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Mark Armijo, Senior Correspondent

Mark Armijo is a veteran, award-winning sports journalist who worked for The Arizona Republic from 1980-2007 and covered motorsports for more than 20 years. Mark and his wife, Kellie, live in Gilbert, Arizona.

Articles by Mark Armijo

Fired-Up Force Is Doing The Fine Wine Thing
Friday, Feb 17, 2012 – 18:24 | Comments Off
Fired-Up Force Is Doing The Fine Wine Thing

By Mark Armijo | Senior Correspondent
RacinToday.com
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Father Time has a new name. It’s John Force.
Force, 62, loudly silenced a miserable stretch of eight first-round losses by pouring his infamous Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Funny Car into Victory Lane last week in the season-opening NHRA Full Throttle Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
Don’t put it [...]

Armijo: DOTY Is Tough Call in Non-Jimmie Year
Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 – 14:23 | One Comment
Armijo: DOTY Is Tough Call in Non-Jimmie Year

By Mark Armijo | Senior Correspondent
RacinToday.com
That time of year again. Time to huddle in the garage and decide this season’s Driver of the Year.
But for the first time in what seems like a generation, Jimmie Johnson isn’t a candidate.
Maybe that’s good for NASCAR. Maybe not.
One thing is certain. It’s not good for Johnson, whose five-year [...]

New Surface Makes For Big Mystery At PIR
Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011 – 8:26 | Comments Off
New Surface Makes For Big Mystery At PIR

AVONDALE, Ariz. – If NASCAR’s driving fraternity shoulders reservations about the unpredictable mess that usually accompanies the nervy Chase for the Sprint Cup stop at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, just wait until Sunday.
Thanks to recent repaving and reconfiguration at Phoenix International Raceway, drivers and crew chiefs really are in the dark entering the Kobalt Tools 500.
Even [...]

Track Testers Get Jump On The Field At Phoenix
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 – 8:12 | Comments Off
Track Testers Get Jump On The Field At Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. – The Goodyear Tire Co. staged a two-day tire test party Monday and Tuesday at newly-repaved and reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway and a handful of NASCAR’s top wheelmen were invited.
The attendees included Sprint Cup series co-leaders Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson, No. 4 Carl Edwards, No. 8 Kurt Busch and No. 10 Tony [...]

Drivers Wish PIR Would Change Mind On Changes
Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 – 7:42 | 3 Comments
Drivers Wish PIR Would Change Mind On Changes

By Mark Armijo | Senior Correspondent
RacinToday.com
Avondale, Ariz. – One memorable Daytona 500 finish down and 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races to go.
Next stop, Phoenix International Raceway.
But take one final and lasting look, race fans as PIR and its unique backstretch dogleg are about to receive an extreme makeover, a $10 million repaving and reconfiguration [...]

Cope Knows A Bit About Dark Horse 500 Winners
Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 – 14:30 | One Comment
Cope Knows A Bit About Dark Horse 500 Winners

By Mark Armijo | Senior Correspondent
RacinToday.com
Trevor Bayne, say hello to Derrike Cope.
Bayne, 20, motored to an improbable win Sunday in the Daytona 500 in only his second NACAR Sprint Cup Series start, a stunning performance that Cope likely can relate to.
Remember 1990? Remember when Dale Earnhardt suffered a cut tire in Turn 3 while in [...]

Logano Ready To Join Teammates In The Chase
Wednesday, Feb 2, 2011 – 18:58 | One Comment
Logano Ready To Join Teammates In The Chase

Phoenix, Ariz. – Like so much of the country left shivering from yet another cold snap thanks to Old Man Winter, Joey Logano also was greeted by Ice Station Zebra temperatures Wednesday in the desert Southwest.
“Brrrr, I thought I was going to be able to wear just a T-shirt when I got here,” said Logano, [...]

Johnson Says He’s Is Not On The Top – Yet
Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 – 16:00 | 12 Comments
Johnson Says He’s Is Not On The Top – Yet

By Mark Armijo | Senior Correspondent
RacinToday.com
Phoenix, Ariz. – Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Jimmie Johnson.
Who?
Johnson.
Swell.
Johnson emerged from the shadows of the off-season last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, looking as determined as ever when taking part in a three-day test session in preparation for the upcoming Grand-Am Rolex 24.
The Johnson sighting, which continued Wednesday in a Phoenix International [...]

Armijo: Here Is One Vote For John, Not Jimmie
Saturday, Nov 27, 2010 – 10:14 | 8 Comments
Armijo: Here Is One Vote For John, Not Jimmie

Yes, we know. Jimmie Johnson continues to perform in crunch time just as smoothly as an ex-NBA superstar with the initials MJ used to do for umpteen years for the Chicago Bulls.
All of sport’s greats are like that. Somehow, some way, they always seem to know how to come through when it counts most. Remember [...]

Contenders Set To Go Flat Out In Arizona
Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010 – 7:17 | Comments Off
Contenders Set To Go Flat Out In Arizona

Phoenix, Ariz. – Mirror, mirror on the wall, who will win this NASCAR Chase free-for-all?
Denny Hamlin, who has overcome early season knee surgery to collar a series-high eight wins and the lead in the standings entering the final two stops on the schedule beginning with Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500k at Phoenix International Raceway?
Jimmie Johnson, the [...]