick Motorsports team tries to get on track this season, while Kyle Busch is going for the weekend sweep after his Xfinity win.

This is the first trial of the series’ new package at a mile-long track. The additional 750 horsepower combined with more downforce has created more speed, but it has also made passing difficult and that could mean restarts are crucial.

Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson is among those starting midway through the field, while Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell are near the back after their qualifying fight Friday.

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