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Subway Fresh Fit 500

Somehow the Daytona 500 is already in our past, as is probably the most outrageous wreck of the year. All the fans seem to be recovering which is great, this week don't expect to see anything like that. Not that it's not possible to have a crazy crash, but it's not the same type of race. Phoenix is a 1.5 mile track, that usually involves a lot of green flag laps and a lot of team talent to win the race. It probably shouldn't be as long as the Daytona race, but I'm still as excited about NASCAR as I hope you are, so the more the better.


In the four races since 2011 Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin are tied for best finish at an average of 6.5. In the same time frame at these same flat tracks since 2011, in 14 races Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart own the average best finish at 9.21. The most common denominator atop those two stats, is Ryan Newman. He has averaged a 9th place finish in four races at Phoenix and a 9.5 place finish in 14 races on flat tracks since 2011.

These types of tracks tend to have the same guys near the front all the time. Case in point the Nationwide race today, showed Kyle Busch lead most of the laps. Don't get me wrong there was plenty of excitement, just Brad Keselowski couldn't hang with Kyle on the long runs. He only had enough car to fight for the top spot on the short runs. Since there was a long run leading to the checkered flag, Kyle seemed to have run away with it. Tomorrow could be the same, but with the Gen 6 car and guys still figuring it out, look for a long green flag run in the middle of the race where you see some great driving. Then I would expect a late rush for the front which involves a green white checkered or something close to that.

Best Bets:

Denny Hamlin 8-1

He won this race last year and starts eighth. He is probably the best overall flat track racer in the sport nowadays. Whether it's Loudon or Pocono Denny finds himself at the front of the pack for most of the race, and a serious contender come the end.

Jeff Gordon 12-1

Despite struggling rather mightily since 2011, he owns a tie for the best average finish at these types of races since 2011, including a win here two years ago in this race. He finished eight last year and starts fifth this year. In other words he's going to give you a run for your money. As long as you aren't one of those idiots that think only the winner counts, he will be worth putting money on this weekend.

Tony Stewart 10-1

He is the one that Jeff Gordon has to say he is tied with at flat tracks since 2011. With a sport leading average of 9.21 at flat tracks Tony seems to always be a threat. Twice a year I typically attend the Loudon race, and Tony is always a threat to win. That is a shorter track than Phoenix, but it's another flat racetrack that Tony seems to excel at. Not that there is anything he doesn't excel at. He is starting sixth and after a disappointing end to last weekend, look for him to place in the top 5 and compete for the win.

Kyle Busch (My Pick) 5-1

Maybe this is just a front runners pick because I watched him dominate the Nationwide race. But when was the last time we saw Kyle sweep a weekend? I remember a few years ago when he was competing for the three peat every weekend. It's about time he gets back to his winning ways. The win today should really help his confidence and being the kind of driver he is, his points output. Any recently new NASCAR might not get it, but anyone that has been a fan for the last five plus years would be lying if they didn't say they were absolutely shocked that Kyle Busch hasn't really competed for a championship yet. Maybe people don't like him, and maybe he's a bit erratic, but he is as talented as they come, and can get hotter than anyone on the circuit. I think this is his year. I don't think he wins the title, but I think he competes. I actually think this year comes down to a rare four man race between, Kyle, Clint, Jimmie, and Tony. Making Homestead perhaps the most fun race of our lifetime. But for this week, look for Kyle Busch to lead the most laps and get the win. With Newman Stewart and Jimmie Johnson having good runs.

Saturday, March 2, 2013



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