Early Week Driver Rankings for Phoenix


The Cup Series will complete their West Coast Swing this week as they compete at ISM Raceway (Phoenix). If you were not happy with the racing last year on the short, flat tracks last year; relax. The racing is going to be a lot different this week. NASCAR is going back to the 2017 / 2018 aero package for the short tracks in 2020. This package, combined with the reconfiguration of ISM Raceway should make the race very exciting this week. The Fan Shield 500 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

NASCAR will have the same schedule this week that they had in the previous two races on the west coast. There will be two practices Friday. The first practice is at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and final practice is at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Qualifying will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

My early week pick for the pole is Ryan Blaney. The aero package will be different this week so it is hard to predict right now which driver will start on the pole Sunday. Blaney won the 2017 in the aero package used this week and he won the pole last year in the new aero package. Team Penske Racing is on a roll in 2020 so I have the No. 12 car penciled in for the pole right now.

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 Driver Ratings at the flat tracks in 2017 and 2018, Driver Rating from Phoenix in 2017 and 2018, Driver Rating from 2019 at Phoenix and the Driver Rating from Las Vegas and Auto Club this season (We want drivers who have momentum).


Here are the early week driver rankings for Phoenix…

1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Chase Elliott
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Kyle Larson
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Joey Logano
10. Aric Almirola
11. Erik Jones
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Kurt Busch
14. William Byron
15. Alex Bowman
16. Matt DiBenedetto
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Austin Dillon
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Ty Dillon
21. Chris Buescher
22. Cole Custer
23. Christopher Bell
24. Tyler Reddick
25. Ross Chastain
26. Daniel Suarez
27. Darrell Wallace Jr.
28. Ryan Preece
29. John H. Nemechek
30. Michael McDowell
31. Corey Lajoie
32. Brennan Poole
33. J.J. Yeley
34. Reed Sorenson
35. Joey Gase
36. Quin Houff
37. Garrett Smithley
38. Timmy Hill

I will post my final driver rankings Saturday night.


**Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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