TOP 5 DRIVERS

CNBC’s the Profit 500  from PHOENIX

My #5 driver to watch is the #1 hottest driver over the last six races, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. also finished Top 5 in his last two races here. Since he is coming off a major win last week at Daytona AND he knows he is making the Chase he’ll be loose and relaxed here in the desert.

 

My #4 driver has been very successful here since they repaved and rebanked the track in the middle of 2011, #11 Denny Hamlin. In the five races following the overhaul of the track Denny has had three Top 3’s and one of those was a win. That win was in this race in 2011.  

 

The #3 driver to watch is my #3 rated flat track driver, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad too has found success here since the repave. He has had two Top 5’s in the five races

 and all five races run were 18th or better. Brad’s flat track skills really show well here where he has been very consistent.

 

My #2 driver to watch is the most recent winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 24 starts, four wins and seven Top 5’s. Kevin not only won here last year in the November race, he won that same race the year before. He is here with a new team, but I’ll be looking for the same style results.

 

My #1 pick this week is the driver who has the best average finish in Phoenix #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has 21 starts here with four wins, and 14 Top 5’s – over half! 13 of the last 15 starts here were all Top 5’s.

 

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

 

 

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TOP 30 DRIVERS:PHOENIX

CNBC’S THE PROFIT 500:PHOENIX

 

1. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

2. KEVIN HARVICK #4

3. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

4. DENNY HAMLIN #11

5. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

6. GREG BIFFLE #16

7. JEFF GORDON #24

8. KYLE BUSCH #18 

9. KASEY KAHNE #5

10. MATT KENSETH #20

11. CARL EDWARDS #99

12. RICKY STENHOUSE #17

13. RYAN NEWMAN #31

14. KURT BUSCH #41

15. JOEY LOGANO #22

16. TONY STEWART #14

17. PAUL MENARD #27

18. A.J. ALLMENDINGER #47

19. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

20. MARCOS AMBROSE #9

21. CLINT BOWYER #15

22. MARTIN TRUEX #78

23. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1

24. CASEY MEARS #13

25. AUSTIN DILLION #3

26. BRIAN VICKERS #55

27. DANICA PATRICK #10

28.  DAVID GILLILAND #38

29. LANDON CASSILL#40

30. TRAVIS KVAPIL #32

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch in Sunday’s CNBC’S THE PROFIT 500.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 10 OWNER TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST DAYTONA

1. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS

2. TEAM PENSKE

3. ROUSH/FENWAY RACING

4. JOE GIBBS RACING

5. STEWART HAAS RACING

 

6. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING

7. GERMAIN RACING

8. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS

9. HILLMAN-CIRCLE SPORT

10. CHIP GANASSI RACING

 

One race into the season Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske and Roush Fenway Racing.start strong in the Top 3.  Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart Haas Racing round out the Top 5. Germain Racing and Hillman-Circle Sport make the Top 10 with great season debuts, hopefully they can stay there as the season rolls on.

 

Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers for the CNBC presents the Profit 500 from Phoenix.

TOP 10 DRIVERS byTRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

1. RYAN NEWMAN #31

2. KEVIN HARVICK #4

3. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

4. JEFF GORDON #24

5. TONY STEWART #14

6. DENNY HAMLIN #11

7. GREG BIFFLE #16

8. CARL EDWARDS #99

9. KYLE BUSCH #18

10. CLINT BOWYER #15

Top 10 drivers on Flat tracks, Wednesday we rank the Top 10 teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for CNBC’s THE PROFIT 500 from Phoenix Int Speedway.

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The Profit on CNBC 500

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

March 2nd, 3:00 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

1 MILE, TURNS 1&2 12 DEGREES, TURNS 3&4 10 DEGREES of BANKING

What a place to for the first flat-track race of the year: a 1 mile flat-track where every turn is slightly different. There is no such thing as “get your car right and cruise around.” Most drivers have a good set-up for turns 1 & 2 or for turns 3 & 4. Some try to get a compromise in between both, and some drivers are simply trying to find any set-up that gets them fast and keeps them off the wall. No matter what your strategy is, this track can be very, very tough. Rookies typically struggle here. This will be the sixth race run on this new configuration, it has been slightly re-banked and widened with the backstretch increased.  From 1988 to 2002 Ford won eleven of the fifteen races, since then Chevrolet has won 15 out of 18 races and eight of those wins were Hendrick Motorsports. Regardless, after all the hoopla that surrounds Daytona, it will be good to get back to good ol’ flat track racing.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers on a flat track.

TOP 30 DRIVERS: DAYTONA

DAYTONA 500 from DAYTONA

 

1. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

2. MATT KENSETH #20

3. CLINT BOWYER #15

4. GREG BIFFLE #16

5. KYLE BUSCH #18

6. PAUL MENARD #27

7. RYAN NEWMAN #31

8. RICKY STENHOUSE #17

9. JOEY LOGANO #22

10. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

11. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

12. DENNY HAMLIN #11

13. JEFF GORDON #24

14. MARTIN TRUEX #78

15. TONY STEWART #14

16. KASEY KAHNE #5

17. CARL EDWARDS #99

18. KURT BUSCH #41

19. KEVIN HARVICK #4

20. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1

21. DAVID GILLILAND #38

22. BOBBY LABONTE #52

23. MARCOS AMBROSE #9

24. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

25. AUSTIN DILLION #3

26. DANICA PATRICK #10

27. CASEY MEARS #13

28. MICHAEL WALTRIP #55

29. DAVID RAGAN #34

30. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47

PRE SEASON TOP 30

PRE SEASON TOP 30

 

1. KYLE BUSCH #18

2. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

3. CARL EDWARDS #99

4. MATT KENSETH #20

5. KEVIN HARVICK #4

6. JEFF GORDON #24

7. TONY STEWART #14

8. CLINT BOWYER #15

9. KURT BUSCH #41

10. DENNY HAMLIN #11

11. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

12. MARTIN TRUEX #78

13. GREG BIFFLE #16

14. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

15. KASEY KAHNE #5

16. RYAN NEWMAN #31

17. JOEY LOGANO #22

18. RICKY STENHOUSE #17

19. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1

20. MARCOS AMBROSE #9

21. BRIAN VICKERS #56

22. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47

23. PAUL MENARD #27

24. KYLE LARSON #42

25. DAVID RAGAN #34

26. DANICA PATRICK #10

27. JUSTIN ALLGAIER #51

28. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

29. CASEY MEARS #13

30. DAVID GILLILAND #38

 

Here are the pre season Top 30 picks.