Fantasy Picks: Who to pick and Who not to pick at the Phoenix International Raceway

After a thrilling start to the 2014 season the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head west to race 312 laps around the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona this Sunday.

Phoenix International Raceway is a uniquely designed 1.0-mile oval with eleven degrees of banking in turns one and two to go along with nine degrees banking in turns three and four. This season marks the 50th anniversary of the Arizona race track.

Who To Pick

Kevin Harvick – Harvick was able to muster a 13th-place finish last weekend in the Great American Race despite wrecking off of turn four on the final lap and he should better that finish this weekend at a Phoenix International Raceway track where he has two wins, three top-fives, and four top-tens in the last four Phoenix races. Overall, Harvick has four wins, eleven top-tens and has finished outside the top-twenty in only four of his twenty-two career Phoenix Sprint Cup Series races.

When it comes to the Phoenix International Raceway, Harvick is the leader of the pack.

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson enters the weekend in the Arizona desert with an average finish of 6th at the Phoenix International Raceway as he has racked up four wins, fourteen top-fives and a remarkable seventeen top-tens in twenty-one Phoenix races. Most recently Johnson has three top-five finishes in the last four Phoenix races.

It’s early in the season but with Jimmie’s accomplishments at the Phoenix International Raceway, he wouldn’t be a bad pick this weekend.

Denny Hamlin – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver enters the Phoenix weekend with one win, eight top-fives, nine top-tens and fourteen top-twenties in seventeen prior Phoenix races making him a likely candidate to bring home a solid finish for your fantasy team this weekend.

Hamlin has finishes of 3rd, 2nd and 1st in three of the last four races at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Brad Keselowski – Brad would be a strong pick this weekend because only Kevin Harvick has a better finishing average than Brad over the course of the last four Phoenix races as the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford has two top-fives, three top-tens and four top-twenties to go along with 56 laps led in that span.

Who Not To Pick

Clint Bowyer – The bad luck for Bowyer in Daytona will more than likely follow the Michael Waltrip Racing driver out west because Bowyer has just two top-fives and six top-tens in seventeen career Phoenix races. The luck hasn’t changed more recently at Phoenix as Bowyer has just two top-ten finishes in the last six Phoenix races.

Matt Kenseth – I would save Kenseth for another race track because he has only nine top-ten finishes in 23 trips to the Avondale, Arizona race track in the Sprint Cup Series, and he has finished outside the top-ten in three of the last four Phoenix races.

With Joe Gibbs Racing last season, Kenseth had finishes of 7th and 23rd at the Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr. – In sixteen Phoenix Sprint Cup Series races Truex has only one top-five finish and six top-ten finishes. Two of those top-ten finishes have come in the last four Phoenix races, but Truex still rolls into the weekend with an average finish of 17th overall at the 1.0-mile oval.

Aric Almirola – In six Phoenix races Almirola has failed to finish in the top-ten, and he has finished outside the top-twenty on two occasions. Almirola has a finishing average of 19th overall and a finishing average of 15th over the course of the last four Phoenix races.


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