2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Phoenix International Raceway

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An Uphill Climb

Jimmie Johnson took the points lead from Jeff Gordon this weekend at Texas by winning his 3rd straight race in the Chase and virtually eliminated all of the other drivers from contention including Clint Bowyer unless something catastrophic happens to Jeff Gordon and himself over the last 2 races of the season.

Even Jeff Gordon is going to have an uphill climb to retake the points lead from Jimmie in the next 2 weeks. Going into this season, neither Jeff nor Jimmie had won at the 3 tracks that the season finishes at. That all changed with Jeff winning at Phoenix earlier this year and Jimmie winning at Texas last weekend.

My Pick To Win Phoenix

Well my pick to win this weekend is Jeff Gordon. Now that he broke into the win column at Phoenix he might go on a roll there. Phoenix is similar to Martinsville, only twice the size at 1-mile in length. Jeff has 9 top 10 finishes in his last 10 Phoenix races with his worst finish being 12th over that stretch.

The problem for Jeff is that Jimmie is almost equal to the task at Phoenix with 6 top 10 finishes in 8 races with his worst finish being 15th, twice here. Jimmie should once again come away with a good finish keeping the Chase close between the 2 teammates heading into the final race of the season.

Who to Watch at Phoenix

Kevin Harvick is one of the best at Phoenix lately, sweeping the races there last year and coming away with a top 10 finish this spring. Kevin has run well in the COT this year and could be a spoiler for the top 2 Hendrick drivers this weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won back to back at Phoenix in 2003-2004 but has struggled a bit there since that time. If he is going to keep his consecutive seasons with a victory streak alive he had better do it this weekend.

Tony Stewart is one of the best flat track drivers on the circuit and would like to win another race this season even if he has no shot at the championship. It might be a while before the JGR teams win after this season with them going to Toyota next season.

Kyle Busch runs very well at Phoenix and already has a win here during his short career. Kyle had a great run at Texas last weekend until a poor pit stop set him back in the field late in the race and he never fully recovered from it.

Kurt Busch ran well at Phoenix when he was with Roush Racing and has finally gotten a handle on things at Penske. Both Kurt and Ryan Newman have improved every week and it wouldn’t surprise me to see either of these guys in victory lane this weekend.

Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth both run well at Phoenix also. Matt has a win here and Carl has 4 top 10 finishes in 6 races. The Roush teams were a little bit behind the rest of the field with the COT at the beginning of the year but they have been closing the gap since that time.

Denny Hamlin has finished 3rd at Phoenix in his last 2 starts and is another driver that loves to run on the flat tracks. After battling Matt Kenseth very hard last weekend and wrecking himself at Texas I look for Denny to come back strong this weekend at Phoenix.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Jeff Gordon (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Kyle Busch (starter)
  • Kurt Busch (starter)
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Newman

Group C

  • Johnny Sauter (starter)
  • JJ Yeley

Stay Away From

  • Casey Mears

Dark Horse

  • Bobby Labonte