Kevin Harvick booked his place into the championship round at Homestead-Miami with a big win at Texas last week, and now the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series heads to Phoenix for the Can-Am 500, which will host its second race of the season. Joey Logano is the defending race-winner here, while Ryan Newman won at Phoenix in the spring. Harvick, who won his second race of the season, joins Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch in the championship round, with Brad Keselowski (who is in fourth place by 19 points), Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson are battling for the final spot.
Event: Can-Am 500
Category: NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series
Date: Sunday, November 12th, 2:30 PM ET
Location: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
Harvick passed Truex late to win at Texas, while Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Keselowski rounded out the top five. Newman won here in the spring, followed by Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Keselowski.
Past Five Winners
2016: Joey Logano
2015: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2014: Kevin Harvick
2013: Kevin Harvick
2012: Kevin Harvick
As we head into this week’s race at Phoenix, a couple of big-name drivers have some work to do to get into the Round of 4. Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney need to close some ground to make that happen. The first three spots are already taken up by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick. That means either Elliott or Blaney has to make a move.
It’s not just those two, though. In total, five different drivers are in play. The other three are Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. Keselowski is a former champ and has picked up three wins on the year. Johnson is always in play. As for Hamlin, he was the 2010 championship runner-up.
What To Know About The Track
Phoenix International Raceway opened in 1964 and it measures out just over a mile long (1.022 miles, to be exact). It is banked at 10-11 degrees in Turns 1 and 2, as well as the dogleg, then it is eight degrees in Turn 3, 8-9 degrees in Turn 4, 8-10 degrees down the backstretch and three degrees down the frontstretch. This is a tough place to set your car up as it seems to be different all over the track, and at just over a mile long, you don’t have much time or room to make adjustments.
A Good Matchup To Bet: Ryan Blaney over Jimmie Johnson
Blaney is the underdog in this matchup at +100 to Johnson at -130, and Johnson can no longer be given the benefit of the doubt. He was awful at Texas with a 27th-place finish, and this team has never looked like winning an eighth title at any points during the playoffs. Blaney finished sixth at Texas and it was his fourth top-10 finish in five races, which is excellent for a first-time playoff driver. Blaney finished 23rd at the first Phoenix race, but he started second, which is encouraging. He has also been driving a lot in the Xfinity series, and if there is one thing that any young driver needs, it is seat time. Meanwhile, Johnson’s chase for an eighth title will probably come to a halt here.
Top-Five Pick: Kevin Harvick
Harvick’s win at Texas takes a lot of pressure off him, and he is going to a place where he is very, very good. In 29 starts at Phoenix, Harvick has an average finish of 9.9 with eight wins, and four of those have come in the fall. He finished 23rd here in the spring, and if there is one driver that knows how to get around at Phoenix, it is Harvick, who can drive with no worries this weekend.
Odds To Win 2017 NASCAR Can-Am 500
Kyle Busch 2/1
Kevin Harvick 3/1
Martin Truex Jr. 5/1
Kyle Larson 8/1
Denny Hamlin 8/1
Chase Elliott 15/1
Brad Keselowski 15/1
Erik Jones 20/1
Matt Kenseth 25/1
Joey Logano 25/1
Ryan Blaney 25/1
Jimmie Johnson 25/1
Clint Bowyer 50/1
Kurt Busch 50/1
Jamie McMurray 100/1
Daniel Suarez 100/1
Ryan Newman 100/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 80/1
Kasey Kahne 100/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 300/1
Austin Dillon 500/1
Trevor Bayne 500/1
Paul Menard 500/1
Aric Almirola 500/1
Ty Dillon 1000/1
AJ Allmendinger 1000/1
Chris Buescher 1000/1
Danica Patrick 1000/1
Michael McDowell 5000/1
Field (all others) 1000/1
Click here to get all of the latest NASCAR betting lines at BetDSI including head-to-head matchups, props and odds to win each NASCAR and NASCAR Xfinity playoffs!
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