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NASCAR heads to Phoenix Sunday
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 3/2/2014  at  5:14:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
The Profit on CNBC 500

Sunday, March 2 3:00 p.m. EDT
Phoenix International Raceway Phoenix, AZ

With the Daytona 500 now completed, the NASCAR circuit shifts west to Phoenix for Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500. Phoenix International Raceway is a one-mile, tri-oval track completed in 1964. It was built with bankings measuring 11 on turns 1 and 2, a 9-degree banking on the 1,551-foot (0.29 miles) backstretch and a near-flat 3 frontstretch measuring 1,179 feet (0.22 miles). Kevin Harvick won the most recent race at this track last November, while Carl Edwards took home the victory in the March race that was called the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

Odds to Win Race

Jimmie Johnson6-to-1
Denny Hamlin7-to-1
Kyle Busch15-to-2
Kevin Harvick9-to-1
Matt Kenseth9-to-1
Brad Keselowski10-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.10-to-1
Jeff Gordon11-to-1
Tony Stewart11-to-1
Kasey Kahne14-to-1
Kurt Busch14-to-1
Carl Edwards16-to-1
Clint Bowyer20-to-1
Joey Logano25-to-1
Greg Biffle33-to-1
Ryan Newman33-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.40-to-1
Austin Dillon50-to-1
Brian Vickers50-to-1
Jamie McMurray50-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.50-to-1
Marcos Ambrose75-to-1
Paul Menard75-to-1
Kyle Larson100-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Kevin Harvick (9/1) - These odds are extremely favorable for a driver who has three top-2 finishes (two wins, one runner-up) in the past four races at this track. The No. 29 car always competes well on one-mile tracks, and since 2006, Harvick has three wins and nine top-7 finishes in 16 starts at Phoenix. At 9-to-1, he not only represents the best value on the board, but is our pick to win Sunday's race.

Ryan Newman (33/1) - Newman has always raced well at Phoenix in his career. In 23 starts at this track, he's grabbed the pole four times, and has posted eight top-5 finishes. This includes five top-5's in his past eight starts, winning the 2010 Subway Fresh Fit 600, and then placing 2nd, 5th, 5th, 21st and 5th in five Phoenix races before a crash and 10th-place finish last year. What's more impressive about this run is that his average start in these eight races was 15.1, as he started no better than 6th in any of these races. With such darkhorse odds, Newman is certainly worthy of a small wager on Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson (6/1) - Johnson is understandably the favorite at this race, because he's been outstanding in Phoenix over the years, finishing outside the top-10 just four times in 21 starts at this track. This includes a pair of top-3 showings last season. All four of his Phoenix wins have come since 2007, and in the past seven spring starts in the desert, he has finished 4th, 1st, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 2nd last year. With that kind of track record, a small wager is warranted for this race favorite.

Greg Biffle (33/1) - Biffle began his season with a bang, starting 25th, but finishing 8th in the Daytona 500, which he led for eight laps. Although he's never won at Phoenix, he's been awfully close with two career runner-ups (2005 and 2007) and four top-7 finishes in his past 10 starts at Phoenix. He placed 3rd in the 2012 Subway Fresh Fit 500, and came in 7th place in the AdvoCare 500 that following November. These odds are too tempting to completely ignore.

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