With this weekend’s NASCAR race at Phoenix looming four drivers will be out of the game and four will be in, Count on Kevin Harvick to be one of the drivers who advance to Homestead for the finale’.
Harvick has had one of those seasons that had the usual ebb and flow we’ve come to expect from top drivers and teams. Periods of excellence that move to mediocre results and then come back with a vengeance aren’t uncommon for those who are in the elite club. The trick is when to peak.
Kevin Harvick seems to be more than at home in Phoenix having won 5 consecutive races at the desert track as well as 8 wins overall. He’s the favorite to win again ensuring his Homestead spot for the chance at his second Cup championship.
There are no more chances, this race is it. Jeff Gordon is ready to go, having won Darlington. The top four drivers in points are: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr, who seems to many to be an outlier.
One thing is certain the games will be in play at Phoenix with virtually all 7eligible drivers getting no help from their teammates and Hendrick rallying it’s team to block as many strong contenders as it can from being a threat to Jeff Gordon’s chances at Homestead.
We were witness to that type of chess play when Jimmie Johnson so skillfully and stealthily ran down a dominant Brad Keselowski to take away a guaranteed spot for the Penske driver as well as further keep Joey Logano at bay.
That could actually play into Martin Truex, Jr’s hands, though the cards aren’t in his favor as his record at Phoenix are far from stellar and Furniture Row is a one car team.
When it’s all said and done, the money seems to point to Gordon, Harvick, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards making the big show in South Florida.
Edwards has two wins at Phoenix and they are within the last few years rather than a decade old, so count him as a real threat to knock Truex out of the picture.
My picks going into Homestead: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Not a stretch, right?
My real hope is that Gordon goes out as a Champion and we can close the books on these cars with too much down force.
2016 is pivotal point for not only NASCAR but IndyCar and Formula One as well. It can’t come too soon for me.