Tha Sports Junkies 101

Can-Am 500 At Phoenix International Raceway Preview


This weekend, NASCAR’s finest head to Phoenix International Raceway for the Can-Am 500. This is the 35th race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and the 9th race in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. In last years running, Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulled off the upset and shook up the Final 4 field with a rain shortened win.

Down To The Wire: This weekend not only marks as a eliminations race, but perhaps a last ditch ticket for a chance at the Sprint Cup next weekend at Homestead. Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards have already secured their spots as of a result of wins. Here’s how the rest of the contenders can clinch a spot at Homestead.

Logano (0 Wins, 4074 Points) – Would clinch on points with a second-place finish and at least one lap led. With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.

Kyle Busch (0 Wins, 4074 Points) – Would clinch on points with a second-place finish and the most laps led. With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.

The following drivers can only guarantee a clinch with a win. The could also clinch on points with help:

Matt Kenseth (0 Wins, 4073 Points)

Denny Hamlin (0 Wins, 4072 Points)

Kevin Harvick (0 Wins, 4056 Points)

Kurt Busch (0 Wins, 4040 Points)

4 A Clutch Win?: Kevin Harvick seems to like the desert air of Phoenix International Raceway. Up until last year’s Chase race, Harvick won four straight at the track and even then he’s won 6 out of the last 8 races ran there. The situation seems right for Harvick to pull off a clutch win similar to 2014.

Homecoming For Bowman: Tucson, Arizona, native Alex Bowman gets a homecoming this Sunday when he travels to Phoenix International Raceway for the Can-Am 500. Bowman will be making his ninth start of the season in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as a substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bowman has 4 prior CUP starts at PIR, with a best finish of 26th coming last spring.

SPOILER Alert: Just like last weekend, this track enters with a chance for some previously bumped out or shut out a chance to grab one last win and perhaps even shake up the Final 4. Some former winners at PIR to look out for include Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

Below is some NASCAR Fantasy advice for the Can-Am 500 At Phoenix International Raceway and the drivers to consider and to avoid:

Drivers To Consider: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick,  Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, and Joey Logano

Drivers To Avoid: Alex Bowman, Tony Stewart, Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr., and Paul Menard

Potential Sleepers: Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, and Kasey Kahne

When and Where to Watch: The Can-Am 500 At Phoenix International Raceway starts Sunday at 2:30pm EST on NBC