NASCAR at Phoenix: Odds, key stats, prediction, sleepers, fantasy drivers to draft
NASCAR heads to Phoenix Raceway's one-mile flat track for the penultimate race of the season. The cutoff race on Sunday will determine which driver joins Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in the championship race Nov. 19 in Homestead.
Five drivers are vying for the final spot, and Brad Keselowski currently holds a 19-point lead over Denny Hamlin for the fourth and final position. Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson likely need a win or major help if they are to advance.
Earlier this season, Ryan Newman captured a surprise win at Phoenix on a fuel gamble, but it was Kyle Busch (114) and Chase Elliott (106) that led the most laps.
Phoenix's track is similar to Richmond and New Hampshire which saw Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch win at respectively earlier this season.
Despite that, it's no secret Kevin Harvick is the driver to beat on Sunday. Just take a look at his career stats at the desert track. Harvick holds the track record with eight wins at the one-mile track and has 13 top fives and 18 top 10s there. Among active drivers at Phoenix, he has the second-best average finish of 8.6 and third-best average running position (8.9) at Phoenix.
Harvick is already locked into the championship race and Sunday's event won't help for anything except momentum as points reset to even for the title finalists. We see another driver taking the checkers.
Who is going to win Sunday's NASCAR race at Phoenix?
There are so many variables at play with just one spot left in the title race. How much are teammates going to help each other and to what extent are those in need of a win to advance going to push the limits? Based on past performances Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are going to be near the front on Sunday.
This doesn't bode well for Chevy teammates Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. But it sets up an interesting scenario for Denny Hamlin, who teammate Kyle Busch would rather have in the title race than rival Brad Keselowski. Hamlin has eight top-10 finishes at Phoenix in the last 11 races, starting with his 2012 win. Among active drivers at Phoenix, Hamlin has the fifth-best average finish (10.8) and sixth-best driver rating (95.1). If Elliott doesn't wreck Hamlin from the lead like the latter did at Martinsville, we expect Hamlin to punch his ticket to the title race with a win Sunday.
What are the Las Vegas odds for the NASCAR race at Phoenix?
Race odds according to the Westgate Sportsbook:
Kyle Busch 2/1
Kevin Harvick 3/1
Martin Truex Jr. 5/1
Kyle Larson 8/1
Denny Hamlin 8/1
Chase Elliott 15/1
Brad Keselowski 15/1
Erik Jones 20/1
Matt Kenseth 25/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Ryan Blaney 25/1
Jimmie Johnson 25/1
Clint Bowyer 50/1
Kurt Busch 50/1
Jamie McMurray 100/1
Daniel Suarez 100/1
Ryan Newman 100/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 80/1
Kasey Kahne 100/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 300/1
Austin Dillon 500/1
Trevor Bayne 500/1
Paul Menard 500/1
Aric Almirola 500/1
Ty Dillon 1000/1
AJ Allmendinger 1000/1
Chris Buescher 1000/1
Danica Patrick 1000/1
Michael McDowell 5000/1
Field (all others) 1000/1
Which drivers should I pick for fantasy NASCAR at Phoenix?
Kyle Busch has four consecutive top-four finishes at Phoenix and Joey Logano has led at least 17 laps there in six of the last eight races.
Of the five previous races this season at flat one-mile tracks, ?Daniel Suarez has finished in the top 12 every time. Suarez owns Phoenix victories in the Truck Series and the NASCAR Mexico Series.
Similarly, Erik Jones has two Truck Series wins at Phoenix and has finishes of 8, 6, 6 at Phoenix, Richmond, and New Hampshire already this season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is another safe bet for a top-15 finish at one-mile tracks. Looking to save salary? Draft Michael McDowell.