The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Phoenix International Raceway for the 35th race of the 2013 season, the AdvoCare 500(k). Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, November 10, 2013; 3:15 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high around 82; wind out of the SE at 5 mph. There is a 10 percent change of precipitation on Sunday.
The Track: Phoenix International Raceway
PIRis a relatively flat (11 and nine degree banking in the corners) one mile oval. Hendrick Motorsports driver's Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne have won most of the last 12 races atPIR. Any member of Hendrick’s impressive stable of drivers is an option to win this weekend.
Key to Race: Which Hendrick Driver will win?
Hendrick Motorsports has dominatedPIRthe past few years. We anticipate all drivers from the Big H Stable will be fast, but don’t forget about Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch who brought great cars to the track the past three races.
43 cars will qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has two wins in the last five races at Phoenix. He is a terrific pick.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has 16 top 10 finishes in 21 career starts at PIR including four wins in the last 12 races at the track. Mr. November is an obvious choice to take the checkers this weekend.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has been one of the top drivers the past seven years at Phoenix. We look for him to have a big impact on Sunday’s race.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has been very successful atPIRduring his career including three consecutive top three finishes. Another top five finish is expected.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has led over 415 laps in the past 15 races atPIRincluding a win in November 2012. He is a strong option.
6 to 10
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has finished inside the top six in five of the last 15 races
at PIR. He will pull-out all stops as he attempts to catch J.J. in the Sprint Cup championship.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has six top 20 finishes in seven career starts at PIR. He should finish just inside the top five this weekend.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon won the 2011 spring race and has 20 top 10 finishes in 29 career starts atPIR. We look for him to be very strong again this weekend.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne won the November 2011 race at Phoenix. He should have plenty of speed this visit to the desert.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has led 388 laps in the past 17 races atPIR. He should have the No. 16 ride inside the top 15.
11 to 20
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman was awesome in five of the past seven Phoenix races. He should bring a similar setup Sunday.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer ran a great race at Phoenix this spring. He could nail-down another top 10 finish with a little luck.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has had mixed results his past few visits to the desert. He is only worth using as a second driver this weekend.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano cracked the top 11in four of his last seven starts at PIR. He is a good pick this weekend.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has been very good atPIRduring his career. He has two wins and has cracked the top 15 in 21 of 24 starts. This is the weekend to use the No. 31.
No. 14 Mark Martin: Martin has finished inside the top 21 in his last 32 starts atPIR. He won the spring race in 2009 and will be worth using again this weekend.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch usually brings a very fast sled to PIR. He is a worth using in most leagues.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has cracked the top 20 in 11 of the past 12 races at PIR.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola cracked the top 16 in the past three races at Phoenix. He is a fine choice.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse Jr. was great at Phoenix in the Nationwide Series. He should bring the No. 17 another top 20.
21 to 30
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has finished in the top 22 in 12 of his 15 career starts atPIR. Another top 25 finish is expected.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has cracked the top 30 in all but one of his 13 career starts atPIR. We like him to continue the streak.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears had a great run at Phoenix earlier this year. He is a nice sleeper pick this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has cracked the top 22 in all but one of his 10 career starts atPIR. He is a solid value option.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte has five top 10 finishes in the past 18 races at Phoenix, but that was racing for better funded teams. He won’t have enough horses this weekend to be anything but a sleeper pick.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick had a terrible run at Phoenix this spring. She isn’t worth using again this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: PIRhas been a tough place for Jamie Mac to get around for much of his career. This isn’t the weekend to take a chance on him.
No. 83 David Reutimann: Rudy finished sixth in the November of 2011 race at PIR. He won’t be nearly as quick this weekend.
No. 55 Elliot Sadler: We like the way Sadler is driving the No. 55 car, but he isn’t worth using unless you are super desperate.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier: Allgaier has been inconsistent, as is expected. We can’t recommend the Riverton Rocket this weekend.
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 30 Cole Whitt
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 33 Tony Raines
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 95 Reed Sorenson
No. 98 Michael McDowell
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Matt Kenseth
B. Carl Edwards
B. Kyle Busch
C. Casey Mears