Man, after last week, I need a drink.
Alex Bowman was in contention for the win at multiple different points in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but could never get to the front despite being the top car on four tires for a moment.
Martin Truex Jr. had an eight-spot and 10 second gap on Christopher Bell with four laps to go, until he gambled (hey, it was Vegas) and stayed out going for the win. At the end, Bell finished fifth, while MTJ was seventh.
The same thing happened to Ross Chastain, who was in the top five until the overtime-inducing caution and would fall out of the top-five after the overtime finish.
So far, it has been three races, which have resulted in three different winners in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. Honestly, I expect that trend to continue at Phoenix Raceway. But, would I bet on my pick (Joey Logano) to win? Not necessarily. At least, not yet. Pre-qualifying, he is the favorite at +800, which isn’t terrible, but here are three bets that I’d rather take.
1. Ford +200
To me, to see Ford +200 for the Spring race has got to be a result of their bad showing at Vegas last week. Ford has absolutely dominated the Phoenix Spring the past three seasons. Not only have they come out victorious in two out of the last three spring races, but they have led 655 out of 940 laps run (69.68%). I think there is real value on Ford here, with Chevrolet clearly being favored at around +140, despite not winning a Phoenix Spring race since 2017 with Ryan Newman and RCR.
2. Kevin Harvick vs. MTJ, Harvick -110
When I looked through the lines this week, this one didn’t really catch my eye, until I thought about it. Then I remembered, Kevin Harvick has not finished outside the top NINE at Phoenix Raceway since Spring of 2013. That is literally 10 straight years of Phoenix Raceway dominance.
What is even more insane? In thirteen of those 19 races, Harvick was in the top five, including six wins. That means over that stretch, he was just as likely to win as he was to finish outside the top five. The dominance has fallen off a little bit, as Penske has become the better Ford Phoenix team. But, Truex has an average finish of 15.8 over the last six races here, which includes just three top tens and two finishes outside the top twenty. There is real value in Harvick here.
3. Joey Logano Top 5 +120
While I am not confident to bet Logano to win yet, I can totally recommend betting him to get a top five at better than even money. Logano has been Top three in four out of the lasts at Phoenix and was the top lap leader in two of those events. Logano has only finished outside the top ten once and it was 11th in the 2021 championship race (where he wasn’t a contender). This is one of JL’s best tracks, and while the line isn’t particularly sexy, he scores top fives at a