The NASCAR series stays out West this week – its final race before a shift to the East Coast – for the 2020 FanShield 500 on Sunday from Phoenix Raceway. Here’s an overview of the race with Mybookie NASCAR odds. The 312-lap event is one of only four Cup Series events measured in kilometers rather than miles or laps.
2020 NASCAR FanShield 500 Race Preview & Odds
- When: Sunday, 3:30 PM ET
- Where: Phoenix Raceway
- TV: Fox
- Stream: NASCAR Live
- Radio: MRN
The defending champion is Kyle Busch and he’s the +375 favorite at Mybookie. Busch tracked down Ryan Blaney over a long green-flag run before passing his Team Penske rival for the lead with 16 laps to go, then made his fuel and tires last to the checkered flag to add a victory. Busch also won the Xfinity Series race in Phoenix last year. In just the main series, Busch has two wins and four top-10 finishes in his last four races at Phoenix, which is the most wins and tied for the most top-10 finishes in that time. Busch comes off a runner-up finish at the Auto Club 400 in Fontana.
Martin Truex Jr. also got around Blaney to finish second last year, taking advantage of a No. 19 car that kept getting better on longer runs. Blaney wound up third after starting on the pole, and after having to make two stops during the final caution because of a lugnut that would have come loose. Last year, none of the five drivers who led 50 or more laps in Phoenix started outside the top five.
Truex Jr. is a +475 second-favorite, while Blaney is +1200. In 28 starts, Truex has just four top-five and 11 top-10 performances at Phoenix. He averages a 15.5 finish after a 12.1 average start. Truex sits 13th in the standings and pit-stop agony continues to haunt the No. 19 team. Last week at the Auto Club 400, Truex pitted from second place, running 1.588 seconds behind the leader, and his team had a long lug-nut issue when the tire changer’s wrist and hand appeared to cram up. Truex finished 14th.
In seven races at short, flat tracks last year, Blaney had five top-five finishes and five top-seven average running positions. He led 94 laps in the first Phoenix race en route to that third-place finish, and he followed it up with another podium run in the fall.
Denny Hamlin, who won this year’s Daytona 500, is +600. Hamlin has been regarded as a flat track master. Pocono, Indianapolis, New Hampshire, Martinsville, and Richmond have all been kind to him. So has Phoenix, which ranks as his sixth-best track in terms of career average finishes with an 11.0 in 29 starts. He was fifth last year in this race. Last week, Hamlin ended up with a sixth-place finish after starting 28th and enduring a number of challenges along the way.
Kevin Harvick (+600) leads active drivers with nine career wins at Phoenix, including four straight from the fall of 2013 to the spring race of 2015. Harvick is 3-for-3 this season in top-10 finishes. Jimmie Johnson (+2500) is next with four victories at Phoenix.
Alex Bowman won the Auto Club 400 and is +1600 to go back-to-back. He appeared to have the car to beat all weekend long and did not let up on race day leading 110 laps and taking the checkered flag with nearly a nine-second margin of victory.
Kyle Larson could be good value at +2000. Larson has five top-six finishes in his last seven starts at Phoenix Raceway. Last season, he finished sixth in the spring race at the one-mile tri-oval and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the fall. And with wins at Dover and Richmond, he’s proven that he’s comfortable on one-mile tracks.
Track Facts at Phoenix for the 2020 Fanshield 500
- Number of previous races: 47.
- First Cup race: November 6, 1988, won by Alan Kulwicki.
- Last Cup race: November 10, 2019, won by Denny Hamlin.
- Won from pole: 4, most recently by Kevin Harvick in 2015.
- Won from top-5 starting position: 17 times in 47 races (36%).
- Won from top-10 starting position: 25 times (53%).
- Won from 21st or worse starting position: 4 times (9%).
- Worst starting spot for race winner: 29th, by Ricky Rudd in 1995.
- Most laps led: 264, by Kevin Harvick in 2014.
- Fewest laps led by a race winner: 6, by Ryan Newman in 2017.
- Fastest race: 118.132 mph by Tony Stewart in 1999.
- Fastest qualifying speed: 143.158 mph by Jimmie Johnson in 2015.
- Most lead changes: 28 in 2011.
- Closest finish: Kevin Harvick’s .010 second margin over Carl Edwards in 2016.
- Most caution flags: 12 in 2014.
- From 2015-2019 a typical Phoenix race had 11.0 lead changes, 7.1 cautions for 43.7 laps, and an average green-flag run of 32.2 laps.
- Victories by manufacturer: Chevrolet (23), Ford (16), Toyota (6), Pontiac (2).
- Most victories by owner: Rick Hendrick (10), Jack Roush (7), Richard Childress (6), Stewart Haas Racing (6), Joe Gibbs (6), Robert Yates (3
2020 Fanshield 500 Expert Pick
NASCAR 2020 Fanshield 500 Full Grid Odds
- Kyle Busch +375
- Martin Truex Jr +475
- Denny Hamlin +600
- Kevin Harvick +600
- Chase Elliott +1000
- Brad Keselowski +1200
- Joey Logano +1200
- Ryan Blaney +1200
- Alex Bowman +1600
- Kyle Larson +2000
- Jimmie Johnson +2500
- William Byron +2500
- Kurt Busch +2800
- Erik Jones +3300
- Aric Almirola +4000
- Clint Bowyer +4000
- Matt Dibenedetto +4000
- Ross Chastain +8000
- Chris Buescher +10000
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr +10000
- Austin Dillon +15000
- Christopher Bell +15000
- Cole Custer +15000
- Tyler Reddick +20000
- Ryan Preece +25000
- Ty Dillon +25000
- Corey Lajoie +30000
- Daniel Suarez +30000