Checker O'Reilly Picks

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads west this Sunday for the 2009 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 from Phoenix International Raceway.

Bet 2009 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
With just two races to go, several drivers remain in contention to win the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" championship. Jimmie Johnson had a comfortable 184 point lead prior to last Sunday's race at Texas, but after wrecking on the third lap Johnson saw his lead shrink to 73 points over Mark Martin.
We don't think Johnson will panic this week after last week’s setback and we have a feeling he will be looking to start up front this week to avoid being stuck in the back with the scrubs (which caused last week’s wreck).
Jimmie Johnson 4/1
Johnson has won three of the last four races at Phoenix and also had the dominant car earlier this year, only to lose to teammate Mark Martin. Since switching to the COT full time, Johnson has a mind boggling 2.2 average finish at Phoenix and leads all drivers with a 5.5 average finish in 12 starts. We normally tend to stay away from the favorites, but betting against Johnson this week looks foolish.
Mark Martin 5/1
Martin's win at Phoenix earlier this year was impressive and this week he’ll bring the same car that looked so good that day. Martin has always had lots of success here, with an average finish of 7.8 in 20 starts, which is second only to Johnson. This is a make or break race for Martin and for him to have any chance of catching Johnson, he needs to win this week.
Denny Hamlin 8/1

Hamlin might be the best driver in NASCAR today on flat tracks like Phoenix and would have a few more wins if not for all the bad luck, which always seems to find him. Hamlin has led a ton of laps here and a win this week wouldn't surprise us.

Bet 2009 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Posted: 11/11/09 10:15PM ET

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