Do What It Takes To Get By In Phoenix

Charlie TurnerSenior Writer INovember 5, 2008

First of all, my apologies for stretching the deadline here longer than Carl Edwards did at Texas. With two races left we may have a title race on our hands again, but it will be no picnic—Jimmie Johnson has won here and usually runs better than Edwards at this track. Then again, Johnson was the defending winner at Atlanta and Texas, so there you go. Jimmie won here in the spring as well, but had far from the best car, instead playing the fuel mileage game as the dominant car of Mark Martin played it safe.

Last year at this race Jimmie solidified his advantage over teammate Jeff Gordon and in the process winning an incredible four-race win streak.

The Chevys have been the car to beat at Phoenix in this race as each of the four winners since the inception of the Chase has piloted a Chevy to victory lane. Thus far in the Chase, some of the “rules” have been broken but some have remained the same. When the checkered falls Sunday evening, we’ll see if this one holds.

The winners:
2007 – Jimmie Johnson
2006 – Kevin Harvick
2005 – Kyle Busch
2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Champs finish:
2007 – Jimmie Johnson – 1st
2006 – Jimmie Johnson – 2nd
2005 – Tony Stewart – 4th
2004 – Kurt Busch – 10th

Admittedly, this is not one of my favorite tracks to watch a race. For fantasy purposes, here is a list of 5 drivers to choose from. I’m taking Carl for the championship hunt, but feel free to choose one of the others—the winner will likely come from this list.

1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Kyle Busch

Jamie McMurray has been on a roll lately, and he should fare well at Phoenix too. I really like David Reutimann and A.J. Allmendinger this week. Reutimann ran great at Richmond, a track similar in many respects to Phoenix, and Allmendinger has been top 15 since he stepped into the No. 10 car.

The song this week comes from the Foo Fighters, their hit from one year ago “The Pretender.”

Photo credit: Icon Sports Media