|Kevin Harvick loves visiting Phoenix.|
Sunday’s race is like the NFL Conference Championship weekend where half the teams are done and the other half advance to the Super Bowl. The stakes are high and the drama will be amazing to watch unfold, which should keep you gripped for all 312 laps.
Jeff Gordon is the only driver to have already advanced by virtue of his Martinsville win two weeks ago. Jimmie Johnson, who isn’t one of the eight eligible drivers, played the spoiler by winning at Texas and keeping one of those automatic bids from going to a Chase driver. Brad Keselowski led 312 laps at Texas, but not the last one as Johnson’s car flew by him with six laps to go.
Before handicapping this week's race at Phoenix, you need to kind of change your thought process from the past few weeks on 1.5-mile tracks and get back to thinking about what happened on the smaller flat tracks at Richmond, New Hampshire, and of course Phoenix back in March. The trends between those three tracks hold true year after -- if a driver does well on one, they do well on all three. The three tracks aren’t configured the same and are all from ¾-mile to a mile in distance, but the set-up requirements are similar for each.
Or you could just say, ’forget all the notes and results sheets, I’m going with Kevin Harvick’ and that’s not a bad strategy either, considering he’s won the past four races at Phoenix.
Yes, he’s won the past four races at Phoenix.