It’s hard not to start with Kevin Harvick when discussing the NASCAR Cup Series coming to Phoenix Raceway. Harvick’s active streak of 19 straight top-10 finishes at the track is not only tops at Phoenix, but they’re also the best all-time for all tracks. (Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt each had a run of 18 consecutive top-10 finishes at North Wilkesboro Speedway, according to Racing Insights.)
Harvick also leads all drivers with nine career wins at Phoenix. However, despite having all of these gaudy numbers in his favor, Harvick isn’t the only driver to keep a close eye on for Sunday’s United Rentals Work United 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Besides Harvick, the drivers who also finished in the top 10 in both Phoenix races last year in the Next Gen car were Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain.
RELATED: Phoenix odds | Latest Power Rankings
Briscoe won the spring race, while Logano took home the checkered flag in the fall race to clinch the 2022 Cup Series championship. So, what will happen this time in the second year of the Next Gen car at the always-exciting and always-picturesque jewel in the desert that is Phoenix Raceway?
That’s why we lean on our partners at Racing Insights for their expert analysis in the latest edition of Advance to Victory Lane, sponsored by Advance Auto Parts. Racing Insights’ advanced statistical formula includes current track, current track type, recent performance, team data and pit-crew data to arrive at a winner and full race results.
We’ll update the projection after a 50-minute practice on Friday (6:35 p.m. ET, FS2) and qualifying on Saturday (2:05 p.m. ET, FS1), but here’s what we have for starters.
RYAN BLANEY: Blaney had the most laps run in the top five in 2022 at Phoenix with 546. He also holds the second-longest streak of top-10 finishes at Phoenix with five.
JOEY LOGANO: Logano has three victories at Phoenix, which is tied for tops on his list of most wins at one track. He also spent 342 laps running in the top five last year at Phoenix.
DENNY HAMLIN: Hamlin has the most laps run in the top 10 this season with 526. He also has earned the third-most points in the first two races of the West Coast swing with 77.
Projections as of Wednesday, March 8:
RACING INSIGHTS’ PROJECTIONS FOR THE UNITED RENTALS WORK UNITED 500
|7||19||Martin Truex Jr.|
|25||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|