NASCAR heads west to Phoenix, Arizona to the ISM Raceway and the new configuration, which should make this Sunday’s Can-Am 500 a very interesting event. This race marks the final race before the season finale at Homestead. This race will also determine the championship four.
Joey Logano is locked into the championship four, Kevin Harvick thought he was locked into it as well with a win at Texas, however, when his car went to Race & Development during the week NASCAR found something wrong with the spoiler on the back of the car, and Kevin’s win doesn’t count and his crew chief has been suspended for the rest of the season. The penalty also dropped Kevin down to fourth on the playoff grid and puts him only +3 above the cutline.
This major penalty has made the race at ISM even more intriguing because it takes Harvick out of contention should he have any troubles in the desert at Phoenix. It brings the #41 Kurt Busch and #9 Chase Elliott right back into the hunt for the final spots in the playoffs.
Here is where each of the playoff drivers starts on Sunday: #4 Kevin Harvick 1st, #9 Chase Elliott 2nd, #18 Kyle Busch 6th, #22 Joey Logano 9th, #78 Martin Truex Jr 13th, #41 Kurt Busch 14th, #14 Clint Bowyer 16th, and #10 Aric Almirola 18th.
The 312 lap race, will put NASCAR’s best to the test as they are competing for a chance to race for the Championship in Homestead. Harvick has responded well to the penalty by capturing the pole for Sunday’s race. He along with #9 Chase Elliott and #78 Martin Truex Jr are the three drivers to watch in the race come Sunday.
Kyle Busch is pretty much in unless he has a major problem, and this new configuration at the track will make for some interesting restarts with the start/ finish line being in what used to be the exit of turn two.
One Last look at the playoff grid heading into Phoenix:
1st #22 Joey Logano 4119 points locked into the Championship four with a win at Martinsville.
2nd #18 Kyle Busch 4128 points +28 above the cutoff.
3rd #78 Martin Truex Jr 4125 points +25 above the cutoff.
4th #4 Kevin Harvick 4103 points +3 above the cutoff.
5th #41 Kurt Busch 4100 points -3 below the cutoff.
6th #9 Chase Elliott 4086 points -17 below the cutoff.
7th #10 Aric Almirola 4068 points -35 below the cutoff.
8th #14 Clint Bowyer 4052 points -51 below the cutoff.
Now let’s get down to business, which this is strictly business and that is why my pick to win the Can-Am 500 is the #4 of Kevin Harvick. He has a great history at ISM winning nine times at the track. He will get number 10 on Sunday and advance to the championship four. I don’t see how he won’t he has been in this situation so many times and hasn’t failed to answer the call. I like Harvick in this race.
Keep an eye on this race, it should be a good one. Check it out on Sunday.