Early Week Driver Rankings for Phoenix


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will stay out west as they compete at ISM (Phoenix). For this article I am going to call the track Phoenix. The name to “Ingenuity Sun Media (I.S.M.) Raceway makes things too confusing. What is nice is the remolded and reconfigured track. It made the November race interesting and the race this week should be fun to watch. The TicketGuardian 500 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

The MENCS will have a normal schedule this week. The first practice is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET (No TV). Qualifying is Friday evening at 6 p.m. ET (FS1). There will be two practices Saturday. The first is at 11:30 a.m. ET (FS1) and the final practice is at 2 p.m. ET (FS1). I will post my Garage Talk Notes after final practice.

My early week pick for the pole is Kevin Harvick. I expect the qualifying to be more calm then it was at Las Vegas. The draft will not be a facture at Phoenix so we will see single-car qualifying. Harvick won the pole for the first race on the reconfigured track and I think he will do it again Friday.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used the results from the flat tracks from last year, driver ranking at the flat tracks, average finishing position at Phoenix and driver ranking at Phoenix. I also used the average running position from the November race at Phoenix because the newly shaped track brought more drivers into play.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Phoenix…


1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Kyle Larson
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Chase Elliott
8. Aric Almirola
9. Erik Jones
10. Joey Logano
11. Kurt Busch
12. Clint Bowyer
13. William Byron
14. Ryan Newman
15. Ryan Blaney
16. Austin Dillon
17. Ricky Stenhouse
18. Alex Bowman
19. Daniel Suarez
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Daniel Hemric
22. Chris Buescher
23. Matt DiBenedetto
24. Ryan Preece
25. Ty Dillon
26. Paul Menard
27. Michael McDowell
28. David Ragan
29. Bubba Wallace
30. Matt Tfft
31. Corey LaJoie
32. Parker Klingerman
33. Landon Cassill
34. Ross Chastain
35. Cody Ware
36. Garrett Smithley
37. Reed Sorenson


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday evening.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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