The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Phoenix International Raceway Data

Season Race #: 2 of 36 (3-2-14)
Track Size: 1-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 10-11 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 8-9 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 3 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 8-9 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,179 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,551 feet
Race Length: 312 laps / 500 Kilometers

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson 116.7
Kevin Harvick 101.3
Carl Edwards 100.0
Jeff Gordon 99.4
Tony Stewart 99.2
Denny Hamlin 98.2
Kurt Busch 98.0
Kyle Busch 97.4
Greg Biffle 91.6
Ryan Newman 87.1

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Phoenix International Raceway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2013 pole winner: Mark Martin, Toyota, 138.074 mph, 26.073 secs. 3-1-13
2013 race winner: Carl Edwards, Ford, 105.187 mph, (03:00:15), 3-3-13
Track qualifying record: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 139.222 mph, 25.858 secs. 11-8-13
Track race record: Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 118.132 mph, (2:38:28), 11-7-99

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Phoenix Driver Tale of the Tape


Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)


· Five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 13.9
· Average Running Position of 14.8, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 91.6, ninth-best
· 286 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 793 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.243 mph, 10th-fastest
· 3,242 Laps in the Top 15 (56.9%), 11th-most
· 392 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), ninth-most

Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)

· One win, five top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.5
· Average Running Position of 10.6, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.0, seventh-best
· 287 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.351 mph, seventh-fastest
· 3,953 Laps in the Top 15 (73.4%), sixth-most
· 386 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Toyota)

· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.5
· Average Running Position of 12.0, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 97.4, eighth-best
· 248 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 794 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.364 mph, sixth-fastest
· 4,505 Laps in the Top 15 (79.1%), third-most
· Series-high 527 Quality Passes

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford)

· Two wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 12.3
· Average Running Position of 12.7, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 100.0, third-best
· 354 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.439 mph, fourth-fastest
· 3,865 Laps in the Top 15 (67.9%), eighth-most
· 399 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 PEPSI MAX Chevrolet)

· Two wins, 10 top fives, 20 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 11.5
· Average Running Position of 10.5, third-best
· Driver Rating of 99.4, fourth-best
· 222 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.337 mph, eighth-fastest
· 4,563 Laps in the Top 15 (80.1%), second-most
· 410 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)

· One win, eight top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 10.9
· Average Running Position of 11.7, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.2, sixth-best
· 237 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.400 mph, fifth-fastest
· 3,894 Laps in the Top 15 (72.4%), seventh-most
· 382 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet)

· Four wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.3
· Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 101.3, second-best
· 308 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 743 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.482 mph, third-fastest
· 4,334 Laps in the Top 15 (76.1%), fourth-most
· 418 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

· Four wins, 14 top fives, 17 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 6.3
· Series-best Average Running Position of 6.9
· Series-best Driver Rating of 116.7
· Series-high 574 Fastest Laps Run
· 722 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 125.835 mph
· Series-high 5,009 Laps in the Top 15 (88.0%)
· 498 Quality Passes, second-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota)

· One win, five top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.4
· Average Running Position of 16.1, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.1, 11th-best
· 172 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 789 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.166 mph, 11th-fastest
· 3,344 Laps in the Top 15 (58.7%), 10th-most
· 409 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford)

· Two top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 17.1
· Driver Rating of 85.9, 12th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.280 mph, ninth-fastest

Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)


· One win, eight top fives, nine top 10s; four poles
· Average finish of 18.7
· Average Running Position of 15.3, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.1, 10th-best
· 768 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· 3,723 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), ninth-most
· 487 Quality Passes, third-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)

· One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.0
· Average Running Position of 10.2, second-best
· Driver Rating of 99.2, fifth-best
· 220 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 716 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 125.493 mph, second-fastest
· 4,146 Laps in the Top 15 (77.0%), fifth-most
· 440 Quality Passes, fourth-most

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

The Profit on CNBC 500
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

What a thrill it was to watch Dale Earnhardt Jr. come away with the Daytona 500 win on Sunday, and it wasn’t just because he paid out at 10/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $1,000). It was more like an emotional rush, kind of like watching a young family member excel in a sporting event. I have no ties to Junior, but somehow there was a feeling of real joy as if I was witnessing something that had never happened before.   

