Top 5 Picks to Consider for Phoenix Raceway - Predictions and Odds
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season is coming to an end, with only two races left.
While the championship fight is over for all but eight drivers, points are still up for grabs.
For some of them, Phoenix offers another chance to score a good result before the end of the year.
The five drivers below offer a good return and do have the potential to deliver a solid finish.
How to Watch – Bluegreen Vacations 500
Where: ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ
When: Sunday, November 10th at 2:30 PM EST
How: NBC (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
1. Erik Jones
Jones‘ postseason does not have many significant achievements aside from becoming the first driver disqualified from a Cup Series race under the new rules.
The Joe Gibbs driver was eliminated from the title fight in the Round of 16.
Jones has only scored one top 10 finish in the previous seven races.
He will try to finally get a good result this weekend.
While he has failed to finish above 17th in his last two starts at ISM, Jones scored three consecutive top 10 finishes before this poor run.
2. Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch struggled with bad luck at Phoenix in the past two years, failing to finish higher than tenth.
But the 2004 champion had five consecutive top 10 finishes before that, including one top 5 results.
The Chip Ganassi driver then bounced back with a seventh-place finish in March.
Busch has one career win at ISM, while his 19 top 10 finishes and 809 laps led are both good enough for fourth among active drivers.
He is on a good run in the recent races, having scored three top 10 finishes in the last five starts.
If the momentum carries over to Phoenix, Busch could sneak into the top 5.
3. Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson‘s recent record at Phoenix is quite good.
The Chip Ganassi driver has three top 3 finishes in the last six races at the track.
He led 66 laps during that stretch and scored a stage 1 win in the 2017 edition of this race before retiring.
Despite having a poor start to 2019, Larson still managed to finish sixth at Phoenix, round 4 of the season.
It remained as his best result of the year until round 11 at Dover, which shows that, even during his early struggles, Larson still managed to deliver at ISM.
In much better form heading into this weekend’s round, he could once again contend for the top 5 and even for a top 3 finish.
Larson holds the sixth-best average finish at Phoenix among active drivers.
4. Aric Almirola
One of the best picks for this weekend, Almirola has quietly put together an impressive record at Phoenix.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has four consecutive top 10 finishes at the track.
Almirola also scored consecutive top 5 finishes in the last two starts, leading 26 laps in March.
He has not finished lower than seventh at ISM since joining Stewart-Haas last year.
Thanks to this very good sequence, Almirola currently holds the fourth-best average finish among active drivers in the last five starts at Phoenix.
It hadn’t been a great year for #10 until recently.
Before his great showing at Texas last week, Almirola had only scored one top 5 finish since the first Phoenix race.
He could start a good run with another solid showing this weekend at ISM.
5. William Byron
This pick is less about Byron’s Phoenix record and more about his momentum heading into the race.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver had back-to-back top 5 finishes for the first time in his career.
This includes a very good second place at Martinsville.
After a season full of ups-and-downs, Byron seems to have finally figured things out with seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus.
If this combination continues to gel, #24 should soon be back fighting for wins.
Byron, who has a ninth place as his best result in the Cup Series at Phoenix, could have another good weekend ahead of him.
He did have a good record at ISM in the Truck and Xfinity Series, scoring two pole-positions and winning one race.
2019 Bluegreen Vacations 500 – Odds
|Martin Truex Jr||+500|