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NASCAR At Phoenix International Raceway: New Track Design Causes Drivers To Prepare For Unknown

NASCAR action returns to the Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500.

As the chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup comes down to just two more races, current points leader Carl Edwards looks to pull away from the rest of the field in the Kobalt Tools 500 this Sunday, paving the way to his first ever Sprint Cup. But with the resurfaced and reconfigured track, it's anyone's game as driver's try to get used to the unpredictable nature of the revamped Phoenix International Raceway. 

The goal of the redesign was to promote more side-by-side driving, though the newness of the track could cause only one groove to get 'rubbered in,' meaning lots more in-line racing then originally wanted. Words like 'unknown' and 'wild card' have been used to describe the new race track, causing many drivers to brace for the possibility of a crash filled contest this Sunday. Here's NASCAR insider David Caraviello's take:

Listening to drivers, it seems everyone is bracing for Phoenix as if it's the surface of the moon. They're calling it a brand-new race track, saying it will be a very wild wild wild card, giving the impression that the unpredictability factor will go through the roof. And while that may be the case to a certain extent, it's still a race track, and I still expect the teams that do well most every other week to do well here. 

The possibility of some wet weather complicates things further as a shower may come through the area on Sunday, possibly washing away any rubber built on to the track, which could complicate things even more.

Here's four-time Phoenix champion Jeff Gordon:

"If we do not get that [second] groove widened out then it makes for very tricky conditions, but it could shake things up in a big way."

Get ready for some wild action this Sunday, NASCAR fans. 

Sunday, November 13:

Time: 1:00 p.m. MT / 3:00 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: ESPN

Radio: Sports 620 KTAR

Weather: Mostly cloudy, cooler, possible shower - temperature: 67