Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Once again, YardBarker and Race Review Online have partnered with Prilosec OTC and Larry the Cable Guy to cover this week’s NASCAR event at Phoenix International Raceway. Be sure to check out their food truck at the track this Sunday and check out the Wild American Flavor Sweepstakes (more info at bottom).
Phoenix International Raceway hosts the penultimate round of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series schedule, a 312-lap event that will showcase the continued head-to-head battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski for this year’s championship.
The two remaining championship contenders finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in Phoenix’s March event. That race was won by Denny Hamlin, a driver many expected to remain in the title hunt until an electrical failure at Martinsville caused him to plummet in the standings.
That race proved to be an accurate predictor of this year’s Chase, as seven of the top eight finishers made it into the 12-driver playoff. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch—who would be fifth in the Chase had he not missed the cutoff—was the lone exception.
Those results, combined with the epic battle at the front of the pack between Johnson and Keselowski over the past few weeks, should be an accurate predictor of what to expect on Sunday. Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, and March polesitter Mark Martin should run up front, as they always do; in fact, Martin’s average finish of 9.0 makes it his best track still on the schedule, tied with Watkins Glen.
But even without looking at his four wins and superhuman 5.3 average finish at Phoenix, Johnson carries all of the momentum into Sunday’s race. He stared down an aggressive run from Keselowski in the final laps of last week’s race at Texas, getting the jump on the final restart, taking his fifth win of the season, and extending his points lead from two to seven.
Photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
That being said, don’t count Keselowski out just yet. He’s been setting career best finishes at most tracks this season, including his fifth place run in March. He entered Texas with an average finish of below 25th, making it his second worst track, and came out of it in second place. He’s as confident as ever, running as well as ever, and vowed after Texas that he would win the championship if his team kept up their recent performance. Given their 16 top-10s in the past 18 races, he has the momentum to finish off what could be the greatest Chase run of all time.
As part of the Wild American Flavor Tour, Prilosec OTC Wildberry and Larry the Cable Guy will be at the track on Sunday. Larry and the Prilosec OTC Wildberry food truck will be serving fans boldest flavors while promoting the Wild American Flavor Sweepstakes. 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.
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