Some very exciting and tense moments at the end of the race last weekend as three drivers were all within a point or two of each other to make it to the championship race. At this moment Kevin Harvick has been eliminated. Joey Logano and Chase Elliott are in via their wins in the third round and Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are in on points.
SEASON FINALE 500
The championship race is scheduled to be run at the Phoenix Raceway. Another short flat track although about twice the length of Martinsville. The weather will be a little different and the racing will be a bit different, but the intensity will be even higher than it was last week.
Kevin Harvick: Even though he has been eliminated from running for a championship, I still have to pick Kevin to win this race. With nine wins and being able to finish in the top five in over half of his thirty-five starts you can’t really go wrong picking him this week. I’m sure he’s disappointed, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to win. Probably wants it even more.
Kyle Busch: While Kevin has the most wins of all active drivers, Kyle has actually been a little better overall the last seven races at Phoenix. In that stretch he has two wins, lead more than six-hundred laps, and finishes in the top five six times. The only issue I have with them this year is they haven’t been very consistent and I don’t know if they’ll run well or not.
Denny Hamlin: Denny is a master at this type of track and I think he will win the championship this year. He won the November race here last year and if he doesn’t make mistakes on pit road I think he can beat all other championship drivers this week and come away with his first ever championship.
Chase Elliott: Not to be outdone by Denny too much, Chase has really been running well again lately and he has also excelled on the flatter tracks all season. He has finished in the top three twice in nine career starts at this track and is probably the overall fan favorite to win this weekend.
Joey Logano: Joey won here in March and that setup should be good once again this weekend. I think with Paul Wolfe on top of his pit box might make him even better. You know you’re going to see all four of the championship drivers running in the top ten for most of the race barring some unforeseen problems.
Brad Keselowski: Brad is still looking for his first win at this track although he did finish second in the November race two years ago. Anything can happen and if everything falls into place any of these 4 drivers can win the championship. I think the end of this race might be one of the best we have seen in a long time.
Martin Truex Jr.: Another disappointed driver, Martin was running in the top spot for a while late in the race before being passed by Chase when he ended up with a loose wheel. A mistake by your pit crew that could have possible cost you a win in this race is going to be hard to swallow. He’ll be another non-championship driver with a chip on his shoulder this week.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan finished third in both races at Phoenix last season and has been really running well this year. Once again he has two teammates that are running for a championship and he could be in a position to help them out on the track. If not for the speeding penalty Brad had on pit road last week I wonder if the outcome might have been a little different.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR PHOENIX RACEWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
Driver Group Game Group B
- Kurt Busch
- Ryan Newman
- Alex Bowman
- William Byron
Driver Group Game Group C
- Cole Custer
- Christopher Bell
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT PHOENIX RACEWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Ryan Newman
Stay Away From: Matt DiBenedetto
Big 18: Kevin Harvick