NASCAR FanShield 500 Best Bets: The 2 Favorites & 1 Underdog to Bet at Phoenix on Sunday
Photo by Lyle Setter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick
- Nick Giffen details his favorite picks for the FanShield 500 at Phoenix, including two favorites and one underdog.
- Because of changes in NASCAR's aerodynamic packages, evaluating the 2016-18 races is more valuable than the 2019 competition.
- See the full betting breakdown below.
Today’s FanShield 500 is the first race at a short, flat track in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Ordinarily, that means we’d look back to the previous year to see how drivers performed, but with NASCAR reverting back to a lower downforce aerodynamic package at these tracks, racing and driver ability should match the 2016-2018 seasons better than 2019.
What does it take to win at Phoenix under these conditions? Five of the six Phoenix winners from 2016-2018 displayed these characteristics:
- A driver rating over the last eight short, flat tracks above 95
- A driver rating over the last 15 races overall above 99
- A top-14 speed over 10 consecutive laps in final practice
The lone exception is Ryan Newman, who won the 2017 spring race by staying out under a late race caution and holding off drivers who took two or four tires. In other words, if we’re going to bet on a longshot, it has to be somebody who can still hang out on the lead lap, and win with strategy.
So which drivers offer the most value for today’s race?