Photo Credit: NASCAR

1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 6th)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick should be on your short list of favorites at Phoenix. He’s a super elite performer here and he’s fresh off a win at Texas. His victory last week was huge, and I think that momentum will carry over. At Phoenix nobody has been better than Harvick in recent seasons. Over the last 8 races he has five wins, 6 top two finishes and has had a result in the top 6 every race. In the last two races here he’s been a little off, but you can’t exactly say results of 4th and 6th were bad. In Happy Hour, Harvick had the fastest overall speed and recorded the 6th best ten lap average. His team has made some comments about getting their edge back so you know he’ll be good. On Sunday I would look for Harvick to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Phoenix Track History – As you read above, Kevin Harvick has been a super elite performer at Phoenix. This spring he started mid-pack in 23rd but raced his way up to a 6th place finish. It should be noted if there wasn’t a late caution he was poised to finish 3rd. Last fall he finished 4th. In the six Phoenix races prior to that he absolutely dominated the competition and was largely unchallenged. In those events he had 5 wins and one misleading 2nd place finish. Additionally over those six races he averaged leading 177 laps per race.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,000

2) Kyle Busch (Starting – 8th)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch will be tough to beat at Phoenix. He should’ve won this spring, his recent track record is impeccable, and he’s been an elite performer at shorter flat tracks. All of those variables point towards a very strong showing on Sunday. At Phoenix he’s been exceptionally strong having four straight top four finishes, you can’t say that about anybody else. At shorter flat tracks this year Kyle Busch has arguably been the best driver. At these venues “Performance Wise” in 4 of the 5 races he’s been top 2 good. New Hampshire is the last shorter flat track visited and at that venue he finished first and led 187 laps. In the two practice sessions on Saturday Busch had the 2nd and 3rd best ten lap averages. On Sunday look for Busch to finish in the top five and contend for the win.
Phoenix Track History – This spring Kyle Busch was the class of the field at Phoenix but a late caution took away a certain victory. Prior to the late caution he had over a 3 second lead. When the checkered flag waved he earned the best driver rating, finished 3rd, had a 3rd place average running position and led a race high 114 laps. Last fall he also ran well and came home with a runner-up finish. Additionally he earned the 6th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position. In spring 2016 he finished 4th and led 75 laps. Performance wise I thought he had the second best car but he had a really slow pit stop that dropped him from 2nd to 16th. In fall 2015 he finished 4th, earned the 4th best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $11,100

Further Recommended Reading – Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Practice Notes/Practice Speeds Center, Speed Cheat Sheet, Starting Lineup, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page

3) Kyle Larson (Starting – 3rd)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson is in a slump, but Phoenix is the perfect track for him to get things pointed in the right direction. He’s run well here, and has been an elite performer at shorter flat tracks this year. Over the five combined races on this track type in 2017 he’s scored the most points, has four top 2 finishes and a series best 4.2 average finish. At Phoenix in the last two races he’s run extremely well and has finished 2nd and 3rd. In practice this weekend Larson has shown good speed. On Sunday look for Larson to run well and compete for a top five finish.
Phoenix Track History – Kyle Larson has been a strong performer at Phoenix. He has back to back top fives, and has finished in the top 13 in five of the last six races. This spring he had a strong performance. He finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating and had a 2nd place average running position. Last fall he started in 2nd but spun on lap 1, and on lap 82. He bounced back though and came home with a 3rd place finish. In spring 2016 Larson had a solid race. He finished 12th and had a 15th place average running position.
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $10,200

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