Chase Elliott – Chase Elliott is proving himself to be the real deal and at Phoenix he has lots of upside. The #24 car is an elite ride at shorter flat tracks. In 2015 at these venues Jeff Gordon had a 7.7 average result and finished in the top ten every race. Richmond is the most similar track to Phoenix and last spring Chase Elliott made a select start there. That afternoon he was pretty successful in his second career race. He started 16th, finished 16th and had a 17th place average running position. Last year in the Xfinity Series at Phoenix Elliott had a pair of 7th place finishes.
Ryan Blaney – Ryan Blaney has zero Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. I think he’ll be OK. Penske cars have been great at Phoenix in recent years and their success should carry over to the #21 car. Last year at shorter flat tracks Blaney made one start and it was at New Hampshire #1. If his race would’ve been incident free I thought he would’ve had low teens potential. In the Xfinity Series Blaney’s most recent race at Phoenix was in 2013 and in that event he finished 10th.
Ty Dillon – Ty Dillon will be driving the #14 at Phoenix. I think he offers an excellent chance to make an allocation saver based start. It’s a quality ride and he’s a capable driver. Ty Dillon has one start under his belt at Phoenix. In fall 2014 he started 26th and finished 27th. On Sunday I think he’ll likely be around 20th place good if he has an incident free race.
Brian Scott – Brian Scott has never raced at Phoenix in a Sprint Cup car. The most similar track is Richmond and last fall he raced at that venue in the #33. In that event he had a so-so race. He started 17th and finished 22nd. In the Xfinity Series at Richmond I’ll note he’s had some of the best runs of his career. Last year in the lower series at Phoenix Scott finished 10th and 11th. Performance wise I think Scott is likely mid-twenties good on Sunday.
Chris Buescher – Xfinity Series Champion Chris Buescher will be a risky option at Phoenix. He’s a talented driver but I don’t see the #34 allowing him to be a factor. That car and that organization both lack speed. Last year in the lower series at Phoenix Buescher finished 13th and 14th.