NASCAR Visits Phoenix With 3 Spots Open in Title Chase

David Schwab

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 6:28 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 6:28 PM UTC

There are still three of four open spots in this season’s Monster Energy Cup Series championship race next Sunday heading into the 2018 Cam-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway for this Sunday’s race slated for a 2:30 p.m. start on NBC.

Going back to last Sunday’s race at Texas, Kevin Harvick’s victory celebration got cut short with a costly penalty for an illegal spoiler plate after getting past Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano to take the checkered flag.

The NASCAR futures betting to win this Sunday’s race at Phoenix is up on the board at 5Dimes’ online sportsbook with the following three drivers offering the best value in light of their posted odds to win.

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#NASCAR suspends crew chief Rodney Childers for rest of playoffs for violation with Kevin Harvick's winning car. https://t.co/ee8FKyI6fF

— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) 7 de novembro de 2018
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Top-Valued Favorite: Kevin Harvick +200

I am going chalk with Harvick as the favorite to win at Phoenix for a number of reasons. At the top of the list is motivation. He should be cruising into this race as an automatic qualifier for the championship round. However, a post-race inspection revealed the spoiler plate infraction that cost the No. 4 Ford 40 points in the standings as well as his preferred status in the final race of the year. The team is now fourth on the list in points and still in need of a win to guarantee a spot in the four-driver field at Homestead-Miami.

The main reason why I am going with Harvick this Sunday is he recent domination at Phoenix. Going back to this event in 2012, he has won seven of the last 12 Cup Series races he has run at this track. This includes the first race here this season.

Top-Valued Contender: Brad Keselowski +1650

Keselowski has been pretty quiet behind the wheel of the No. 2 Ford in recent weeks, but it was not all that long ago that he was tearing up the track with victories at Darlington and Indianapolis in the final two regular season Cup Series races ahead of a third-straight victory in the first playoff race at Las Vegas. With last Sunday’s fade to 12th at Texas, he now has to win this Sunday’s race to stay in the hunt for a second-career racing title.

Working against these longer odds is a pedestrian 14.2 average finishing position at Phoenix. This is also a track were Keselowski has never won a Cup Series event. His best finish in recent attempts was fifth in the first race of the 2017 season. This is still a driver that knows how to shake things up when he has to the most.

Top-Valued Longshot: Kurt Busch +2250

Living in the shadows in the same sport as your much-more successful younger brother has to be difficult do. While Kyle has been getting the bulk of the attention at the top of the point standings, Kurt has worked his way to fifth with 4100 total points. This is just three points out of the championship field following Harvick’s giant step backwards. If a few things fall in this team’s favor on Sunday, the No. 41 Ford could find itself in a head-to-head battle against the No. 18 Toyota with the Busch brothers behind the wheel of their respective car.

First, the elder Busch has to step up his game at a track where his average finishing position is 13.6. His recent results at Phoenix can be discounted somewhat in light of what is on the line come Sunday afternoon.

Cam-Am 500- Betting Odds for Other Notable Drivers

Following Harvick as the favorite to win on Sunday is Kyle Busch at +420 betting odds. He remains at the top of the leader board in total Cup Series points. Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott are on the board as +750 fourth-favorites and Denny Hamlin rounds out the top five at +1200 odds even though he is no longer in title contention.

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