Subway Fresh Fit 500 Predictions
Phoenix, AZ (The Spread) – This week, NASCAR heads out West to Phoenix for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
After racing on a 2.5-mile, high-banked track last week, teams will switch to a flat, one-mile track this weekend. With the track playing true to more conventional racing, that means we can look to past races here in order to narrow our choices down to two or three drivers.
Phoenix International Speedway is known for its odd shape and very little banking, with two completely different turns. This track is known for drivers who either love it, or absolutely despise it since it requires driving skills that most guys haven’t yet mastered. Track position is a must at Phoenix and for those drivers that are stuck in the back of the field, it usually turns into a very long day. So finding drivers who generally start up front is what we will be looking at this week.
NASCAR also begins it new qualifying procedure this weekend. The qualifying order will be based on the slowest to fastest practice speeds. If bad weather cancels qualifying, the starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. Owner points would set the lineup if weather forces cancellation of practice as well.
Denny Hamlin 5/1
Hamlin might be the best driver in NASCAR on flat tracks like Phoenix and Martinsville, where he swept last year’s races. Though he has yet to win at Phoenix, he has led a ton of laps only to be done in by bad racing luck. In 11 starts at Phoenix, Hamlin has five top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 11.6, which is amazing since he has yet to win here. Hamlin looked strong during Speedweeks and always seems to have a fast car. If his team can give him another fast car this week, we think he can finally get a win at a track he has dominated in the past.
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Jeff Gordon had this race won last year untill a late caution ruined his day and Ryan Newman beat him on the restart to steal the win from him. Gordon has always excelled on flat tracks and this race should be no different. In his last 10 races here, Gordon has seven top 10s, one win and a 12.6 average finish. If he wants to get back in the points chase a win here would be a great start.
Mark Martin 20/1
Coming to Phoenix should be a shot in the arm for Martin since this has always been one of his best tracks. In 28 starts here he has an amazing 12 top five finishes, 19 top 10 finishes and an average finish of 8.6, which is one of the best among active drivers. In what will be his final fulltime season, we think Martin could pick up another win at one of his favorite tracks at a nice price.