Junior winning a race is a rare occurrence. He’d only won twice in the past six seasons, and he hadn’t won at Daytona since 2004. But as a huge fan of NASCAR, everything just seemed perfect. Dale Jr. is NASCAR royalty and the sport needs him to be good. The sport needs him to be motivated. The sport needs him to matter and lately, Junior hasn’t mattered at all.

And on the day we saw the No. 3 black car race for the first time in 13 years, the car his father intimidated the entire series with before passing at Daytona in 2001, Junior shows up to take the checkers. It’s so fitting, and almost seems scripted as part of the story that goes back to 2001 where the Dale Earnhardt Inc. cars won at Daytona and Rockingham followed by a young driver named Kevin Harvick winning at Atlanta in his second career start behind Earnhardt’s crew, and then culminating with Junior’s big 2001 summer win at Daytona on his first return to the track since his father’s death.

So when Junior crossed the finish line first on Sunday, it just seemed like that was how it was supposed to be. It was perfect, and a thrilling moment for most no matter what driver usually rooting for.

This week at Phoenix, Junior will be a candidate to win and should fetch 12/1 odds. He’s a two-time winner at Phoenix and had top-5 finishes in both races last season. The big difference in handicapping Daytona and Phoenix is that you can narrow the quality candidates down to about 10 with a legitimate chance at winning while at Daytona, there were about 35 drivers that could win.   

Last week at Daytona, the practice times and start position meant very little and the biggest factor in selecting a driver with restrictor-plates was looking at their past history at the track. This week, that formula is turned upside down where practice times are about 60 percent of the equation with past history playing a smaller role.

Since we won’t see any practice times until Friday and Saturday, you have to try and do your best at guessing who the best drivers might be to get the best odds available now. Once the practice times start rolling in, the sports books will also take notice and lower the odds on the drivers who showed they’re fast on both single lap speeds and 10-consecutive lap averages.

We don’t need to see any speeds to realize that Jimmie Johnson is going to be very good and it is why he is the 5/1 favorite -- if you’re lucky enough to get a price that high. Johnson is a four-time winner at Phoenix -- the last in 2009 -- and has a 5.9 average finish in his past 20 starts there. He didn’t win last season there, but in the two races, he finished second and third.

Just because he was good last year doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be good on Sunday, but because the cars are relatively the same and he’s excelled in every Hendrick Motorsports car given to him whether it was the old car, car of tomorrow or now the Gen-6 car, he’s been fast at Phoenix. Why would that change now just because it’s a new year?

But who wants to take 5/1 odds, even though it is good value? Most bettors want some odds that they can really sink their teeth into. However, past history shows that the favorites usually do win at Phoenix. Carl Edwards paid out at 18/1 in this race last season and Kevin Harvick was 12/1 in the fall race, and that’s about as good as it gets at Phoenix. The cream rises to the top here and the sports book knows who the cream is.

What I like to do with Phoenix is dig deep into similar tracks to try and find some angle. The one-mile layout of Phoenix is similar, at least in setting the car up, to New Hampshire and Richmond. All three are relatively small and flat. If a driver does well on one, they’ll likely do well on the other two. Last season, Edwards and Harvick each won two of the six races between the three tracks. Brian Vickers won at New Hampshire in the spring and Matt Kenseth won there in the fall.

Harvick is no longer in the RCR No. 29, and all those great rides were shifted over to the No. 3 garage driven by rookie Austin Dillon. Dillon will get about 35/1 odds and might be worth a shot in the dark just because of the equipment.

