NASCAR Picks for TicketGuardian 500 at Phoenix/ISM Raceway
After a back-to-back races at 1.5-mile ovals, NASCAR's West Coast swing will continue this weekend at ISM Raceway. Many fans will know ISM better as Phoenix, and while the track recently underwent a reconfiguration, it still challenges drivers with little banking and two different sets of corners.
Sunday's TicketGuardian 500 will also feature a high-horsepower package (750 HP) that could increase tire wear a bit and potentially put the race back in the hands of the driver a little more than at the intermediate speedways.
I won't be discounting what has happened on the track the last couple of weeks, especially when it comes to trying to decide which middle-tier drivers stand out above the rest. However, I will also be putting a lot of stock in past results at Phoenix.
This is just a unique track in terms of both layout and the approach a driver needs to take, and we have seen a few drivers build incredible resumes here. Changes to the rules and the track can alter the hierarchy a bit, but I think you can comfortably lean on a few Phoenix aces to build the foundation for strong lineups this weekend.
Kevin Harvick, #4 Jimmy Johns/Busch Beer, Stewart-Haas Racing
Kyle Busch, #18 M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite/Discount Tires, Team Penske
Chase Elliott, #9 NAPA Auto Parts, Hendrick Motorsports
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing
Martin Truex, Jr., #19 Bass Pro Shops, Joe Gibbs Racing
Kyle Larson, #42 CreditOne, Chip Ganassi Racing
Kurt Busch, #1 Monster Energy, Chip Ganassi Racing
Aric Almirola, #10 Smithfield Foods, Stewart-Haas Racing
Erik Jones, #20 DeWalt, Joe Gibbs Racing
Ryan Blaney, #12 Menards/PPG, Team Penske
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