Blog: The Phoenix Ugly

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Steve Kim

Next stop: Phoenix Subway Fit 500

I personally hate the name but love the race.

Along with Martinsville and Bristol, Phoenix is that ugly kinda racing which makes things exciting. This crazy tri-oval track brings out the best and worst in drivers, and that's all we can ask for as fans. It takes more skill to win at Phoenix and the list of past winners indicates that. Jeff Gordon has won twice in the past 10 years. Other notable winners over the past ten years are Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin.

For this year, the usual suspects -- Gordon, Stewart, Harvick, Edwards, Busch -- top the list of winning chances. Some intriguing points:

I'm not sure what to make of Jimmie Johnson's chances given the suspension. Will he and his crew be distracted and dispirited or would they come out swinging? I say he comes out swinging but I still don't like his chances.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

I am rooting for Earnhardt Jr. He ran a great race at Daytona and he's bound to break the drought that's now at 130 races. He's noted as saying he likes driving at Phoenix.

As far as picking teams, Ford seems to be faster than the rest: Edwards, Kenseth, Biffle have an edge on speed.

Here I rank the racers in terms of their winning chances at Phoenix based on published odds:

Racer (% Chance of Win)

Carl Edwards (8.7%)
Jimmie Johnson (8.7%)
Kyle Busch (8.7%)
Tony Stewart (8.7%)
Jeff Gordon (7.8%)
Denny Hamlin (6.4%)
Kasey Kahne (6.4%)
Kevin Harvick (6.4%)
Matt Kenseth (5.4%)
Brad Kieslowski (4.4%)
Greg Biffle (3.7%)
Ryan Newman (3.3%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr (2.7%)
AJ Allmendinger (2.3%
Clint Bowyer (2.3%)
Martin Truex Jr (2.3%)
Jeff Burton (1.7%)
Mark Martin (1.7%)
Jamie McMurray (1.4%)
Joey Logano (1.4%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (1.4%)
Kurt Busch (1.4%)
Paul Menard (1.1%)
Marcos Ambrose (0.9%)
Regan Smith (0.7%)
Bobby Labonte (0.1%)
David Ragan (0.1%)
Rest of Field (1.1%)

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags blog, busch, edwards, featured, gordon, harvick, nascar, steve kim, stewart