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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway

Posted by chadmusselman on November 7, 2011

Only two races left and three points separating Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.  Tony Stewart has really turned on the jets in the Chase amassing four wins in the eight races so far.  This should be one of the most exciting finishes to the season ever!  I have to give NASCAR kudos for the change in the point system and making every race of the season count for the championship.  There won’t be anyone wrapping up the title a race or two before the end of the season anymore.

The next to last race is in Phoenix, a relatively flat 1 mile tri-oval.  Ten of the chasers have won here in the past and only two regular drivers not in the chase have won a race here.  The main theme for picking drivers this week will be who’s been hot recently.  Most of the picks this week have a high average finish over the last five races.

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Okay, so Jimmie Johnson hasn’t exactly torn it up over the last five races, but dog-gone it, he’s really awesome at Phoenix.  He leads all active drivers with four wins here, and also has 11 top five and 14 top ten finishes in only 16 career races.  That’s right; Johnson has only finished outside of the top ten twice in his career at Phoenix.  He won’t win his 6th consecutive title, but he very well can win the race this weekend.

Alternate Chaser: Tony Stewart
It’s harder to get hotter than Stewart is right now.  He has won two in a row and finished in the top ten in four straight.  Stewart is only three points out of the lead and charging hard.  He’s going to be very focused and determined to get ahead of Carl Edwards before the final race in Homestead.  And, don’t forget that Stewart has won here before, collecting 7 top five and 10 top ten finishes along the way.  In 19 career races you may not think that’s very impressive, but I don’t know how you can go against the run Stewart is on right now.  He was on less than 10% of the fantasy teams last week, so pick him up this week and get those points you missed.

Kasey Kahne
Kahne has averaged an 8th place finish over the last five races, good enough for 3rd best.  He’s really doing a good job of building confidence and proving that Rick Hendrick is getting a quality driver for the 2012 season.  In 14 career races at Phoenix Kahne has only finished in the top ten four times with one top five, but you can throw those numbers out.  He’s on a great run right now with five top ten finishes in the last six races.  That should be good enough of a run to put Kahne on your team and ride the streak. 

Greg Biffle
Biffle is the 4th hottest driver over the last five races, averaging an 11.4 place finish.  His average finish at Phoenix isn’t too bad either (14.9).  Biffle has had success here in the past with four top five and five top ten finishes in 15 races.  He’s usually in the top fifteen at the track and should be again, and contending for another top ten finish. 

Dark Horse: Mark Martin
Okay, so Mark Martin hasn’t been hot of late, but I can’t ignore his record at Phoenix.  He’s averaging an 8.8 place finish with two wins, 12 top five, and 19 top ten finishes in 29 career races.  Only Jimmie Johnson has a better average finish than Martin.  I think Mart Martin has too much pride and is too good of a driver to mail in the final two races of the season.  He should show some life this weekend and have a shot at the top ten when the race is winding down.



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