Camping World 500
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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stays on the West Coast this weekend, and Phoenix International Raceway is the next stop on the schedule. The flat, 1.0-mile track will host Sunday's Camping World 500, and when it comes to building a winning DFS NASCAR lineup, Phoenix is a bit of curveball compared to the last two races at Atlanta and Las Vegas.
Yes, the dominator categories are going to remain the focal point. With 300-plus laps on tap at a track where passing is tough, there is a good chance that one driver is going to be able to lead a lot of laps. In recent years, that one driver has been Kevin Harvick.
Harvick's dominance at PIR is almost unheard of in this era of NASCAR. He has six wins in the last ten races at Phoenix, including four in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing. More importantly, he has owned the laps led category at the track, leading more laps than the rest of the field combined since joining SHR.
It is basically at the point where lineup strategies fall into two categories - those built around and Harvick and those that fade him. In cash games, you are probably better off just rostering Harvick in almost all your lineups. In GPPs, you will want a healthy mix of lineups with and without him.
Of course, you can't just have a one-driver lineup, so check Harvick and my other top plays ahead of Sunday's Camping World 500 at Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick ($11,100)
As I mentioned in the introduction, Harvick has owned Phoenix the last few years. He is an eight-time winner at the track overall, and he ranks first in both dominator categories. Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, he has four wins and a 1.7 average finish in six starts at PIR, and his 994 laps led are 800 more than any other driver.
Joey Logano ($10,500)
Logano picked up the win at Phoenix last fall, and he has been the best alternative to Kevin Harvick. He has six Top 10s in his last seven starts at the track, and he has led 30-plus laps three times in that span. If you are going with the contrarian style, Logano is the smartest driver to build around.
Brad Keselowski ($10,300)
He has been the model of consistency at Phoenix, and over the last ten races here, Keselowski has nine Top 15s and ranks second with an average finish of 9.1 During the same span, Keselowski has finished sixth or better six times. Throw in the fact that Keselowski has been one of the most impressive drivers in the opening weeks of the season, and he has to be considered one of the top plays this weekend.