1) Kyle Busch (Starting – 4th/ Dominator Potential – High)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch will likely be the man to beat at Phoenix. In recent races in the desert nobody has been better, and that includes Kevin Harvick. Over the last four races he has the best average finish (3.3), the best average running position (4.3), the best driver rating and he’s led the most laps (359). Last year at Phoenix he was a fantasy ace. He dominated both races and had results of 1st and 2nd. One attribute I really like about Kyle Busch is how strong he was at shorter flat tracks last year. In 2018 over the five combined races on this track type he had 3 wins and had a 1.4 average finish. In practice, Kyle Busch had a great car. He had the best ten lap average in practice #1 and the 6th best in Happy Hour. On Sunday, look for Busch to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Phoenix Track History – Phoenix has been a great track for Kyle Busch. As you read above, he’s owned this track in recent races. Last year at Phoenix nobody was better. In November, Busch easily raced his way to victory lane. In addition to winning he led 117 laps, had a 4th place average running position, finished 7th in Stage #1 and won Stage #2. Last spring he had a strong showing. He finished 2nd, earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led a race high 128 laps. Also in the race he won Stage #1 and would’ve won Stage #2 if there wasn’t a late caution in that segment. In fall 2017 he was already locked into the Homestead season finale so his effort/focus was limited. When that race reached its conclusion he finished 7th, had a 7th place average running position and earned the 7th best driver rating. In spring 2017, Kyle Busch was the class of the field but a late caution took away a certain victory. In the race he earned the best driver rating, finished 3rd, had a 3rd place average running position and led a race high 114 laps. With 6 laps to go he had a 3.25 second lead over second place Kyle Larson. In the three races prior to that he had results of 2nd, 4th and 4th.
DraftKings $12,200 / FanDuel $14,200
2) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 8th/ Dominator Potential – Medium-High)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is a legendary performer at Phoenix who’ll be tough to beat. He’s a 9-time winner who has eleven straight results in the top 6. I will note he hasn’t been as dominant in recent races as he’s been in the past. In 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished between 4th to 6th. Over that five race stretch he has the 2nd best average finish (4.2), the 3rd best driver rating and the 3rd best average running position (7.0). Last year at shorter flat tracks Harvick was a phenomenal performer. He won twice and had a 2.8 average finish over the five races. On Sunday I would look for Harvick to finish in the top five and compete for the win. In practice, Kevin Harvick had a great car. In both practice #2 and Happy Hour his ten lap average ranked as the second best.
Phoenix Track History – Kevin Harvick has been a phenomenal performer at Phoenix. Last fall he had a great car that ranked as one of the best. In the race he finished 5th and led 73 laps. I’ll note his race wasn’t incident free. On lap 72 while he was leading (led every lap until that point) he slowed on the track because of a flat tire which dropped him off the lead lap back to the high-twenties. That created a long afternoon which makes his good finish remarkable. Last spring he raced his way to victory lane and led 38 laps. In addition to winning he earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 38 laps. In the three Phoenix races prior to that he was strong, but didn’t lead any laps and had results of 4th, 5th and 6th. In the six Phoenix races prior to that he has 5 wins, 6 results in the top two and averaged leading 177 laps per race.
DraftKings $12,800 / FanDuel $14,500
3) Brad Keselowski (Starting – 5th/ Dominator Potential – Medium)
Phoenix Fantasy Spin – Brad Keselowski should be high on your fantasy NASCAR radar at Phoenix. His team is performing at an extremely high-level right now and entering the weekend he’s fresh off of results of 1st and 2nd. I think its clear Penske Racing is ahead of the curve with the new 2019 rules package. At Phoenix, Keselowski has run well and last fall when the series most recently raced here he finished runner-up. In practice the #2 car was quick. In practice #2 his ten lap average ranked as the 6th best and in Happy Hour he ranked as the 5th best.
Phoenix Track History – Brad Keselowski has run well at Phoenix and in 11 of the last 15 races he’s finished in the top 11. Over the last four races he sports a 9.5 average finish and an 8.3 average running position. Last fall he had his best performance at Phoenix. He finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position, led 32 laps, finished 5th in Stage #1 and 2nd in Stage #2. Last spring, he finished 15th but I would chalk up that result to him not closing strong. In the race he earned the 7th best driver rating, had an 11th place average running position, finished 7th in Stage #1 and probably would’ve finished 5th in Stage #2 if there wasn’t a late caution. In fall 2017 he finished 16th, I wouldn’t read into that result too much since he tanked his performance because of championship implications. In spring 2017 he had a strong showing. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and finished 5th. Additionally, he finished 3rd in Stage #1, and 5th in Stage #2.
DraftKings $11,600 / FanDuel $13,500