But the best strategy here is to stay with the meat and potatoes, someone that always runs well here, and someone that is hungry for a win like Denny Hamlin. This guy is on a major roll right now having won at Homestead to close out 2013, winning the Sprint Unlimited and Bud Duel last week at Daytona and then finishing second in the 500 Sunday. At Phoenix, only Johnson has been better overall than Hamlin’s 10.9 average finish. He won this race in 2012 and he should be considered a favorite to win this week.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #11 Denny Hamlin (8/1)
2) #99 Carl Edwards (14/1)
3) #18 Kyle Busch (8/1)
4) #48 Jimmie Johnson (5/1)
5) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr (12/1)

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Auto Racing Glance
Vegasinsider.com

SPRINT CUP

THE PROFIT ON CNBC 500


Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (Fox Sports 1, 2-2:30 p.m.), qualifying (Fox Sports 1, 6:30-8 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Fox Sports 1, 11 a.m.-noon; Fox Sports 2, 2-3 p.m.); Sunday, race, 3 p.m. (Fox, 2:30-6 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway (oval, 1.0 miles).

Race distance: 312 miles, 312 laps.

Last year: Carl Edwards won to snap a 70-race victory drought. Jimmie Johnson was second.

Last week: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 for the second time, beating Denny Hamlin in the rain-delayed race.

Fast facts: The race is the first to use the new group qualifying format. The fastest 12 cars after the opening 30-minute session will compete for the pole in the final 10-minute session. At tracks 1.25 miles or longer, there will be three rounds of qualifying. ... Kevin Harvick won the November race at the track. He's in his first year at Stewart-Haas Racing after 13 Cup seasons at Richard Childress Racing.

Next race: Kobalt 400, March 9, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas.

NATIONWIDE

BLUE JEANS GO GREEN 200


Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (Fox Sports 1, 1-2 p.m., 5-6:30 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying, Fox Sports 2, noon-1:30 p.m.), race, 3:45 p.m. (ABC, 3:30-6 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway (oval, 1.0 miles).

Race distance: 200 miles, 200 laps.

Last week: Kyle Busch won to end a 24-race Nationwide victory drought.

Last week: Regan Smith won at Daytona, holding off Brad Keselowski.

Fast facts: Busch also won the November race at the track for the last of his 12 2013 series victories. Busch, driving the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, has a series-record 63 victories - six at the track. ... Kevin Harvick is driving the Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned No. 88 Chevrolet.

Next race: Boyd Gaming 300, March 8, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas.

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Chassis Selections and Notes
Jayski.com

