Thursday, March 16, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Camping World 500 at Phoenix

By Carol D'Agostino

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

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 7
All with 6 - Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kurt Busch
All with 5 - Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin

Recent Pole Winners: 
2016 Kyle Busch
2015 Kevin Harvick

Last Year's Race Winner: Kevin Harvick

The Likely Suspects: After last week's literal battle in the desert, a trip to this one-mile flat track should be interesting. Can Martin Truex Jr. make it two weeks's in a row or will Kyle Busch and Joey Logano steal the headlines once again? All three drivers run well in Phoenix so keep an eye on them as well as these elite Phoenix drivers: Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski,, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth.

My 2 Cents: Things are going to heat up at Phoenix. In fact, at race time on Sunday, a hot 91 degrees is forecasted. In fantasy terms, that means pick drivers who excel on a slick track. My no-brainer pick is a tie between Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson. My next picks are Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon. I will round out my team with Ty Dillon and Erik Jones.

My Final Four: Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon

Points to Ponder:
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with 10, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
  • This weekend at Phoenix Raceway Kevin Harvick can become the ninth driver to have nine or more wins at a single track.
  • There have been 24 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Phoenix, eight have won more than once, led by Kevin Harvick, with eight – (’06 spring race and playoff race, ’12 playoff race, ‘13 playoff race, ’14 spring race and playoff race, ’15 spring race and ’16 spring race).
  • Among active drivers, Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins at Phoenix with eight followed by Jimmie Johnson (four), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two).
  • Jimmie Johnson leads active drivers in the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with three, in top five finishes with 15, and in top 10 finishes with 19. Kevin Harvick comes in at a close second to Johnson in top five finishes with 13.
  • Jimmie Johnson (8.963), Chase Elliott (8.500) and Ryan Blaney (9.000) are the only three active drivers with average finishes inside the top 10. 
  • Ryan Newman is the only active driver to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04).
Remember if you are playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Friday, March 17 at 5 a.m. EDT.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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