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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Good Sam 500

When NASCAR decided to reset the schedule last season, putting three of the popular tracks on the west coast as part of a straight swing for that part of the country, it was a great success.  Three completely different tracks, completely different venues, and completely different fan base at each track.

This season, the new aerodynamic package for the west coast swing is allowing a great test session for the teams.  It also gives fans a chance to see how the new package performs on each type of speedway.  Last week, the 1.5-mile configuration of Las Vegas saw some intense passing, but on a smoother surface.

This week, it’s a relatively new racing surface, but the speedway is a lot different.  Corners are flat, and sweeping, and the backstretch isn’t even straight.  Round two of the western swing is heading out to the desert, where some fans trade in grandstand seating for lawn chairs on a hillside.  It’s a state where a canyon sees so many visitors it has become a treasure to see, and for those wanting to make a little trip, they can go right to the state line to see the stunning Hoover Dam.

Welcome to the Phoenix International Raceway.

A year ago, this track saw domination in one event, while a second one was stopped short of the scheduled distance due to weather.  The teams are ready to go for the fourth race of the season, and meanwhile the writers are ready to get down to business.  Their hope is to stop a streak as one writer is batting 1.000 for the season thus far.  No writer has started the season with four wins, much less three, so can it happen?

We all won’t know that until the green flag waves Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.  However, we also don’t know who each writer has picked yet.

So, let’s have a look at the standings and also who the writers have chosen to win Sunday’s Good Sam 500:


Misan Akuya:  Kevin Harvick

So, so, so good here.  Welcome to the Kevin Harvick Invitational.

Rob Blount:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Kevin Harvick

My jewel in the desert.

Stephen Conley:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Kevin Harvick

Dude is just money in the desert.

Ashley Hobbs:  Jimmie Johnson

Stats point to “Six Time” in my book.

Ashley Hull:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Kara Martin:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

I’m going to go out on a limb.  The past four races here is has done decent, this may be the race that will help turn Chip Ganassi’s season around.

Dustin Parks:  Jimmie Johnson

As much as it would be so easy to pick Harvick to win here, I’m deciding on the Lowe’s team, even though they need to start at the back with a backup car.

Patti Rodisch:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Brad Keselowski

I realize everyone is likely going with Harvick and I could be going with someone who’ll not win the race. That said, I like to think outside the box and I think that Keselowski will show he likes winning a lot in 2016.


Standings after Las Vegas:

Ashley Hull (133) Brad Keselowski WON – 3

Sal Sigala Jr (113) Kevin Harvick finished 7th – 0

Rob Tiongson (112) Kyle Busch finished 4th – 1

Dustin Parks (109) Kurt Busch finished 9th – 0

Ashley McCubbin (105) Jimmie Johnson finished 3rd – 0

Misan Akuya (101) Kurt Busch finished 9th – 1

Billy Fellin (83) Jimmie Johnson finished 3rd – 0

Kara Martin (81) Kyle Busch finished 4th – 0

Mary Jo Buchanan (78) Kevin Harvick finished 7th – 0

Patti Rodisch (78) Kevin Harvick finished 7th – 0

Ashley Hobbs (73) Carl Edwards finished 18th – 1

Rob Blount (70) Kevin Harvick finished 7th – 0

Klarissa Mitchell (67) Carl Edwards finished 18th – 0

Stephen Conley (43) NO PICK SENT – 0


Summary of Picks:

Kevin Harvick-8

Jimmie Johnson-3

Denny Hamlin-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Jamie McMurray-1

About Dustin Parks

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