#1-Jamie McMurray: chassis not reported on race preview.
#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis: PRS-864 - New Chassis. Backup Chassis: PRS-853 - Last Raced: Texas 2013 (finished 3rd as #22 car)
#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot Chassis No. 430 in the Profit on CNBC 500 presented by Small Business Fueling America at Phoenix International Raceway. This is the same Chevrolet SS the Gil Martin-led team utilized at Phoenix International Raceway in November 2013, racing to Victory Lane.
#4-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis No. 4-482 at Phoenix International Raceway in Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500. Built new for 2014, Chassis 4-482 will see its first laps of competition this weekend.
#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-815 for Sunday's race at Phoenix. Kahne drove this chassis three times toward the end of 2013. In September 2013, he raced this car to a 14th-place finish at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He qualified second with it at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and most recently, Kahne drove this chassis to a second-place finish at Phoenix last November.
#7-Michael Annett: chassis not reported on race preview.
#9-Marcos Ambrose: chassis not reported on race preview.
#10-Danica Patrick: Chassis No. 10-823 was used for the first time in September 2013 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where Patrick started 21st and finished 27th. It was then used in November at Phoenix, where Patrick started 32nd and finished 33rd after a midrace accident not of her making caused her to finish 10 laps down.
#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 798 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Phoenix International Raceway. It is a new chassis. Chassis No. 795 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis tested at Nashville and New Smyrna.
#16-Greg Biffle: Chassis RK-876 will make its debut this weekend at Phoenix. Backup Chassis: RK-863 Last ran Kansas
#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Chassis RK-877 is a brand new chassis for the #17 team. The team tested at Nashville with this chassis earlier this season. The backup Chassis RK-815 last raced at Dover, where Stenhouse finished 17th. The #17 team also raced this chassis at Fontana and Darlington.
#18-Kyle Busch: chassis not reported on race preview.
#20-Matt Kenseth: chassis not reported on race preview.
#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis: PRS-866 - New chassis. Backup Chassis: PRS-858 - Last Raced: Kentucky 2013 (finished 4th)
#24-Jeff Gordon: The Gustafson-led No. 24 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-816 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. The car last was raced in the penultimate event of 2013 when Gordon qualified fifth and led 49 laps en route to a 14th-place finish at Phoenix. In the only other race for this chassis, Gordon won his 73rd career pole and paced the field for 49 laps before crossing the finish line eighth at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in September 2013.
#27-Paul Menard: will pilot chassis No. 448 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This No. 27 Chevrolet SS is new to the RCR stable and will be utilized by the team for the very first time this weekend.
#31-Ryan Newman: will drive chassis No. 441 in Sunday's 312-lap event at Phoenix International Speedway (PIR). It is brand new and will take to the track on Friday during the NSCS practice session.
#33-Brian Scott: will pilot chassis No. 418 in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Phoenix International Raceway. This is the same chassis Scott utilized in his Cup series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway last fall. This chassis has been raced six additional times with an 11th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway last June with Austin Dillon behind the wheel.
#34-David Regan: chassis not reported on race preview.
#35-Blake Koch: chassis not reported on race preview.
#38-David Gilliland: chassis not reported on race preview.
#41-Kurt Busch: will pilot Chassis No. 826 in Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, a former #39 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing. Chassis No. 826 started 17th and finished 10th last November in the Advocare 500k at Phoenix.
#42-Kyle Larson: chassis not reported on race preview.
#43-Aric Almirola: chassis not reported on race preview.
#47-Aric Almirola: chassis not reported on race preview.
#48-Jimmie Johnson: For the race in Phoenix, crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-832. Johnson raced this car at Phoenix last November, when he started from the pole position and finished third. The backup car is Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-806, which Johnson raced last season at New Hampshire.
#51-Justin Allgaier: chassis not reported on race preview.
#55-Brian Vickers: Primary: 799. Backup: 797. Neither chassis has raced.
#78-Martin Truex Jr.: chassis not reported on race preview.
#95-Michael McDowell: will pilot Chassis No. PRS-838 in The Profit on CNBC 500 Presented by Small Business Fueling America at Phoenix International Raceway. This is a new Ford Fusion to the Wally Rogers-led team, but it has previous history at Phoenix International Raceway.
#99-Carl Edwards: Chassis RK-874 is a new chassis. Backup Chassis: RK-831

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Phoenix
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com's Jeff Wackerlin breaks down all the stats and information to help steer you toward Sunday's "The Profit" on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Who's HOT at Phoenix


• Defending race winner Carl Edwards has led the most laps (158) in the two races with the Gen-6
car.
• Kevin Harvick, who will make his first Phoenix start with Stewart-Haas Racing, has posted the
best average finish (7.2) in the five races on the current track configuration, including wins
in the last two fall events.
• Denny Hamlin has finished in the top three in three of his last four starts, including a win
in the 2012 spring race.
• Jimmie Johnson, who has four wins on the old track configuration, has the best average finish (2.5) in the two races with the Gen-6 car.
• Brad Keselowski has posted a 6.5 average finish in the last four races.
• Kyle Busch leads all drivers in laps led (289) over the last five races.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Phoenix

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in the top five in both Phoenix races with the Gen-6 car last season.
• Greg Biffle (10.6) and Kasey Kahne (12.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among drivers that have competed in all five races on Phoenix's new track configuration.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has posted a 14.0 average finish in two starts at Phoenix and now is back with crew chief Mike Kelley who led him to five consecutive top-10s at PIR in the Nationwide Series.
• Ryan Newman, who will be making his first Phoenix start with Richard Childress Racing, has finished in the top 10 in six of his last eight starts there.
• Jeff Gordon has posted a 5.0 average finish in the last four March races at Phoenix, including a win in the last race on the old configuration in 2011.
• Matt Kenseth finished seventh in this event last season - his first Phoenix start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
• Tony Stewart has posted a 13.0 average finish in four of the five races on Phoenix's new configuration. Stewart's new crew chief, Chad Johnston, helped lead Martin Truex Jr. - who will make his first Phoenix start with Furniture Row Racing - to two top-10s in four starts there with Michael Waltrip Racing.
• Kurt Busch, who will make his first Phoenix start with Stewart-Haas Racing, has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts.

