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Camping World 500 Picks

Race: Camping World 500 Preview and Picks to Win
Date: Sunday March 19th, 2017
Track: Phoenix Raceway
Time: 3:30 pm ET
TV: FOX

by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com

If you haven't heard about the Kyle Busch/Joey Logano throwdown after the race by now, you've very clearly been hiding under a rock. In true Kyle Busch cry baby fashion, he went after Logano on pit road after the race and threw a punch before Logano was pulled back by his pit crew, stopping him from being too involved. Busch, on the other hand, was dealt with by Logano's crew, leaving the scene with a bloodied forehead. Logano, in my opinion, did absolutely nothing wrong. If you watch the replay, Busch had a run on the outside and thought he could get past Keselowski, but he managed to hit Logano on the way past. No biggie. Well, no biggie until Logano stuck to his line on the bottom and Busch tried to pinch him down, causing Logano to get loose and scoot up the track. This pitted Busch's car and took him out. It was very very very clearly a racing incident. Nothing more, nothing less. But instead of Busch being a grownup, he decided to march over to Logano's pit and throw fists because he didn't get his way, which is the only thing he can seem to tolerate.

Unfortunately for Martin Truex Jr., this tussle obviously overshadowed his win, as he was able to slide by all of this going on and take the checkered flag. This was a good run for Truex, who has often been the overshadowed driver in many cases. This win is a confidence booster for him and his team early in the season. I expect to see him running for a championship when this is all said and done. Other notables from the weekend include Kevin Harvick, who did horribly after tire problems took him out of the race early. That was a big storyline for Vegas. While track position is a huge factor, Goodyear seemed to give these guys a bit of a tricky compound to overcome.

This weekend, we are heading to Phoenix. This is an awesome track to watch as a fan and a favorite of the drivers as well. This track is another intermediate track. It's a 1.00 mile D-shaped tri-oval with a lot of character. It's fast. The walls are blue. What's not to love? This track is fairly flat and shorter than the other intermediate tracks out there. It's a nice balance between a short track and intermediate track. I like the speed that the drivers can carry throughout the track, but there's also more use of equipment in terms of braking and overall skill through the turns.

We have several drivers to choose from this weekend who have very good records here. Some of the biggest names include Jimmie Johnson with an overall best average finish of all active drivers. Then we have Kevin Harvick, who's won 6 of the last 10 races here. Although he had a bad break at Vegas, I don't think that's indicative of his abilities. I anticipate Harvick having a very good weekend here in Phoenix. Finally, Joey Logano is another driver to watch. He is the defending champ of the last race we had here in November. Additionally, his record includes top 10 finishes in his last six of seven efforts here. That's not too shabby/ Overall, Ford seems to be strong this year thus far. We've seen Harvick, although with some bad luck, really dominate at times. Logano almost won last weekend before his problems with Busch on the track. We'll have to see how they fare on a shorter intermediate track. Here's my take on the potential winners this weekend:

My Pick to Win: Joey Logano
Middle of the Road Pick: Kyle Larson
Dark Horse Prediction: Daniel Suarez. Having a bet on the race makes watching 10x more fun! Bet YOUR Camping World 500 picks using your credit card and get a GIANT 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at one of the web's best NASCAR betting sites! --> Bovada Sportsbook

Suarez doesn't have much experience, so he's really a dark horse pick. Look for him to gain some experience this weekend. Given solid equipment, I think that he can really put together a good effort. Kyle Larson is creeping closer and closer to that elusive win. He's really coming into his own as a driver and seems to have a confidence about him that he has been missing in the past seasons. He's had good qualifying efforts here, but has failed to follow through. With his performance thus far this season, I think that he's got quite a shot at running up front. Overall, Logano should be the one to beat. If nothing else, I think that he'd like to rub Busch's nose in a win if he could. He will have a lot of competition. Busch will most certainly be racing hard, but other drivers like Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson are going to Logano a run for their money. Johnson needs to work on some things this season in terms of handling with his cars, though. With his record here, he is set to do well, but his runs this season have been far from impressive. Hopefully, this track can give that team a little relief.

Here are your current top 16 after last week's race:

1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kyle Larson
3. Chase Elliott
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Joey Logano
6. Ryan Blaney
7. Kurt Busch
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Jamie McMurray
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Clint Bowyer
13. Matt Kenseth
14. Aric Almirola
15. Denny Hamlin
16. Paul Menard

These points are still a little curious to me. It's a very interesting shift from last weekend, but, hey, it's what we have to work with. I still haven't found much in the way of the segments actually affecting the racing. While they provide valuable points to the top finishers in each round, I don't think that it's really changed much of how racing has been going so far this year. I'll be interested to see how the drivers fare of the shortest track that we've been on this year or if it will even be a cause for concern. Look for Phoenix to give us some pretty exciting racing this weekend, regardless! Stay tuned for Sunday's Camping World 500! For another great place to bet on auto racing (and all other sports), check out MyBookie, who also offers a giant welcoming bonus!

Odds to Win the Camping World 500
Kevin Harvick 9/4
Kyle Busch 8/1
Brad Keselowski 17/2
Joey Logano 17/2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10/1
Jimmie Johnson 10/1
Chase Elliott 12/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Kyle Larson 12/1
Martin Truex Jr. 12/1
Kurt Busch 15/1
Matt Kenseth 20/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Erik Jones 30/1
Daniel Suarez 40/1
Kasey Kahne 40/1
Ryan Blaney 40/1
Austin Dillon 45/1
Jamie McMurray 45/1
Ryan Newman 45/1

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