NASCAR America: Phoenix fantasy picks

Alex Bowman cut a left front with 10 to go after getting into the side of Kurt Busch. We have to work on some stuff but salvaging a decent day is a good day. If we were the leader, we could do okay, I could maintain, but when I was second or third or fourth, it just made me tight enough that I had to wait for the thing to come to me or wait for other guys to start getting off the bottom in front of me. Late cautions keep Martin Truex Jr. from Las Vegas victory

Beyond the Flag

What are the betting odds for NASCAR at Phoenix?

We were trying to get it to where it would last. We got it a little better but definitely not where we need to be. It was a struggle. They worked really hard all day. I tried to stay out of trouble and just survive I guess. Congrats to Brad and the 2 team on their th win for Team Penske, that is pretty neat. We have to work on some stuff but salvaging a decent day is a good day. Aric Almirola — Finished 6th: We got behind on qualifying and that kind of set the tone.

That was my fault. I was trying to get too much and got in the fence and made another mistake and we were able to come down on pit road and get all the damage fixed and the car was back to being good again. I am proud of that effort. That was a really hard fought sixth place. Man, one of these races we will have it go smooth and we will be a contender.

I am really proud of that effort. That was a really hard fought sixth. Kyle Busch — Finished 7th: Daniel Suarez — Finished 8th: We had a 15 to 20th place car. We have to keep working hard for the rest of the season and hopefully keep improving for our next half-mile track. Austin Dillon — Finished 11th: They brought a really fast race car.

We gave up a lot of track position throughout the day, not just from starting in the back, but on pit stops we really struggled. But, you know, proud of the effort. I felt like I got out all I could out of it. Bummer at the end. We needed a top Alex Bowman — Finished 19th: I was running 50 percent probably maybe 60 percent that first run towards the end and just mowing guys down. Our long run speed was so good.

We were too tight to restart, but our long run speed was really good. Jimmie Johnson — Finished 22nd: We had good speed in the car, good pit stops, everything was going well and unfortunately, cut a right-front tire when we touched the No. So, sure, we finished higher than some guys, but any cushion we could have gotten today would have been nice.

Denny Hamlin — Finished 32nd: No grip and just a bad day overall. Ty Dillon — Finished 34th: It could have completely ended our day, but my team worked hard in the garage to get everything fixed and get me back out there. None of us wanted to quit. We still wanted to get all that we could out of this race and gain as many spots as possible.

All we can do is hold our heads up and regroup to be ready for them next week in Richmond. Jamie McMurray — Finished 35th: So, typically it will run a while. I wish I had stayed against the wall. Chase Elliott — Finished 36th: But it popped really big and then I kind of got stopped and got to messing with it and it popped really big again. We had a really good car today and yeah, almost, just barely clipped him Jamie McMurray. I just hate it. So many guys fell out today.

I feel like half the top 16 has crashed. William Byron — Finished 37th: Then in the wall the first time off Turn 2 and we were able to fix it after that and then pitted again, same spot, so just kind of ended our day after that. Kevin Harvick — Finished 39th: We were going to finish top 10 no matter what. Brad Keselowski kept the momentum alive that he generated with wins at Darlington and Indy by winning the South Point at Las Vegas.

The win locks Keselowski into Round 2 of the playoffs. It also gives Roger Penske his th win for the organization. Kyle Busch spun by himself on Lap and drove into the infield grass.

He stayed on the lead lap and finished seventh. Joey Logano spun his tires on two late race restarts. He fell two spots at the end and finished fourth. Kurt Busch sustained damage when Alex Bowman hit him on a late-race pit stop. Back in traffic, he crashed with two laps remaining in regulation.

Ryan Blaney got pinched into the wall during Stage 1 but did minimal damage before finishing fifth. Through three Cup races, Hamlin has been quietly putting together great finishes. He was third in the Daytona and fourth at Atlanta. Last week, he finished 17th in Vegas thanks to a pit road speeding penalty, but he was throwing down on track speeds that were equal to those running inside the top The seven-time champion has started the season off terribly and has yet to lead a lap at the Cup level.

That makes Johnson a risky pick, but he does have some upside in Phoenix. Johnson has finished inside the top 10 in 20 of 29 starts at this track.

He also has four wins, second only to Harvick. He ran ninth in this race last season and traditionally has at least one top finish at Phoenix per year. Johnson's ownership percentage will most likely drop due to his poor start to the season.

That could make him a sneaky play this week. Three starts, one top five, two top 10s Average finish at Phoenix: Jones is starting to find his groove and will be contending for wins before the season is over. He has finished 11th and eighth the past two weeks; now, Jones is heading to a track at Phoenix where he was phenomenal last season.

In the two races at ISM in , Jones finished eighth and fourth. Five starts, one top 10 Average finish at Phoenix: Instead, the one race to look at is the one that put him on the map. Bowman won the pole and also dominated that event. He led laps and was racing for the victory before getting involved in a wreck with Kenseth. Bowman still finished sixth, an impressive performance he'll try and replicate Sunday. Stenhouse has been one of the most improved drivers the past two seasons.

Since Roush Fenway Racing downsized to two teams, he has been a weekly fringe 10th-toth place driver. Though Stenhouse is recognized for his two superspeedway wins, he is also a good driver at Phoenix. In the spring race, he started 21st and finished fourth thanks to a call to stay out on old tires for the final restart. In the fall race, he started 27th and surged up to eighth.