NASCAR

NASCAR at Phoenix 500 2013: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, celebrates after setting the pole position in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 10, 2013

With just two races to go in the NASCAR Sprint season, Jimmie Johnson takes a seven-point lead over Matt Kenseth to Phoenix International Speedway for Sunday's AdvoCare 500.

Johnson let the field know he has no intention of giving anyone a chance to gain ground on him by driving the No. 48 to the pole for Sunday's race.

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  The cars of Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, are seen during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix Internat
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Kenseth, who will start in the No. 20 from 14th on Sunday, has his work cut out for him.

However, starting 13 spots behind Johnson is not a big obstacle in comparison to what Kenseth has been pulling off in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing. 

With Kevin Harvick third in the Chase, the race for the championship is essentially a two-man battle at this point.

Of course, Harvick is the event's defending champion, so it's not like he is without hope. Still, with only 48 points available in a race, simply defending his championship won't be enough for Harvick to get back into the championship race.

Not surprisingly, the November weather in Phoenix is expected to be fairly ideal, and it should be an entertaining and intense afternoon of racing.  

 

Location: Phoenix International Speedway, Avondale, Arizona

Start Time: 3:15 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: ESPN

 

Lineup

Phoenix 500 Lineup
Pos.DriverManufacturerSpeed
1Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet139.222 mph
2Denny HamlinToyota139.023 mph
3Joey LoganoFord138.942 mph
4Kyle BuschToyota138.851 mph
5Jeff GordonChevrolet138.627 mph
6Clint BowyerToyota138.595 mph
7Kasey KahneChevrolet138.520 mph
8Kurt BuschChevrolet138.446 mph
9Kevin HarvickChevrolet138.297 mph
10Martin Truex Jr.Toyota138.069 mph
11Dale Earnhardt Jr.Chevrolet138.053 mph
12Brad KeselowskiFord137.968 mph
13Paul MenardChevrolet137.736 mph
14Matt KensethToyota137.704 mph
15Jeff BurtonChevrolet137.652 mph
16Mark MartinChevrolet137.410 mph
17Ryan NewmanChevrolet137.237 mph
18Greg BiffleFord137.195 mph
19Juan Pablo MontoyaChevrolet137.153 mph
20Marcos AmbroseFord136.971 mph
21Aric AlmirolaFord136.945 mph
22Elliott SadlerToyota136.690 mph
23Carl EdwardsFord136.679 mph
24Reed SorensonFord136.096 mph
25Justin AllgaierChevrolet136.008 mph
26Bobby LabonteToyota135.962 mph
27Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford135.947 mph
28Josh WiseFord135.793 mph
29Cole WhittToyota135.716 mph
30Casey MearsFord135.578 mph
31Travis KvapilToyota135.399 mph
32Danica PatrickChevrolet135.379 mph
33David GillilandFord135.323 mph
34David RaganFord135.277 mph
35J.J. YeleyChevrolet135.110 mph
36Jamie McMurrayChevrolet134.862 mph
37David ReutimannToyota134.645 mph
38Timmy HillFord134.529 mph
39Michael McDowellFord134.368 mph
40Landon CassillChevrolet133.919 mph
41Tony RainesChevrolet132.057 mph
42Dave BlaneyChevrolet131.579 mph
43Joe NemechekToyota130.676 mph
Source: ESPN

 

Chase Standings

Chase Standings Ahead of Phoenix
Pos.DriverPointsDeficit
1Jimmie Johnson2342-
2Matt Kenseth2335-7
3Kevin Harvick2302-40
4Kyle Busch2290-52
5Dale Earnhardt Jr.2280-62
6Jeff Gordon2273-69
7Clint Bowyer2273-69
8Greg Biffle2269-73
9Joey Logano2251-91
10Kurt Busch2246-96
11Carl Edwards2226-116
12Ryan Newman2224-118
13Kasey Kahne2209-133
Source: ESPN

 

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (P
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Johnson was one of the last drivers to take to the track for qualifying, and all he and his Hendrick team were able to do was set the track record.

Johnson has a strong car and the points lead, and there are just two races left. Things are looking good for Johnson to land a sixth championship. 

However, the setting wasn't all that different a year ago when Johnson took a seven-point lead into Phoenix over eventual champ Brad Keselowski. Johnson and the No. 48 team slogged through some uncharacteristic struggles and wound up finishing 32nd after a blown tire forced him into the wall. 

Johnson has a strong racing history in Phoenix. However, this track was reconfigured in 2011, and since then, Johnson's average finish is 13th. 

Look for Johnson to improve that average on Sunday. 

 

Matt Kenseth

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by To
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The difference in qualifying speeds between Kenseth and Johnson is not as alarming as it appears at first glance.

Kenseth was one of the first cars to go out, and Johnson was one of the last. Temperatures were dropping as the session went along and the cars were picking up speed in the cooler conditions.

However, what might be of slightly bigger concern is that this is, in terms of average finish, one of Kenseth's five worst venues. He hasn't had a top-five finish in his last 11 trips to Phoenix.

That said, Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last nine races. I would expect him to snap his streak of poor finishes in Phoenix this week.   

 

Kevin Harvick

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Get
Harry How/Getty Images

If Harvick is going to get back into the championship race, he couldn't have asked for a better venue.

For starters, Turn 4 is ripe for the kinds of crashes that could ruin the day for Kenseth or Johnson. Moreover, while Johnson and Kenseth have had some relative struggles here as of late, Harvick is right at home.

As I mentioned, he is the defending champion and also a three-time winner here.

While I doubt Kenseth and Johnson will give Harvick the opportunity to climb back into the points race, I expect Harvick to be a serious factor in this race.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices