Subway Fresh Fit 500: Tire Wear Issues and the Top 5 Things To Watch

Todd JacobsCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2011

Kyle Busch grabs the checker flag after winning the NASCAR Nationwide race Saturday.
Kyle Busch grabs the checker flag after winning the NASCAR Nationwide race Saturday.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix tomorrow will be one of the shortest races of the year but also the most demanding.  The drivers will be up on the wheel and tested in this last race on the old asphalt of Phoenix International Raceway. 

Watching the NASCAR Camping World Truck Race and today's NASCAR Nationwide race it appears the major factor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be tire wear.  The drivers that take care of their tires the best on the Phoenix mile will have what it takes in the end.

1. Tire Wear Will Play a Major Role in Determining a Winner

There were several blown tires in the NASCAR Nationwide race that knocked out some of the best drivers in the field.  Brad Keselowski's car snapped right coming out of turn four causing terminal damage to his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge and Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne ended his day much the same way in Roush Ford No. 16.

2. Aggressive Setups Will Rule the Day

The teams have been aggressive with tire camber setups on this track and it is the most likely reason for these tire failures coming off of turn four.  Look for even more aggressive camber gambles as teams look for any slight edge they can gain on the competition. 

3. The Fastest Pit Crew Will Win This for Their Driver

Another factor for tomorrow's race is obvious.  The driver that has the best pit crew will have a distinct advantage.  Track position and fast pit stops go hand in hand and both will be contributing factors in the 500 kilometer race.  

4. Clean Air Is King on This Sweeping Mile Track

The driver out front will have a definite advantage on this track.  Clean air is important, which makes Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards instant favorites in tomorrow's race. Look for drivers to experiment with short pitting but if anyone decides to take no tires they will fall like a rock. 

5. Look for the Brooms To Come Out If Kyle Busch Is Up Front Late

Kyle Busch has one three-race sweep from Bristol last summer winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck race, NASCAR Nationwide race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race all in one weekend.  After winning both the NASCAR Nationwide race today and the NASCAR truck race yesterday Busch is in position to do it again.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.