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

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NASCAR at Phoenix 500 2013: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

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.

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. 

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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. Driver Manufacturer Speed
1 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 139.222 mph
2 Denny Hamlin Toyota 139.023 mph
3 Joey Logano Ford 138.942 mph
4 Kyle Busch Toyota 138.851 mph
5 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 138.627 mph
6 Clint Bowyer Toyota 138.595 mph
7 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 138.520 mph
8 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 138.446 mph
9 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 138.297 mph
10 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 138.069 mph
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 138.053 mph
12 Brad Keselowski Ford 137.968 mph
13 Paul Menard Chevrolet 137.736 mph
14 Matt Kenseth Toyota 137.704 mph
15 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 137.652 mph
16 Mark Martin Chevrolet 137.410 mph
17 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 137.237 mph
18 Greg Biffle Ford 137.195 mph
19 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 137.153 mph
20 Marcos Ambrose Ford 136.971 mph
21 Aric Almirola Ford 136.945 mph
22 Elliott Sadler Toyota 136.690 mph
23 Carl Edwards Ford 136.679 mph
24 Reed Sorenson Ford 136.096 mph
25 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 136.008 mph
26 Bobby Labonte Toyota 135.962 mph
27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 135.947 mph
28 Josh Wise Ford 135.793 mph
29 Cole Whitt Toyota 135.716 mph
30 Casey Mears Ford 135.578 mph
31 Travis Kvapil Toyota 135.399 mph
32 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 135.379 mph
33 David Gilliland Ford 135.323 mph
34 David Ragan Ford 135.277 mph
35 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 135.110 mph
36 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 134.862 mph
37 David Reutimann Toyota 134.645 mph
38 Timmy Hill Ford 134.529 mph
39 Michael McDowell Ford 134.368 mph
40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 133.919 mph
41 Tony Raines Chevrolet 132.057 mph
42 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 131.579 mph
43 Joe Nemechek Toyota 130.676 mph

Source: ESPN

 

Chase Standings

Chase Standings Ahead of Phoenix
Pos. Driver Points Deficit
1 Jimmie Johnson 2342 -
2 Matt Kenseth 2335 -7
3 Kevin Harvick 2302 -40
4 Kyle Busch 2290 -52
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2280 -62
6 Jeff Gordon 2273 -69
7 Clint Bowyer 2273 -69
8 Greg Biffle 2269 -73
9 Joey Logano 2251 -91
10 Kurt Busch 2246 -96
11 Carl Edwards 2226 -116
12 Ryan Newman 2224 -118
13 Kasey Kahne 2209 -133

Source: ESPN

 

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson

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

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

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.

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