Saturday, March 18, 2017

Final Phoenix Driver Ratings: 2017 Camping World 500

Kevin Harvick doesn't look so hot at Phoenix this week; he wasn't happy Harvick after Saturday's final practice.
Micah Roberts' Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Ratings
Camping World 500
Phoenix International Raceway
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 3:46 pm ET

RATED  DRIVER  ODDS                      PRAC 1   QUALIFIED   PRAC 2   PRAC 3

 1. Joey Logano (5/1)                 3rd        1st       2nd        1st 
2016 fall winner; ninth or better in six of past seven. 19.5% of PIR winners start from front row.
 2. Kyle Busch (6/1)                    6th        9th      10th        3rd
2005 win, runner-up last fall, 12.8 avg in 23 starts; best 20-consecutive lap avg in final practice.
 3. Chase Elliott (10/1)               1st        7th        1st        12th
Top-10 in both races last season; no wins anywhere, but he's got the fastest car on track.
 4. Martin Truex Jr. (15/1)          4th      16th        4th         9th
Career-best fifth in 2009, his only top-five in 22 starts; best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 2.
 5. Jimmie Johnson (15/1)         9th      14th       20th        5th
Four-time winner with series-best 8.9 avg finish in 27 starts, going to be strong on long runs.
 6. Kevin Harvick (5/2)               13th     23rd        6th        16th
Track record eight wins, including six of last nine starts; using fifth-place Michigan chassis.
 7. Kyle Larson (12/1)                 2nd       4th        3rd         8th
Career-best third last fall; his car has been fast everywhere past two weeks with two runner-ups.
 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (20/1)        7th       3rd        7th        12th
Three-time winner, the last in 2015; back-up driver led most laps (194) in No. 88 last fall (6th).
 9. Brad Keselowski (6/1)           14th       6th        5th         4th
Career-best third-place in 2014; has traditionally fared well at Richmond and New Hampshire.
 10. Matt Kenseth (18/1)             11th      12th       15th       2nd 
2002 winner with 16.4 avg in 28 starts; winner and runner-up in both 2016 NMHS races.
11. Kasey Kahne (60/1)               8th      10th        8th        11th
2011 winner and 2013 runner-up; practiced well, car is showing the speed missing from 2016.
12. Denny Hamlin (10/1)            12th      19th      13th        17th
2012 winner with 10.8 avg finish in 23 starts; fifth-best 10 consecutive lap avg in practice 2. Starts from rear.

Note: A good ritual before handicapping Phoenix is to review what happened not only in both 2016 Phoneix races, but also results from New Hampshire and Richmond. Those three flat tracks correlate well together over the years with similar set-up requirements. If a driver does well on one, they usually do well on the other two.

Opening odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting auto racing odds in Las Vegas since 1994.

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