As expected, this weekend’s Can-Am 500(k) is looking like it’s going to be a great race, especially with all of the drama surrounding the Chase. Kevin Harvick is the heavy favorite heading into Sunday, but Joey Logano might have something to say about that. And if either of those two win, there’s only going to be one spot left to be decided on points. Alex Bowman won the pole for this weekend’s race, and the full starting lineup can be found here. We actually had a practice schedule that made sense this weekend, as Practice #2 on Saturday was at the same time as the start of the race, while Happy Hour took place at a similar time frame of when the race should end. Those speeds can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour. Don’t forget to check out our in-depth notes for each, too: Practice #2 — Happy Hour.
Final Top 25 Ranking For Phoenix 2
1. Kevin Harvick – Starts 6th – DraftKings Price: $10,600 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
All eyes will be on Kevin Harvick this weekend to see if he can pull off his ninth career victory here at Phoenix International Raceway and punch his ticket to Homestead. And really, how can you go against this guy? Harvick has something figured out here in Phoenix that no other Sprint Cup team has been able to solve, and that’s the reason he has won five of the last six races here. The only exception was this race one year ago, which was shortened by rain. He finished 2nd. This weekend, the #4 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 6th once the Can-Am 500(k) goes green, but don’t be surprised is Harvick is leading within the first 30 laps or so. In Practice #2 on Saturday, the #4 Chevrolet was 6th on the overall speed chart and 16th in ten-lap average. In Happy Hour, Harvick ranked 14th and 12th on those two charts, respectively. He didn’t have the best car during the practice sessions on Saturday but he has the best car for the race. Unless Austin Dillon exacts his revenge from Texas (I don’t see that happening), expect Harvick to be in victory lane once again this weekend.
2. Joey Logano – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $10,200 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Heading into Sunday’s Can-Am 500(k), Joey Logano has to be on your short list of drivers that could possibly de-throne Kevin Harvick here at Phoenix. The #22 team is coming off of a great race at Texas last weekend, and although they didn’t get to victory lane, they had the dominant car and more speed than we have seen from them in a while. And it looks like that speed has carried over here to Phoenix. Logano was the highest-qualifying Chaser on Friday (he ended up 4th) and had top 5 speed in Practice #2 (5th) and Happy Hour (3rd). In terms of ten-lap average, the #22 Ford ranked 2nd-best on that chart in the final practice session. As far as Logano’s record here at Phoenix, he’s never been to victory lane in the desert but he posted a career-best finish in this race one year ago (3rd) and has wound up inside the top 10 in five of the last six races here. During Practice #2 on Saturday Joey said that he was “excited” for the race this weekend, and you typically don’t hear that out of a driver unless they have a very good race car.
3. Denny Hamlin – Starts 5th – DraftKings Price: $9,900 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Medium Risk**
Assuming Kevin Harvick wins on Sunday, it’s going to be very interesting to watch the battle for the final spot at Homestead. I expect Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin to be the three drivers challenging for that final spot, and going into Sunday’s Can-Am 500(k), they’re all within two points of each other. Hamlin is the one that two points behind Logano and Kyle Busch so he could be the odd man out, even with a great run here on Sunday. The #11 Toyota started 3rd and finished 3rd when we last raced here at March, and I’m expecting a very similar race out of Denny Hamlin this weekend. He has posted five top 5s in the last nine Phoenix races and should be good enough for another one this weekend. In Practice #2 on Saturday, the #11 Toyota was 10th-fastest on the overall speed chart and ranked 8th in ten-lap average, and then during Happy Hour, it was 22nd and 17th on those two charts, respectively. Hamlin does have one trip to victory lane here at Phoenix, but that was back in 2012.