Kasey Kahne won me over in the first Phoenix practice session with the top average speeds and the fifth fastest single lap. When he came out in the final practice with the best 10 consecutive lap average, I was all in.
Those are the type of valuable categories that all the great cars of the past have had in recent wins at Phoenix, such as Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.
I still like all the rest of the Hendrick cars to do well, even Johnson despite all the dark clouds hanging over their garage. Playing all of them in match-ups should present some value as long as they aren’t matched up against each other. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see all four cars finish within the top-8.
Tony Stewart was great in qualifying trim and led the single fastest lap in the first session, but I’m looking to down-grade him a bit and shy away completely. When the race trim came on, Stewart wasn’t that good, although he was third behind Kahne in best 10 consecutive lap average.
The top long shots of the race are Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, and Ryan Newman. Even though Newman went to a back-up car, it still ran just as good in the final practice. These type of tracks have been Newman’s best since joining Stewart-Haas.
Matchup of the Week:
Kasey Kahne -105 vs. Denny Hamlin:
Needless to say, I like Kahne a lot in this race. I will play him in almost any match-up that doesn’t involve another Hendrick car. I don’t like Stewart as much, but I would stay away from that sneaky good driver as well. But everyone else at a reasonable price that I don’t have to lay over -135, it’s all Kahne.