Image Credit : NASCAR
Image Credit : NASCAR

AJ Allmendinger – Phoenix hasn’t been a bad track for AJ Allmendinger. In 10 of his 13 races he’s finished in the top 18. In the last four Phoenix races he’s finished in the mid-teens twice, and in the mid-twenties twice. Last fall he didn’t run well. He started 23rd, had a 24th place average running position and finished 24th. He was just never a factor. In spring 2014 he started last because of an engine change, had a 22nd place average running position and finished 17th. That finish overrates him slightly because he moved up about 5 positions following the late caution. In fall 2014 he started in 24th and finished 16th. In the event he performed better than his result and at times it looked like he would challenge for a top ten. When the final caution came out with 24 laps to go he was running in 12th but following his pit stop he was running in the 20’s. Over the closing laps he had to rally hard to earn his result. In spring 2014 he was far from competitive. He started in 25th and finished two laps down in 26th. Also in that race he had a 27th place average running position and earned the 24th best driver rating.In the last three races of the season at shorter flat tracks Allmendinger finished in either 23rd or 24th. (Yahoo B Driver)

Greg Biffle – Biffle didn’t have a great year at Phoenix in 2015. In both races he finished in the twenties. Last fall he started 20th, had a 21st place average running position and finished 25th. He was slightly better than his result but the final caution wasn’t too his favor. In spring 2015 he had his worst showing on the current layout and finished 27th. He just didn’t have a great race. After Tony Stewart wrecked with about 77 laps to go he pitted from about 18th which dropped him back to 27th. After that he never really ran higher than that position. In fall 2014 at Phoenix Greg Biffle finished 9th. If you’re just looking at his result you’re missing the big picture. His car wasn’t very strong and that result is largely influenced by him choosing to not pit late and then only falling back a few positions over the final run. In the event Biffle started in 28th, had a 20th place average running position and only ran in the top fifteen 36% percent of the laps completed. In spring 2014 he didn’t have a spectacular race. He started 6th, had a 14th place average running position and finished 17th. (Yahoo B Driver)

Further Recommended ReadingPhoenix Top Tier Elite Picks, Phoenix Front Runner Rankings, Phoenix Scouting Report, Phoenix DraftKings Fall 2015 Points, Phoenix Fall 2015 Loop Data Box Score

Clint Bowyer – Clint Bowyer is a solid driver at shorter flat tracks but I have concerns. In every race in 2016 so far he’s looked lost. At Phoenix Bowyer’s lacked success since the track changes. Since it was reconfigured in fall 2011 minus fall 2012 (Gordon incident) and fall 2014 (wreck) Bowyer has an 18.0 average finish and a 19.7 average running position. Last fall he didn’t run well and didn’t have a successful afternoon. He finished 23rd, had a 23rd place average running position and earned the 23rd best driver rating. Last spring he didn’t have a great performance but he wasn’t 24th place bad. That result is misleading. On lap 142 while he was running in 18th he had a loose wheel and made an unexpected pit stop. That issue dropped him from 18th to about 28th, one lap down. Later in the race he bounced back and climbed up to about 13th. During the final restart he must’ve got into the wall or something because he faded from 13th back to his 24th place result quickly (Yahoo Race Chart). In fall 2014 he had a race that I think he would like to forget. In the event he started in 17th and raced up to 11th in about 120 laps. Then on lap 122 under caution on pit road he ran over his air hose and the penalty dropped him to the back of the pack. He managed to drive up through the field slowly and on lap 211 while he was running in 17th he got caught up in Kyle Busch’s spin and got heavy damage which ended his day and led to his 40th place result. If he would’ve had an incident free race then I think he likely would’ve had about a 9th through 15th place day.  In spring 2014 he started in 14th, finished 13th, earned the 13th best driver rating and had a 16th place average running position. In the first half of the race he looked like about an 18th place driver. In the second half he performed better. I would say he likely had around a 10th place car but he lost a handful of positions late. (Yahoo B Driver)

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