Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/16/14
We’re down to the final two races in the NASCAR season. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have dominated the Chase and if you’ve chosen them in your leagues you’re probably sitting pretty right now. Unfortunately, I got burned by not picking them last week and it’ll take a major comeback for me to win at this point. But stranger things have happened. The Sprint Cup series has visited the Phoenix International Raceway every year since 1988. Johnson is statistically the best driver, but if you need to make some headway for a final push to the lead you might want to try one of these three other guys in the start em’ list. Also, try not to go backwards by starting any of the drivers on my park em list. Start Em’ Jimmie Johnson Johnson is hot right now. He’s won the last two poles and races in consecutive weekends and holds a seven point lead going into this weekend’s race in Phoenix. Oh and by the way, he’s the best driver to ever race around the one-mile oval in Phoenix. Out of 18 career starts, Johnson has a series-high four wins. He also has 12 top fives and 15 top 10′s. It’s remarkable that his worst finish came in a 15th place effort out of 15 races. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on Keselowski. Johnson has a series-best average running position, driver rating, fastest laps run, average green flag speed, and series-high laps in the top 15. He also ranks second in quality passes, only because he spends so much time up front that there’s no one to pass much of the time. If you’re looking for a favorite to win, it’s definitely Johnson. Tony Stewart “Smoke” dominated this race last year but couldn’t capitalize by winning. He still finished top five as Phoenix helped propel him to the championship last season. In 21 career starts, Stewart has won there once including eight top fives, and 11 top 10′s. He ranks second in average running position, driver rating, and average green flag speed. Stewart is eighth in the standings and his title hopes are all but gone. That’s why I would be scared to park Stewart as he has nothing to race for other than a win. Kasey Kahne Kahne has always run well in Phoenix. He has experience here dating all the way back to his USAC days. Kahne also is the defending champion in this race and was solid all weekend there last fall. Don’t let Kahne’s lack of good finishes at PIR scare you. He has a win and knows how to run well around the one-mile circuit. If you’re looking for a sleeper to get back in a fantasy title hunt, go with Kahne. Denny Hamlin Hamlin has been strong at Phoenix in the past. He won here in March and knows he needs a solid finish to close out the year strong. He’s all but eliminated himself from title contention the past couple of weeks so I think he turns the season back around Sunday. In 14 career Phoenix races, Hamlin has one win, six top fives and seven top 10′s. He’s usually very fast and that’s a big key as starting up front is needed to be in contention. He may scare some people with his back luck over the past couple races, but I can see a similar set up this weekend as he had in March. Plus, his crew chief Darian Grubb is great at Phoenix. Park Em’ Paul Menard Phoenix isn’t one of Menard’s strongest tracks. He’s made 11 starts and has finished in the top 10 only once. With the season winding down, don’t count on Menard to do much this weekend. Jamie McMurray It’s been an extremely disappointing season for EGR. With the announcement they’re moving to Hendrick engines next year I would suspect they pretty much threw the towel for the remainder of this season. McMurray hasn’t run well at Phoenix either and mix in the flux of the engine circumstances I don’t think he will do much this weekend. In 18 career races, McMurray has only cracked the top five once and top 10 two times. Don’t expect much out of the No. 1 camp this weekend. Casey Mears You would think Phoenix would be a track Mears would be good at, but it hasn’t been. He’s made 16 career starts and has yet to finish in the top 10. He hasn’t been running very well towards the end of this season so I wouldn’t touch Mears Sunday. David Ragan Ragan also doesn’t run well at Phoenix. Like Menard, he’s made 11 starts and only cracked the top 10 once. He had good equipment too in all 11 tries and an average finish of 26th won’t get the job done.   Prilosec OTC Wildberry is joining forces with Race Review Online and Yardbarker, sending frequent heartburn sufferer Larry the Cable Guy to scour the country in search of America’s Wildest Flavors. Look for Larry as he jokes his way through each flavor-packed stop on the Wild American Flavor Tour and visits some of the most AWESOME sporting events across the country. From now until January 7, 2013, enter at WildberryFlavor.com for a chance to win trips to three of America’s most flavorful cities, including tickets to some of the country’s biggest sporting events courtesy of new Prilosec OTC Wildberry. One winner will be chosen at random to receive the prize pack, including tickets to the big football game in New Orleans (February 3, 2013), the first big auto race of the year in Daytona Beach (February 24, 2013) and the basketball championship game in Atlanta (April 8, 2013), travel and accommodations (a two-night hotel stay and air transportation for each destination), and one $5,000 check to be used in any of these flavorful cities. The post Fantasy NASCAR: Phoenix edition appeared first on Race Review Online.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.