The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion will be crowned today at Phoenix Raceway. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott are the drivers still eligible to win the title.
Kevin Harvick, a nine-time race winner this season, was eliminated last week at Martinsville, but still remains a favorite to win today’s race.
Ever since the Championship Four format was introduced in 2014, the winner also captured the season finale. However, all of those races took place at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is the first finale at Phoenix, where winners tend to repeat. Since 2012, here is a list of Phoenix champions:
- Kevin Harvick – 7 times
- Denny Hamlin – 2
- Joey Logano – 2
- Kyle Busch – 2
- Carl Edwards – 1
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 1
- Matt Kesneth – 1
- Ryan Newman – 1
The four drivers with a single win are either retired or no longer competitive for victories. Kyle Busch has had a down year, but remains a contender. Logano, Hamlin and Harvick are favorites.
Notice, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott have not won at Phoenix. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t win. We have to look beyond Phoenix victories to understand a driver’s range of outcomes. That includes looking at similar track performance, in addition to overall Phoenix history.
Taking these variables into account, here are my top bets for today’s race:
NASCAR at Phoenix Odds, Betting Picks
Brad Keselowski (+650) to Win at Phoenix
Keselowski has been the best driver at the three short flat tracks between 0.75 miles and a mile in length. He dominated all three races, leading the most laps at Richmond and New Hampshire, en route to victories at both tracks.
He also led the second-most laps in the first Phoenix race, taking control four times for 82 laps. Furthermore, Keselowski won the second stage before finishing in a misleading 11th place.
Keselowski is also a fine bet to win the championship, and if he does so, it’s likely he’ll either win the race or finish runner-up to betting favorite Harvick.
Joey Logano (+700) to Win at Phoenix
Sticking with the Penske train, Logano has been the top finishing driver at short, flat tracks in 2020. That makes these odds at FanDuel particularly appealing. Logano won the first race at Phoenix after leading three times for 60 laps. He also has top-four finishes in every other short flat track race.
This is Logano’s fourth shot at a title. He won his most recent in 2018, and has two wins at Phoenix under lower downforce packages (2016, 2020).
The experience, track history and corollary track performance show, statistically, Logano should be priced in the same range as Hamlin and Elliott (+550).