2019 ISM Raceway, Bluegreen Vacations 500

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick who punched his ticket to the championship race with his win at Texas this past weekend. Now he and Martin Truex Jr. are guaranteed to be in the championship race and the other two spots are still open with one race remaining in the third round. So, six drivers are going for two spots this week and that means no more Mr. Nice Guy this weekend.

BLUEGREEN VACATIONS 500

This week the series heads to the ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ for the running of the Bluegreen Vacations 500. This one-mile, low-banked, tri-oval track is going to have some fireworks in it with those two playoff spots for the championship race up for grabs. This is going to be a no holds barred type of race and you are sure to see some bumpers getting banged around pretty good. These drivers know they are going to need to go and some of them have to win this race to advance while there are others who can still get in on points. Stage points and the race win will be hotly contested this weekend.

Kyle Busch: I am going to pick Kyle to break his small winless streak and make sure he has a shot at the championship this weekend. He has won the last two races here and has finished in the top five in seven of his last eight Phoenix starts. This is where he makes his money and you know he doesn’t care who he has to move to get the job done. He has lead over a hundred laps in four of his last five starts here and will be considered the driver to beat.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has won seven of his last fourteen starts at this track and by him winning again this weekend he might be able to keep someone the likes of Kyle Busch from making the championship race. His only non top ten finish in his last fifteen starts here was a thirteenth place finish. That tells me he is going to be a contender once again this weekend and will have a say in who the other two drivers are that will make the championship.

Chase Elliott: Chase needs to win this race if he wants to make the championship. He has finished second and third here recently, so we know he can get the job done. The problem is that he is going to be under tremendous pressure and any mistake will end his hopes of making the championship. He hasn’t run well the past two weeks and this is going to be a tall task for him to pull off.

Denny Hamlin: Denny’s only win here came back in the 2012 season. He has been running very well on this type of track this year and he could come away with a victory to cement his spot in the championship. Once again though, any mistake can take you right out of contention because the track is so short. Speeding in the pits will relegate you at least one lap down and you could end up fighting your way back on the lead lap and it might take the whole race to get there.

Kyle Larson: Kyle has a second and two third place finishes here in his last six starts. He is another driver who almost has to win this race if he wants a shot at a championship. He could still point his way in with stage points and something bad happening to some of the drivers ahead of him on points, but the only sure way to get there is to win this race.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan is in a similar situation as Larson and that’s the bad new. The good news is that Ryan lead ninety-four laps and finished third here in March of this year. That should give this team some confidence heading into this weekend, but there will still be a lot of pressure on this young driver also this weekend. He is prone to making mistakes as we saw with him trying to get onto pit road at Talladega and almost driving of the jack this past week in Texas.

Joey Logano: The good news for this team is right now they are currently in the championship race. The bad news is they haven’t run very well at Phoenix since winning this race in 2016. Since that time he has had two accidents and only one top ten finish. He is going to try and score some stage points and stay out of trouble if his car isn’t handling flawlessly early in this race and hope he can hang on to his points lead.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin finished runner-up to Kyle in the spring race this year and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here. He has also won three races on other flat tracks this season and won’t have any pressure on him whatsoever this weekend. I look for him to have another good run on this track and just enjoy tuning up for the race at Homestead.

Aric Almirola: Aric never had a top ten here in his career until four races ago and since then he has gotten better every time he runs here. He finished fourth in each of his last two starts here and even lead twenty-six laps in the spring race here. Aric isn’t someone I think of much on these flat tracks, but he has shown that he can do it this year and he is my dark horse this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: Brad finished second in this race last year and is looking to just have a good run and maybe pick up a win this weekend as he gets ready for next season. He has struggled a bit lately on all types of tracks and I think they are in the process of trying to figure some things out for next year. I still think this is the type of track where they can hit on their setup early and be a contender.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ISM RACEWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kevin Harvick

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Aric Almirola
  • Kurt Busch
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Chris Buescher

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ISM RACEWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Aric Almirola
  5. Denny Hamlin

Dark Horse: Aric Almirola

Stay Away From: Joey Logano

Big 18: Ryan Newman

100 thoughts on “2019 ISM Raceway, Bluegreen Vacations 500

  1. I had a great week at Texas, 362, but the top 5 all did as well so didnt gain much. Thanks for the advice. I saw you had a killer week in the 380s!!!!!!!

