Carl Edwards tightened up the points race with his 2nd consecutive win of the Chase at Texas last weekend and sits only 106 points behind Jimmie Johnson heading into the final 2 weeks of the season.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Jimmie Johnson is very good at Phoenix. Phoenix runs almost exactly like Martinsville and Jimmie is super at Martinsville. Jimmie also won the spring race at Phoenix by over 7 seconds. Needless to say I’m picking Jimmie to win once again this weekend.
Carl Edwards did end up in 4th place at Phoenix this spring and has shown everyone that he is going to try to do whatever it takes to overcome the deficit to Jimmie and win his first championship. It’s worth watching the races every week just to see how far Carl can go.
This is probably Jeff Gordon’s last chance to win a race this year. Jeff is also very good at Martinsville and finally got a win at Phoenix last year. However, Jeff only finished in 13th place here this spring.
Kevin Harvick swept the races at Phoenix in 2006 and is also looking for his first win of the 2008 season. There isn’t a driver who made the Chase that is content without winning the championship and all some of them have to shoot for is a win on the season.
Matt Kenseth is another driver who is looking for his first win and has been coming very close lately. Phoenix is a track that he can get it done on. Matt has won here in the past and loves to race on the short tracks.
Denny Hamlin is another driver that excels on the short flat tracks. Denny will do everything that he can to visit victory lane for the first time at Phoenix this weekend. Denny has only made 6 starts at Phoenix and has a best finish of 3rd.
Jeff Burton has been quiet during the Chase but that hasn’t been the case for his career at Phoenix. Jeff used to be the best here when he raced for Jack Roush. Jeff can get it done here once again if all of the cautions fall in his favor this weekend.
Tony Stewart can race anywhere but I think he has been kept out of the loop at Gibbs Racing since announcing he would leave at the end of the season. I’m sure he is not allowed into many of their meetings and isn’t being given the top-notch equipment anymore this season
Kyle Busch is another driver who can win anywhere and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get back to his winning ways once again this weekend. Kyle has won here before and has been improving a little bit each week since disaster befell him at the beginning of the Chase.
Yahoo Picks for Phoenix
Denny Hamlin (starter)
Greg Biffle (starter)
Kyle Busch (starter)
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
David Reutimann (starter)
*I have already used Jimmie Johnson 9 times or I would pick him this week!
Top 5 Overall at Phoenix
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Kyle Busch
5. Greg Biffle
As always you can Email me with any questions, comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck once again this weekend!