Tire Notes: Teams will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires they ran at Phoenix last November.  Kevin Harvick won that race, driving for Richard Childress Racing, after leading a race-high 70 laps.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Denny Hamlin
Pete Pistone: Denny Hamlin
Dustin Long: Kasey Kahne
John Singler: Carl Edwards

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Phoenix unless noted)

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Second-best average finish (4.5) and 49 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car; 13.6 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration; Last of two wins came 10 years ago ... Coming off his first Daytona 500 win in 10 years.

Denny Hamlin: 15.5 average finish and 18 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Third-best average finish (9.2) in the five races on the current track configuration; Winner of this event in 2012.

Brad Keselowski: Fourth-best average finish (7.5) and 43 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Second-best average finish (8.8) in the five races on the current track configuration; Has finished sixth or better in three of the last four races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 853) in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Jeff Gordon: 18.6 average finish and 49 laps led in the five races on the current track configuration; Last of two wins came in the last race on the old track configuration, which was this event in 2011; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 816) that he last led 49 laps en route to a 14th-place finish at Phoenix last fall.

Jimmie Johnson: Leads all drivers with a 2.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Sixth-best average finish (11.0) in the five races on the current track configuration; Four-time winner on the old track configuration; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 806) he raced last fall at Phoenix.

Matt Kenseth: 15.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car - first track starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Finished seventh in this event last year; 18.2 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 14.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Coming off best finish in two starts in 12th; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 877) - that was tested at Nashville - in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Greg Biffle:
15.0 average finish and 40 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Led 39 laps and finished 17th in this event last year; Fifth-best average finish (10.6) in the five races on the current track configuration; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 876) this weekend.

Austin Dillon: Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 430) in his first Cup Series track start that Kevin Harvick drove to Victory Lane at Phoenix last fall; Finished sixth or better in his last four Nationwide starts at Phoenix.

Casey Mears: 20.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Best finish in the five races on the current track configuration came in this event last year, 14th place.

Joey Logano: Led 33 laps and finished ninth last fall in second track start with Penske Racing; 16.6 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 866) in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Kevin Harvick: Third-best average finish (7.0) and 70 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Leads all drivers in wins (2) and average finish (7.2) in the five races on the current track configuration; Coming off second win in the last three races; Will make track debut with Stewart-Haas Racing in a new car (chassis No. 482).

Jamie McMurray: 20.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Last of two top 10s (10th) in 21 starts came on the old track configuration in the 2010 fall race.

Bobby Labonte: Will not race this weekend; As of now, Daytona was part of a limited schedule for Labonte and team owner James Finch; the No. 52 Chevrolet will not be on the track at Phoenix.

Reed Sorenson: 27.9 average finish in nine starts; Best finish came in the spring event in 2009 driving for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Carl Edwards: Defending race winner; 11.0 average finish and leads all drivers in laps led (158) in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Fourth-best average finish (10.4) in the five races on the current track configuration; Also won on the old configuration in the 2010 fall race; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 874) in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Marcos Ambrose: 22.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; 20.4 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration; Only top 10 (eighth) in 11 starts came in the 2011 fall race.

Kyle Busch: 15.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; 15.0 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration; Has finished seventh or better on three of the last four races; Won the 2005 fall race driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

Terry Labonte: Will not race this weekend; Travis Kvapil will be driving the No. 32 Ford.

Kurt Busch: Coming off second top 10 in the last three races; 16.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; 15.4 average finish in the five races on the current track configuration; Will make his track debut with Stewart-Haas Racing driving the same car (chassis No. 826) that Ryan Newman drove to a 10th-place finish last November at Phoenix.

