The heat from the aftermath in Las Vegas has somewhat cooled down and both Joey Logano and Kyle Busch are looking to move on, you can hence Kyle’s impression of Marshawn Lynch after the meeting. They have both moved on to the mid-March 90 plus degree heat for the Camping World 500 in Phoenix. Coincidentally, Logano took the Phoenix pole which is his first of the season, and is last season’s Fall winner. Unlike Kyle, Logano is off to a hot start with all top tens and looks to add his first win of the season.
It is no secret that Phoenix is Kevin Harvick’s favorite track as he has won their eight times, six of the last nine. Harvick set a recent record of four consecutive wins at the track and with the recent unfortunate events which has occurred, this is the only track that he is most familiar with and will turn his luck around. Ford is the last manufacturer to win at Phoenix, but that streak of six straight was snapped by Chevrolet formerly driven by Stewart-Haas Racing.
Speaking of bad luck, it has been that way for the Hendrick veterans. Both Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr are off to horrific starts while Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne have picked up the ball and rolled with it. Johnson has won at Phoenix four times, but his last win was the 2009 Fall race. Junior has won all Fall races in 2003, 2004 and 2015. Neither Johnson or Junior have scored any top tens, not since Johnson won number seven and Junior has been out with concussion like symptoms.
Logano, Kahne and Kyle each have a Phoenix win, along with Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin. Kenseth’s highest finish is third in Atlanta, Newman’s last win was at Indianapolis in 2013 (124 races), Kurt is this year’s Daytona 500 winner and Hamlin scored his first top ten in Las Vegas (sixth). Joe Gibbs Racing has only three top tens combined and Richard Childress Racing only one top five (Paul Menard, fifth at Daytona).
Kurt, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr are in the playoffs and are practically carrying the momentum. It could be possible that either Keselowski or Truex will get their first Phoenix win unless the veterans somehow find their silver lining.