Race: InstaCart 500
Date: March 14th at 3:30pm
Venue: Phoenix Raceway
2020 Winner: Joey Logano (3:20:50)
Phoenix Raceway opened in 1964. It runs at 1 mile low bank asphalt track with turns curving between 8-11 degrees. Home to the FanShield 500 and Bluegreen Vacations 500 later in the playoffs, the desert is surrounded by Estrella Mountains. The tri-oval formation is a shape similar to Talladega, Daytona, and to a much lesser degree Poconos. The introduction of a dog-leg coupled with bumping up the angle slightly on two turns to allow for more side by side racing due to the speed around the turns and multi-grooves.
Kevin Harvick (first selection this year) — Harvick is your lock. He’s averaged a 4th place finish here over seven years.
Kyle Larson (second selection this year) — Fresh off an open track win which is a rarity for Larson, he comes to Phoenix where he has top 10 finishes in five of his last six races including finishing among the top three racers three different times.
High Risk/High Reward
Kyle Busch (second selection this year) — Busch struggled for a little bit there with his first three races but found some traction at Las Vegas last week finishing 3rd. His last 13 races at Phoenix include 11 finishes among the top 12 and two wins.
Cole Custer (first selection this year) — Custer was strong last year at Las Vegas finishing 9th. He followed that up with a 7th place finish at Kansas which is similar in shape and distance. Cole has yet to crack the top 10 this season, this could be that moment.
The Dark Horse
Michael McDowell (second selection this year) — Sixth at both Las Vegas and Kansas last year, McDowell has top 10 finishes in three of the races this year and is really making some statements.
Fun Fact: The two Phoenix races and the Charlotte Roval are the only races measured in kilometers instead of miles
Favorite: Avg Finish 14th (34th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 17th (42nd Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 14th (34th Percent)