NASCAR Nationwide Series: Phoenix Picks and Points

by Adam Ansell, on November 12, 2010 @ 15:00:00 PDT


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1. Kyle Busch: In 10 starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Busch has three wins, five Top Fives, eight Top 10s and three poles. His Average Start in his last seven starts at the site is 2.9, all from inside the Top Five on the grid. He's led at least eight laps in six of his 10 Phoenix starts. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, he ranks fifth in Driver Rating (114.4) and sixth in Average Running Position (9.0). The Series championship may already be decided, but Busch still has plenty to race for. First, his legacy - Busch will do everything he can to extend the single-season wins record to 13 this weekend. Second, the No. 18 team leads the owner's standings by 81 points over the No. 22 team. With his motivation intact, Busch is the top Fantasy play in all formats once again.

2. Carl Edwards: In 11 starts at the site, Edwards has three wins, seven Top Fives, 10 Top 10s and three poles. His Average Start in his last five Phoenix starts is 1.8, all inside the Top Three on the grid. He's led at least 38 laps in four of his last five starts at the site. Edwards ranks second in DR (120.4) and sixth in ARP (6.5), though his DR is the highest of any driver with more than one start at the site. He's fresh off of his third win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway, and is an excellent Fantasy start in all formats.

3. Kevin Harvick: In 16 starts at the site, Harvick has one win (April 2006), 12 Top Fives, 13 Top 10s and one pole (November 2003). He has more starts, more Top Fives and more Top 10s than any driver in Series history. Harvick has recorded six consecutive Top Fives and 11 straight Top 10s at Phoenix, and led at least 50 laps in four of his 16 starts. He ranks fourth in DR (116.3) and third in ARP (5.5). Harvick's the opposite of your prom date at Phoenix, as in a sure thing. He'll finish in the Top Five at the very least.

4. Joey Logano: In three starts at the site, Logano has one Top Five and three Top 10s. He's led at least six laps in his last two Phoenix starts. Logano ranks sixth in DR (113.3) and fourth in ARP (5.8). In his last five Series starts, he's recorded five Top Fives with an Average Finish of 3.2. Logano is ninth in the Series standings, but is just 26 points out of eighth and 48 points out of seventh. A sixth straight Top Five will certainly help his cause, not to mention the cause of Fantasy owners. Whenever Logano is on the entry list, he's a must-start.

5. Brad Keselowski: In seven starts at the site, Keselowski has three Top Fives. All of those have come in his last three starts. Prior to that, his best finish in four starts at Phoenix was 12th with a 76.6 DR. His combined DR in his three Top Fives is 115.7. Overall, he ranks 13th in DR (93.3) and 14th in ARP (12.1). The No. 22 is down 81 points in the owner standings, and a comeback would be the largest deficit ever overcome. Fantasy owners can be sure that challenge doesn't faze Keselowski, and he'll fight until the final lap of the season to close to gap.

6. Martin Truex Jr.: In three starts at the site, Truex Jr. has one Top Five, three Top 10s and an Average Finish of sixth. He ranks 10th in DR (103.9) and 11th in ARP (9.9). This weekend will mark his first start at Phoenix since 2005, but performing well at tracks he hasn't seen in a while has been a recurring theme this season. In four 2010 Series starts, he has three Top Fives. He's led at least one lap in three of his four starts. Truex Jr. is the top Elimination format start of the week.

7. Justin Allgaier: In four starts at the site, Allgaier has one Top 10 and an Average Finish of 12th. His lone Top 10 (eighth in 2009) came from the 42nd starting position on the grid. He ranks 17th in DR (87.6) and 15th in ARP (13.1). Allgaier's 13th-place finish last week at Texas snapped his streak of five straight Top 10s, which ties a career best that he set earlier this season. Allgaier has bounced back nicely after an inconsistent summer and is a safe Tiered/Grouping format start at Phoenix.

8. Reed Sorenson: In six starts at the site, Sorenson has two Top Fives and four Top 10s. He ranks 11th in DR (100.0) and 10th in ARP (9.6). Sorenson has quietly become one of the most reliable drivers in Fantasy NASCAR. He's recorded eight Top 10s in his last 10 starts including four straight. His Average Finish in that span is 12.5. He finished 12th in the April event at Phoenix. Sorenson is still undervalued in Tiered/Grouping formats and needs to be in all starting lineups.

9. Brendan Gaughan: In three starts at the site, Gaughan has one Top Five and two Top 10s. He ranks 18th in DR (86.0) and 17th in ARP (13.9). After a decent start to the season, Gaughan has fallen right off the radar. He has just one Top 10 in his last 13 starts and has been entrenched in 11th in the standings. He finished fourth at Phoenix in April, posting a 97.2 DR, 11.0 ARP and 85.5 percent Laps in the Top 15. A Top 10 finish is his ceiling this weekend.

10. Paul Menard: In nine starts at the site, Menard has one Top 10. His Average Starting position in his last four starts at Phoenix is 5.5. He ranks 24th in DR (79.9) and 22nd in ARP (16.4). The reason he makes this list is his lone Top 10 (seventh) came in the April event, in which he posted a 100.9 DR, 7.3 ARP and 100 percent Laps in the Top 15. He has back-to-back ninth-place finishes in his last two Series starts. Fantasy owners should expect a Top 10, but no bonus points via qualifying or laps led this weekend.

11. Aric Almirola: Average Finish of 11th in six Series starts this season. 54.3 DR.

12. Trevor Bayne: Finished 14th in the November 2009 event at the site. 71.1 DR.

13. Mike Bliss: Four Top 10s in his last five starts at the site. 80.4 DR.

14. Jason Leffler: Two Top Fives, four Top 10s and two poles in 12 starts at the site. 88.3 DR.

15. Steve Wallace: One Top 10 in eight starts at the site. 68.9 DR.

16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 79.9 DR.

17. James Buescher: 68.7.

18. Ricky Carmichael: DR N/A.

19. Michael McDowell: 65.9.

20. Michael Annett: 59.5.

21. Danica Patrick

22. Kenny Wallace

23. Brett Rowe

24. David Gilliland

25. Antonio Perez

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About Adam Ansell,

This article is courtesy of: is a deluxe fantasy analysis and information site and content development network. Led by award-winning Fantasy veteran Scott Engel, formerly of ESPN and CBS SportsLine, the team provides distinctive and in-depth fantasy insights in all sports. is an official content provider for, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. was nominated for a total of eight industry awards in 2009, and won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Award for Best Humor Article. urges you to look for the X- The Mark of Fantasy Excellence.

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