NASCAR: FanShield 500 preview and pick
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Phoenix on Sunday for the FanShield 500. After three weeks the series has seen three different winners from three different teams. All three manufactures have been able to find victory lane so far this season, as well.
Phoenix Raceway has the makeup of a short track, so this week will be the first short-track test for drivers this season.
Kyle Busch is the defending race winner and heavy favorite. We will look elsewhere to find value.
Odds to win the FanShield 500
|Driver||FanShield 500 Odds|
Martin Truex Jr.
Denny Hamlin has excelled at Phoenix
The Daytona 500 winner comes into this race as one of the best short-track drivers in the series. In the last four races at Phoenix, Hamlin has a win, with three top five finishes, and has led 183 laps. In the fall of 2019, Hamlin dominated at Phoenix to secure his ticket to the championship round at Homestead.
In 29 starts at the track, Hamlin two wins with 13 top five finishes. During that span he has an average finish of 10.97. Busch will likely have the car to beat Sunday, but his teammate Hamlin should be on the doorstep.
In the last five races at Phoenix, Hamlin has been able to qualify in the top 10. Hamlin should be able to start up front and stay there all race long.
Jimmie Johnson is an attractive longshot at +1600
The seven-time Cup Series champ has been in the mix all season long. It appears Jimmie Johnson has a chance to find victory lane this season with his No. 48 Chevrolet. Can it happen this week?
In his 33 starts at Phoenix, Johnson has four wins, with 15 top five finishes and an average finish of 10.33. At one time in his career, Johnson was extremely tough to beat at Phoenix Raceway.
Last week Johnson desperately wanted to find victory lane in his last race in California, so this week could be a letdown spot. However, we’ll take a swing and see if this is the week he turns back the clock.