ThatsRacin

NASCAR Good Sam 500 preview in 3 minutes

Kevin Harvick, left, will always be among the favorites until he shows signs of slipping. ... Kurt Busch, right, has been fast in practice and is likely frustrated after not winning from the pole the past two races.
Kevin Harvick, left, will always be among the favorites until he shows signs of slipping. ... Kurt Busch, right, has been fast in practice and is likely frustrated after not winning from the pole the past two races. Getty Images

Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. Sunday’s pole is actually the second of the season for Kyle Busch. He had his time disallowed at Atlanta, however, after failing post-qualifying inspection in what he called NASCAR’s “room of doom.”

2. Kevin Harvick, who is always strong at Phoenix (seven career victories), wasn’t great in qualifying (he starts 18th), but was fastest in Saturday’s final practice (136.317 mph).

3. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (who crashed in qualifying) and Kasey Kahne (engine issues in qualifying) will both start at the rear of the field. Kahne, however, had the sixth fastest car during Saturday’s practice (135.947 mph).

Observations

▪  Joe Gibbs Racing swept the first three spots in qualifying (Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin) and Matt Kenseth starts sixth. Will that translate into success Sunday?

▪  Johnson’s crash in qualifying was scary and a reminder how much attention to detail is required to safely drive a race car. He never would have thought his steering wheel would come loose. But it did, and now it’s one more item for him to check off on his safety checklist. Other drivers will certainly do the same.

▪  Ty Dillon will fill in for the injured Tony Stewart in Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 14 Chevy. Dillon also drove for Stewart at Atlanta, where he finished 17th. Brian Vickers filled in for Stewart at Daytona and Las Vegas.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Kevin Harvick: Will always be among the favorites (seven career victories, five in last seven races) until he shows signs of slipping.

Kyle Busch: Winning for the first time this season is just a matter of time for the No. 18 Toyota.

Kurt Busch: Has been fast in practice and is likely frustrated after not winning from the pole position the past two races.

He said it

“It doesn’t help any, that is for sure.” – Johnson, on starting at the rear of the field.

Getting there

 

Race facts

Good Sam 500

Where: Phoenix International Raceway.

Track type: 1.0-mile asphalt oval.

Race distance: 312 miles (500 kilometers), or 312 laps.

Green flag: 3:45 p.m.

Weather: Sunny, high of 78.

TV: Fox.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

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