Carl Edwards can keep smiling. Despite finishing second in last Sunday’s Daytona 500 the driver of the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion is headed to a track he’s had a lot of success at. Last season Edwards picked up a win in the fall race and considering he finished 9th in the first race you’d be hard pressed to find a better option to head up the field this weekend.
Of course if we are looking for another option the best bet could be Ryan Newman. Newman won the spring race last season and followed it up with a second place run last fall. Despite some less then desired results at Daytona he’s as good a bet as anyone. Newman ran well when he was out of trouble.
Aside from Newman, only Jimmie Johnson recorded top-5 finishes in both races at Phoenix last season. Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, and Joey Logano were the only others to finish inside the top-10 in both events.
All of the aforementioned are obvious picks. Johnson was lost behind all the Trevor Bayne and pre-500 races but if there is one thing we know it’s that the 5-time Cup Champion knows Phoenix. His 4 wins are the most of anyone all time and his average finish is 4.9. You can’t find that kind of number anywhere. Alan Kulwici’s 5.2 is the next best, but the next best active driver is Mark Martin at 8.6. Unlike Johnson much of Martin’s numbers is made up of finishes inside the top-10 but he does have 2 career wins in 28 starts.
If you do play fantasy NASCAR and it’s based off of this years points then Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, and of course Kevin Harvick would be great buy low options.