The #5 driver to watch has been much better here since they repaved and rebanked the track in the middle of 2011, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad is my #2 rated flat track driver and he has had five Top 5’s in his 13 starts. 

My #4 driver to watch had a tough day in Las Vegas, #9 Chase Elliott. Chase only has four starts here in the Cup series and all were Top 10’s with one a Top 5.  He comes in here #11 hot over the last six races and he is looking for a big turnaround. His team Hendrick Motorsports have ten wins in the last 11 years the most of any other team by far. But their last win was the November race in 2015. The engine shop there is responsible for 13 wins in the last 11 years.

My #3 pick has also found success here since the repave #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 13 starts, three Top 5’s and a win on the new surface. Six of the last nine races were Top 10’s and all his Top 5’s came in this stretch including his win in November of 2016.  Joey is ranked #2 in points and sits #3 hottest over the last six races.

My #2 driver is a previous winner, but on the old configuration, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle won here in his second visit in the fall of 2015, much has changed since then. Since the track was changed up in 2011 Kyle has raced 12 times with five Top 5’s. Four of his Top 5’s came in his last five races! He is the #5 hottest driver over the last six races and sits #5 in points so far in the first three races of the year.

My #1 driver to watch this week is the driver who has the highest average finish in Phoenix, #4 Kevin Harvick. In total Kevin has 32 starts, eight wins and 14 Top 5’s. Since the repave he has 13 starts, six wins and ten Top 5’s. Kevin has nine straight races that were 6th or better, five of which were wins. You should never count out Harvick but if you do, this is the last place to do it. He has #1 Average finish, sits #1 hottest and is #1 points after the first three races.


Monday look for our preview of the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway.