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Phoenix International Raceway -- 03/4/2012
Published: Sunday Mar 4 2012 12:36amRead all of GRiPEX's articles here
Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway
Race Length: 312 miles, 312 laps
Estimated Pit Window: 80 Laps but average run is going to be 30-40 laps due to wrecks
Green Flag: 03/04/2012 3:14pm EST
Average # of Cautions: 7.4
Average # of caution laps: 38.2
Average DNF's: 6.1
Cars on lead lap in fall 2011: 12
Cars on lead lap in spring 2011: 14
Tire Notes: This is the same tire that was used at Phoenix in November last year after the track was repaved. Drivers are saying its a bit hard and doesn't seem to be providing a whole lot of grip on the slick PIR surface.
There doesn't seem to be any tire issues other than lack of grip. I'd imagine drivers are going to want 4 every time to try to get as much grip as possible.
Weather: The weater report is calling for clear skies and hot weather. 82 degrees with no chance of rain. Temperatures for the race will be hotter than what was seen in practice, making the race track even slicker.
Phoenix Race Stats:
Last years fall race practice/qual/results: http://www.nascapper.com/statpages/cup/1135/kobalt-tools-500-mainpreview.html
Last years spring race practice/qual/results: http://www.nascapper.com/statpages/cup/112/subway-fresh-fit-500-mainpreview.html
Drivers who led more then 1 lap in fall race (2011): Tony Stewart 160, Kurt Busch 57, Matt Kenseth 49, Carl Edwards 27, Kasey Kahne 14, Brad Keselowski 4
Drivers who led more than 1 lap in Spring race (2011): Jeff Gordon 138, Tony Stewart 59, Kurt Busch 31, Kyle Busch 23, Carl Edwards 21, Jimmie Johnson 19, Denny Hamlin 9, Ryan Newman 7, Matt Kenseth 2
Top 5 AVG finish at Phoenix (last 5 years): Jimmie Johnson 3.7, Mark Martin 8.56, Denny Hamlin 10.1, Greg Biffle 11.7, Tony Stewart 11.9
% of Laps Led at Daytona (last 5 years): Jimmie Johnson 23.95, Tony Stewart 12.10, Kurt Bush 9.46, Denny Hamlin 8.45, Mark Martin 7.83, Carl Edwards 7.76
Race Rundown: Well after the crap shoot that was Daytona we head west to Phoenix and the 1.0 mile oval in Scottsdale AZ. Weather reports are calling for a 0 chance of rain and 82 degree ambient temperatures which is going to make the newly paved track very slick. Drivers were already dealing with tricky track conditions in practice as Brendan Gaughan, Michael Mcdowell and Ryan Newman all made contact with the safer barrier and will be using backup cars. Truex jr also scraped the wall but damage wasn't too bad. Sunday's race is going to be very tricky to predict as alot of drivers snuck in qualifying runs late in the session, messing with all the practice times. DO NOT use the 2nd practice sheet as your only way of grading who's fast, you'll end up making very poor picks, instead put more weight into the ten lap average speeds which is included lower down. The #88, #56, #27 and bunch of others all made some qualifying runs in the last practice.
The trick to figureing out your picks for this weekend is to look at the 10 lap average speeds, qualifying, as well as last years results. Drivers who are usually good here will shake out to the front. Track position will be very important as demonstrated by the fact that only 12 cars were on the lead lap at the end in the fall and only 14 in the spring. Pick drivers who are starting up front and who have good pit stalls, its going to be extremely hard to pass as there doesn't seem to be a very wide groove.
This is a short race and any mistakes will be magnified, any driver's who spin out or hit the wall early have very little chance of recovering. I think most pit stops will be made under yellow, drivers who want a shot at winning who are starting mid back and further back absolutely need to make something happen early on, or they will be lapped or get themselves involved in a wreck. If their car is good they can take 2 tires on the first stop, but I really doubt many cars are going to want to do that with the track conditions.
Drivers with an open pit stall (they aren't boxed in, they either have an open pit stall in front of them, or behind them)
#55 Mark Martin
#16 Greg Biffle
#14 Tony Stewart
#78 Regan Smith
#39 Ryan Newman
#20 Joey Logano
#42 Juan Montoya
#29 Kevin Harvick
Top 5 Picks:
#1 Tony Stewart - Starting 2nd, led 219 of 624 laps at Phoenix last year, very fast 10 lap average speeds, finsihed 3rd and 7th last year
#2 Jimmie Johnson - Starting 4th, led 19 laps last year, very fast 10 lap average, finished 3rd in spring race, positive comments
#3 Kasey Kahne - Starting 10th, fastest 10 lap average speed, won last year in the fall and finished 6th in the spring
#4 Ryan Newman - Startign 6th, finished 5th in both races last year
#5 Mark Martin - Starting from the pole, fast avg speeds and has had very positive comments
Other notables thats will be in the top ten:
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Regan Smith, Jeff Burton
Guys to watch out for in matchups :
Regan Smith has been fast all weekend, almost put this kid in my top 5 picks this week. Find a week matchup and bet the farm.
In backup cars:
Brendan Gaughan, Michael Mcdowell, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth
2011 Kobalt Tools 500 Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtcR0x27EVw
2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v63J2EZng5A
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Bovada Nascar Odds
Wager Web has odds to win, top 3 and group betting: Wager Web Nascar Odds
Intertops has odds to win, top 3 and group betting: Intertops Nascar Odds
Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average
Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed
1 5 Kasey Kahne 46 55 136.451
2 48 Jimmie Johnson 24 33 135.758
3 14 Tony Stewart 32 41 135.534
4 18 Kyle Busch 34 43 135.495
5 55 Mark Martin 26 35 135.428
6 29 Kevin Harvick 33 42 135.416
7 24 Jeff Gordon 37 46 135.248
8 78 Regan Smith 44 53 135.212
9 27 Paul Menard 25 34 135.178
10 56 Martin Truex Jr. 3 12 135.063
11 2 Brad Keselowski 7 16 134.994
12 11 Denny Hamlin 21 30 134.970
13 31 Jeff Burton 49 58 134.968
14 20 Joey Logano 22 31 134.909
15 9 Marcos Ambrose 46 55 134.722
16 22 AJ Allmendinger 24 33 134.641
17 47 Bobby Labonte 34 43 134.555
18 13 Casey Mears 4 13 134.533
19 16 Greg Biffle 7 16 134.384
20 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 1 10 134.208
21 15 Clint Bowyer 2 11 134.037
22 33 Brendan Gaughan 13 22 131.340
Misc: Jamie Mcmurray tweeted that he had to put his dog down, for what its worth, his mind probably wasn't properly focussed on this weekends events.
Summary: This is going to be a tough one to handicap guys, the track is slick and fast cars can get trapped a lap down on an untimely caution. I've tried to cover everything this week, if you have some comments then leave them on the site underneath this preview. Post your free picks in the free picks section so everyone can see when you win, good luck!
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|Ovalcap||This is a freakin sweet analysis man, keep it up! #winning|