Saturday, March 3, 2012

Final 2012 Phoenix Subway Fresh Fit 500 Driver Ratings - Post Q

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway
Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 12:16 pm (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds      Practice 1   Practice 2   Qualified   Phoenix*

 1. Kasey Kahne 12/1             5th              14th            10th         1st
2011 fall winner, sixth in spring; had best 10 consecutive lap average in final practice.
 2. Greg Biffle 18/1                 3rd              13th             7th         13th
Two-time runner-up; using same third-place New Hampshire chassis from fall of 2011.
 3. Jimmie Johnson 7/1         24th               7th             4th         14th
Four-time winner with a track record 5.4 average finish in 17 starts, seventh or better 14 times.
 4. Tony Stewart 7/1               1st              23rd             2nd         3rd
1999 winner and three-time runner-up; using winning New Hampshire chassis from 2011 Chase.
 5. Jeff Gordon 8/1                17th               5th            30th        32nd
Two-time winner, the last coming in this race last season; 10.9 average finish in 26 starts.
 6. Mark Martin 40/1               2nd              15th            1st          16th       
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2009; second best average finish of 9.0 in 30 starts.
 7. Carl Edwards 7/1              16th             27th            24th         2nd
2010 fall winner and arguably the fastest car of the last three events; debuts new car.
 8. Kyle Busch 7/1                   7th              25th            12th        36th
2005 winner while driving No. 5 Hendrick car, runner-up last spring; using 2011 Phoenix chassis.
 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 25/1    31st             11th            29th        24th
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2004. Using new chassis; fast in race trim during practice.
10. Ryan Newman 20/1          4th                9th             6th          5th
2010 winner with four straight top5 finishes; using back-up car after wrecking in first practice.

* Results from the November 13, 2011 race at Phoenix, the last race run on the track and first under new configuration.
Odds courtesy of the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to, or follow MicahRoberts7 on Twitter.

Kahne was very strong in practice

Phoenix Betting Notes
Kasey Kahne won me over in the first Phoenix practice session with the top average speeds and the fifth fastest single lap. When he came out in the final practice with the best 10 consecutive lap average, I was all in. Those are the type of valuable categories that all the great cars of the past have had in recent wins at Phoenix, such as Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.

I still like all the rest of the Hendrick cars to do well, even Johnson despite all the dark clouds hanging over their garage. Playing all of them in match-ups should present some value as long as they aren’t matched up against each other. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see all four cars finish within the top-8. 

Tony Stewart was great in qualifying trim and led the single fastest lap in the first session, but I’m looking to down-grade him a bit and shy away completely. When the race trim came on, Stewart wasn’t that good, although he was third behind Kahne in best 10 consecutive lap average.

The top long shots of the race are Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, and Ryan Newman. Even though Newman went to a back-up car, it still ran just as good in the final practice. These type of tracks have been Newman’s best since joining Stewart-Haas.

Match-up of the Week:
Kasey Kahne -105 vs. Denny Hamlin: Needless to say, I like Kahne a lot in this race. I will play him in almost any match-up that doesn’t involve another Hendrick car. Even though I don’t like Stewart as much, I would stay away from that sneaky good driver as well. But everyone else at a reasonable price where I don't have to lay over -135, It’s all Kahne.  

Starting Lineup

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