Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Phoenix International Raceway, The Profit on CNBC 500

Congratulations to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who got his second Daytona 500 victory on a long day in Daytona Beach, FL. Once again there were a few of the top tier drivers that had problems at a restrictor plate track and now find themselves in a hole only one week into the season. Now they have to move out west to Phoenix for the running of the Profit on CNBC 500.

Phoenix International Raceway is a 1-mile, low banked tri-oval track that was just reconfigured approximately two and a half years ago. Some of the drivers don’t like the new configuration because the backstretch dips and then rises and dips again. However, that seems to have made the track better for competition in my opinion.


Jimmie Johnson: I am going to pick Jimmie Johnson to get his first win of the season at Phoenix this week. He has four career wins here and has finished in the top five in fourteen of his twenty-one starts at this track. He looked good at Daytona last week and everyone knows that he and Chad Knaus bring their A-game every week.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin could give Jimmie more than he bargained for this week. Kevin has won two of the last three races at Phoenix, which is since the new track configuration. He is with a brand new team this season and that is the only reason I am not picking him to win this week. I just want to make sure that this team is on the same page and is able to make the correct adjustments to their car as the race progresses. I really don’t think this will be an issue, but I want to be sure.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale finished in the top five in both of the races at Phoenix last season. With the momentum he gained last week he could be ready for another great run this weekend. He has most of the pressure off of him right now and a win will almost guarantee a driver a spot in the Chase this year. Now he can relax and try to win a handful of races between now and September.

Denny Hamlin: Denny had a great Speedweeks and it looks like he is finally healthy after suffering a back injury in crash last season. Denny has always been good at Phoenix and finished in the top three in three of his last four starts at this track. He will finish in the top five once again and might even pull off the win.

Brad Keselowski: Brad looked like he had a very fast car at Daytona last week and would like nothing better than to get a win early this season and get the monkey off his back from a disappointing season last year. Brad has finished in the top ten in three of his last four starts at Phoenix and likes to run the short, flat tracks.

Kyle Busch: Kyle is one of the better all around drivers on the circuit and he has been very good at Phoenix since the track reconstruction. He also has three top ten finishes in his last four starts here and you can never count him out because of his driving ability.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey had a disappointing week at Daytona and received a speeding penalty on pit road just for trying to stay out of a wreck to make matters worse. This week they will forget all about what happened last weekend when they unload their car in Phoenix. Kasey has four top ten finishes in his last six races here, including a win back in November of 2011. Another good choice for this weekend.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has always run very well at Phoenix and now that he is on a new team with Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick he should only get better. All three of these drivers know how to race at Phoenix and now they can all pool their resources to make each of them better at this track. Kurt usually leads at least some laps when he comes to this track and this year should be no different.

Carl Edwards: Carl won this race last season and should come with a car capable of doing it again. He has two career wins here and has lead laps in five of the past seven races in which he got both of his wins. He had a great run last week at Daytona and though he didn’t win the race I think that this team will build on the momentum they gained.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Carl Edwards
  • Greg Biffle

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Justin Algaier
  • Reed Sorenson


  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Stay Away From: Brian Vickers