Thursday, March 12, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Westside Story Continues at Phoenix

Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway • Dover International Speedway  
Martinsville Speedway • Richmond International Raceway
Distance: 1 Mile

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 5 - Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon
Kyle Busch- 4
All with 3 - Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 6
All with 5 - Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch
All with 4 - Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch 

Recent Pole Winners: 
2014 Brad Keselowski 
2013 Mark Martin  

2013 Flash Back
Keeping with the running theory that 2013 statistics are more relative than 2014 statistics due to the new rules package -- otherwise known as Carol's squirrelly car factor -- here are the top finishers in the 2013 race.

Top 15 Finishers at Phoenix International Raceway, March 3, 2013:
1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Matt Kenseth
8. Tony Stewart
9. Jeff Gordon
10. AJ Allmendinger
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Casey Mears
13. Aric Almirola
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
15. Greg Biffle

The Likely Suspects: This week should give us a good idea whether Kevin Harvick is indeed heading toward his second consecutive Sprint Cup championship or if Jimmie Johnson will regain his position as top dog after a rough weekend at Las Vegas. No pun, intended! Look for these drivers to run well this weekend: Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowki, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick is Kevin Harvick with Jimmie Johnson as a very close second. My next picks are Carl Edwards, A.J. Allmendinger, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne. I will round out my Austin Dillon and David Ragan.

These drivers will likely be my final four: Kevin Harvick, A.J. Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and David Ragan.

Here are some interesting statistics to factor in this week:
  • There have been 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since. Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
  • About half (18) of the 37 (48.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position inside the top 10. And 19 of the 37 (51.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 10. The basic takeaway is that track position, and specifically starting position, is not as crucial at Phoenix.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or email me at


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