Notables Outside the Top 20

Ryan Newman:
Winner of this event in 2010; Has finished in the top 10 in six of his last eight starts; Will make first track start with Richard Childress Racing in a new car (chassis No. 441).

Kasey Kahne: Won the 2011 fall race with Red Bull Racing; 14.8 average finish in four starts with Hendrick Motorsports; 10.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 815) that he led 41 laps and finished second with last fall at Phoenix.

Tony Stewart: Finished eighth in this event last year for his fourth top 10 in nine track starts with Stewart-Haas racing; Missed the fall race due to injury; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 840) in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Clint Bowyer: Finished sixth in this event last year for first top 10 in four track starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 798) in Sunday's race.

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Phoenix Betting Notes
By Sportsbook.ag

With the Daytona 500 now completed, the NASCAR circuit shifts west to Phoenix for Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500. Phoenix International Raceway is a one-mile, tri-oval track completed in 1964. It was built with bankings measuring 11° on turns 1 and 2, a 9-degree banking on the 1,551-foot (0.29 miles) backstretch and a near-flat 3° frontstretch measuring 1,179 feet (0.22 miles). Kevin Harvick won the most recent race at this track last November, while Carl Edwards took home the victory in the March race that was called the Subway Fresh Fit 500.
.
Drivers to Watch.

Kevin Harvick (9/1) -
These odds are extremely favorable for a driver who has three top-2 finishes (two wins, one runner-up) in the pat four races at this track. The No. 29 car always competes well on one-mile tracks, and since 2006, Harvick has three wins and nine top-7 finishes in 16 starts at Phoenix..
.
Ryan Newman (33/1) - Newman has always raced well at Phoenix in his career. In 23 starts at this track, he's grabbed the pole four times, and has posted eight top-5 finishes. This includes five top-5's in his past eight starts, winning the 2010 Subway Fresh Fit 600, and then placing 2nd, 5th, 5th, 21st and 5th in five Phoenix races before a crash and 10th-place finish last year. What's more impressive about this run is that his average start in these eight races was 15.1, as he started no better than 6th in any of these races. .
.
Jimmie Johnson (6/1) - Johnson is understandably the favorite at this race, because he's been outstanding in Phoenix over the years, finishing outside the top-10 just four times in 21 starts at this track. This includes a pair of top-3 showings last season. All four of his Phoenix wins have come since 2007, and in the past seven spring starts in the desert, he has finished 4th, 1st, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 2nd last year. .
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Greg Biffle (33/1) - Biffle began his season with a bang, starting 25th, but finishing 8th in the Daytona 500, which he led for eight laps. Although he's never won at Phoenix, he's been awfully close with two career runner-ups (2005 and 2007) and four top-7 finishes in his past 10 starts at Phoenix. He placed 3rd in the 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500, and came in 7th place in the AdvoCare 500 that following November.

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

Phoenix Practice Notes
By Micah Roberts
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS – Kevin Harvick won in Phoenix last fall for his fourth career win on the one-mile flat track, but because of having new equipment with a new team, there was skepticism on how he might fare this week. Following Saturday’s final two practice sessions, Harvick and his new crew answered all those questions with an emphatic exclamation point. His No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet is the best car on the track and should be considered the favorite to win Sunday’s 'The Profit on CNBC' 500.

Harvick was fastest not only in single-lap times for both of Saturday’s sessions, but he was also fastest in five- and 10-consecutive lap averages. In an instant, he showed that his car has the look of being dominant Sunday. Between his natural skills on flatter tracks and now knowing he has a great car, he should be at least -160 over any other driver. He’s that good.

The next-best set of cars look to be the Penske Racing duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. They came off the hauler fast on Friday, and they followed that up with great practice sessions on Saturday, particularly with average lap speeds. They'll start on the front row. Keselowski’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, won’t be on the box Sunday so he can be with wife for the birth of the couple’s first child, but the No. 2 car will be in good hands with Brian Wilson and Greg Erwin calling the shots from the pits.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been fast all weekend, and the two-time Phoenix winner is carrying tons of momentum with him from his Daytona 500 win. Ironically, the last time Junior won at Phoenix was in 2004, the same season he last won at Daytona. Without getting too much into the Junior storyline the media has been feeding off of the past week, the bottom line is that he is fast and has a great chance of winning – and it has nothing to do with last week's win.