  2. All your B drivers you have advised to use Iโ€™m out of except Newman. Any ideas? Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ

    1. Jeff, I put my big boy pants ๐Ÿ‘– on.
      Starting Harvick Byron Newman. DiBenedetto
      Bench Larson Dillon bowman McDowell
      Have to wait for practice times to pick starters ! Any insights?
      Iโ€™m learning a lot from you sir!
      Thank you !!!!!๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

    2. Jeff, I put my big boy pants ๐Ÿ‘– on.
      Starting Harvick Byron Newman. DiBenedetto
      Bench Larson Dillon bowman McDowell
      Have to wait for practice times to pick starters ! Any insights?
      Iโ€™m learning a lot from you sir!
      Thank you !!!!!๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

  3. Hi Guru,
    If you forget about allocations left, who are your top four “B” level drivers for the DGG race at Phoenix?
    Thanks

  4. Jeff trying to save 18 for Homstead….I can take 12,20 or 42….whatโ€™s your suggestion?….thanks….Iโ€™m in 3rd place in my league and the 2 in front of me are taking the 18….Iโ€™m 1 point out of 2nd and 15 out of 1st…..thanks Jeff

    1. You could consider the 24 as he ran very well at Martinsville. Maybe replace Johnson with him. Both the 24 and 88 should run well at Homestead, so you might want to save their starts for there if you are limited with them.

    1. He has run well here in the past, but he didn’t practice all that well. I would probably not take a chance on him this weekend now that practice is over.

  5. First i just want to thank you for your time and wisdom this season.
    Who are your top 5 “eliminated” (from championship contention) drivers you think could/will finish in top 10 on Sunday?

  6. You was on point last week for me Jeff,thank you VERY much.I got Kyle Busch as my 1st pick.Need 2 out of these 3 to stay in first place๐Ÿ™Newman,Bowman And DiBenedetto.What say you?

  7. Harvick (1 left) or Truex (2 left)
    Blaney (1) Almirola(1) Kurt B(2)Newman(2) only need to pick 2. Im thinking Almirola and Kurt?
    Hemric (1) or Ty D (2)
    Thanks Jeff

    1. I use Harvick this week and Truex next week. Go with Busch and Newman this week and use Blaney and Almirola next week. Go with Ty this week and use Hemric next week.

  8. Hi Jeff Iโ€™m currently in 1st by 3 points Iโ€™ve compared my remaining drivers with 2nd place. I have Chastain, Yeley,Cassill, Sorenson who would you take

    1. Every time I take Suarez he doesn’t run very well. Newman didn’t practice very well, but he always seems to find something and end up with a good finish. I would go with Newman.

    1. If you only have 1 Buescher start left I would use it next week and run Dillon today. If you have more than 1 fro Buescher then I would start him today.

    1. The 9 was one of the fastest on 10 lap runs in the final practice. What scares me a little is that he has to win this race to make the championship race, but he is starting 6th which shouldn’t make him have to take too many chances early in the race. If he can be patient early he is the best choice of those you are asking about.

      1. Thanks man it worked out well for me …i am heading into the cinal race of the year in a tie for first place …i appreciate the advice and your time!

  9. Im torn between taking 18 or 22 …or even the 11 car. I am trying to figure out the best to maximize my points for next week as i can use only 2 of these 3

    1. My prediction is the 18 wins today so he is in and Logano does enough to keep his points lead over the rest of the field. Harvick beats Truex next week in a very close race.

  10. I have to take 2,24,14 or 88 …i am leaning towards 2 or 14 what would you advise on this one …im leaning more towards 2 then towards 14

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