MORNING COMES EARLY

Saturday morning is sunny but chilly at Phoenix International Raceway for the all-NASCAR weekend. The skies are blue and the flags are waving. It rained overnight, but not much, so the track surface wasn’t much affected.

The morning schedule called for KN&N Pro Series West to run qualifying at 8:30am, followed by the second of three practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series, followed by qualifying for the Nationwide Series. By noon, Sprint Cup was back on course for ‘Happy Hour’, which ended all the practice and qualifying sessions for all four series for the weekend.

The NASCAR KN&N Pro Series – West was the first group on course, to qualify for its 15th Annual Lucas Oil 150 race, later the same day.

The KN&N Spotters are were all over the Media Center second-floor patio during the session. While they all said they were required to be there for qualifying, series spokesman said it wasn’t a NASCAR requirement.

NASCAR Sprint Cup had its second of three practice sessions – 55 minutes long. The spotters for that series were atop their haulers for that.

CALE CONLEY/No.47 Toyota has the pole for Saturday night’s Casino Arizona 50 KN&N race, turning a 27.405/131.363 mph. Second through fifth were MICHAEL SELF/No.21 Chevrolet; DEREK THORN/No.6 ¬†Ford; Points leader, DYLAN KWASNIEWSKI/NO.03 FORD; AND BRETT THOMPSON/No.61 Chevrolet. GREG PURSLEY/No.26 Ford, who is but two points behind Kwasniewski in the standings, qualified eleventh.

Thirty-two KN&N cars ran qualified, with two not being fast enough for the thirty-car field: JOSH REAUME/No.07 Chevrolet; and RONNIE JAY/No.33 Dodge. The series is a true development/ladder series, with 11 Rookies.

The first of two races Saturday afternoon will be the Nationwide14th Annual Great Clips 200 race will start at 4pm ET/2 pm local time, and run for 200 laps-200 miles. It will be televised live on ESPN.

The KN&N Pro Series – West will follow the NNS race, approximately 5pm local time.