The best low-risk/high-reward investments this week are Ganassi drivers Jamie McMurray and rookie Kyle Larson. If it wasn’t for not being able to trust Ganassi cars because of what we’ve seen the past three seasons, those two would be rated above Keselowski and Logano as the best candidates to win behind Harvick. Their single-lap and average speeds are hard too ignore. Larson was second fastest during Saturday's late session, and McMurray was second in the early session Saturday. Each of them were opened at 100-to-1 to win by the LVH Super Book in Las Vegas, but those odds won’t be anywhere close to that when adjusted. You could spend $5 in worse ways.

Phoenix's 2010 winner Ryan Newman is a nice candidate to run well Sunday, not only from a strong final practice, but also for the same reason there were doubts about Harvick. Richard Childress Racing set a car up for Harvick to win at two of the three similar type tracks (Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire) last season, and after seeing Newman run the third-fastest lap in happy hour, we know the car is fast. If thinking the chassis might be the same junk from Jeff Burton last year, ease your mind because it’s a brand new chassis.

I had high hopes for Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards coming into the race, but I didn’t see enough to think they’ll be strong contenders to win Sunday. Kasey Kahne also falls into that group. They’ll all finish well, but they don’t appear to have what the five top-rated drivers do, and that’s lots of speed in short and long distances. Jeff Gordon is a driver who fits that criteria and probably should have made the list, but he was narrowly edged by Edwards for the 10th spot.

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Re: The Profit on CNBC 500 Betting News and Notes

5 Drivers worth looking at in Phoenix   
By Jay Dotson   

AVONDALE, AZ (The Spread) - The Daytona 500 kicked off the NASCAR season in awesome fashion with Junior coming away with the win.

Get Jay Dotson's Expert Picks

This NASCAR season is shaping up to be one of the best season's in recent years.  Let's hope Phoenix continues the excitement. Every driver has a chance in every race as in NASCAR anything can happen, but here's 5 drivers I that I expect to have the best odds of coming away with a victory, plus my long shot prediction.

Brad Keselowski won the pole, he finished 3rd in the Daytona 500, and he finished 4th in this race last season.  He's getting around +650 odds, and while that might not be a whole lot of bang for your buck he's running good, and looks like he's primed to make some noise this season.

Jimmie Johnson is starting 4th on the pole, finished 5th in the Daytona 500, and came in 2nd in this race last season. Johnson is also a 4 time winner at Phoenix. He's also the oddsmakers favorite sitting at around +425.  I liked Johnson last week at Daytona, and I like the way he's running for this race as well.  He's the reigning champ and until something proves otherwise there's not many races you can overlook Johnson.

Kevin Harvick who's starting 13th on the pole, finished 13th at Daytona 500, and he finished 13th in this race last season.  Now I'm not a superstitious person, but to me that's lucky number 13, and at +900 I'll take my chances here.  Harvick performed well last season at similar tracks including a win at Richmond. Look for Harvick to bang his way to the front of this race.

Carl Edwards is starting 23rd on the pole, finished 17th in Daytona, and won this race last season.  Edwards, like Harvick performs well at these tracks, and while it may be a little bit of a longer shot looking for a repeat at +1300 it's worth a chance.  Edwards got the job done here last season, and will at least make a run here.

Denny Hamlin who's sitting 12th on the pole, finished 2nd in Daytona, and finished 3rd here last season.  At this track, Johnson is the only driver with the better finish average then Hamlin.  Hamlin has really been sharp winning the Sprint Unlimited and Bud Duel last week, plus that 2nd place at Daytona.  Hamlin odds are around +700, and with his recent performances is definitely worth a shot here.

Long Shot: Tony Stewart +2250

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