The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads back out west this weekend for a Saturday night race at Phoenix International Raceway. Here are my top 3 picks and why I think they have a shot at ending up in Victory Lane.
1. Mark Martin (No. 5 CARQUEST/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet) : Martin won here last year, has two career victories at PIR, and has 11 top-fives and 17 top-tens at the track. His average finish of 8.8 is second only to Jimmie Johnson's 5.1 average finish. Martin is outside the top 12 now, but I don't expect that to last much longer. Look for Mark to start making a move in the points standings.
2. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet): Other than the fact that Johnson has the best average finish at PIR, you only need to look at his track stats to know he has to be counted among the favorites Saturday night. Johnson has four wins, 8 top-fives and 11 top-tens at Phoenix. He's off to a great start in 2010 and that trend will continue this week.
3. Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) Burton has two wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s at PIR. He has run well this season and my gut tells me he has a great shot at winning at PIR Saturday. The whole RCR team has seen improvement in 2010 over last year, although Kevin harvick has had his share of bad luck recently. You can definitely look for Burton to finish in the top-five this week barring any trouble.