The High Line – Cup Series- Shriners Childrens 500 – Phoenix Raceway – March 10, 2024


Phoenix Raceway is a one-mile flat dogleg asphalt oval considered by some as a short track but unlike typical short tracks there is hardly any banking at Phoenix. Richmond Raceway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon) are the two most comparable tracks to Phoenix where track position is everything as far as dominator points goes. There’s a lot in question still with NASCAR introducing a new aero package for this race but from what some of the drivers said, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference as far as performance goes. Let’s get into more of that in the strategy section.


The drivers will run 312 laps for 312 miles, over 100 more laps than the XFINITY drivers yesterday making the dominator points that much more plentiful. Since 2019 the polesitter has averaged well over 100 laps led in Cup races. In seven of the nine races since then the polesitter has either led the most or second-most laps in the race. Finding two of the three to four dominators of the race will be crucial as far as tournament lineups go. We’ll still want some place differential drivers as usual, especially in cash game lineups as there were more than a few cars that had poor qualifying efforts for a number of reasons. So, what drivers are we targeting?

Most comparable tracks: Richmond Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway

*Note: all pricing is DraftKings focused

Drivers to Target

Watch: Ryan Blaney attempts to throw HANS device at Erik Jones

Ryan Blaney ($11,200), Starting 16th

Blaney has been a stud here of late, specifically in his last three races finishing second in each of those drives. Blaney clinched his Cup Series Championship here last Fall with one of those second-place finishes, one of the rare times that the race winner didn’t win the Championship. Despite starting 18th on that day, Blaney was able to drive his way to the front. That’s been his track record here, really, despite where he’s started, he’s more than often been there at the end to make noise. Blaney will start 16th on Sunday offering plenty of PD upside. The driver of the 12 car has led 96 or more laps here on three seperate occasions and in his 16 starts here has seven top-fives.

Tyler Reddick ($8,500), Starting 6th

Reddick was great in practice here, despite losing the car a spinning early in turn two, posting the third-best time and will start 6th as he looks to build off of the momentum from last week’s second-place finish. Reddick might’ve had the best car in the field but trouble on pit road made things a lot harder on him than they might’ve needed to be. Despite having two third-place finishes here, Phoenix has not been one of Reddick’s best tracks overall. Looking to build off of his strong run last week and good practice heading into this race, I would consider Reddick a strong tournament play as a longshot winner and possible mid to late-race dominator.

Denny Hamlin ($10,500), Starting on the Pole

We’ve seen Denny struggle at this track over the years and that’s not secret. What’s also no secret is how well the pole sitter has done as far as dominating laps here early suggesting that something has to give. Alongside Hamlin on the first row is Ty Gibbs giving the clear advantage to Hamlin. I would expect Denny to lead most of if not the entire first stage. Where he goes from there is really anyone’s guess based on his history here but there should be a solid floor with laps led and a good finishing position regardless.

Chase Elliott ($8,800), Starting 3rd

The cream has to rise to the top at some point for Elliott, one of the more talented drivers in the series in some of the best equipment out there. We can call it like it is, Chase has not been good over the past season and a half really and this is a former series champion we’re talking about here. Through the first three races of the season we’ve seen finishes of 14th, 15th, and 12th, albeit with a good car but the results just haven’t been there for this group. Elliott has won at Phoenix before and has five top-five finishes in 15 starts there. Practice was solid for the 9 car as he was the fastest Chevrolet in the 50-minute practice session. I’ll be looking at Chase in tournament lineups this weekend as I simply think he’s due to break through and the vibes are good on him contending for a win. He’s very intriguing in the third spot on the grid giving him a path to dominate early if Denny Hamlin slips up.

Kyle Larson ($11,500), Starting 17th

Elliott’s teammate, Larson is the overwhelming favorite to win this race ahead of qualifying and looking at his performance last week it’s tough to argue with that sentiment. His salary is undersandably high and that coincides with his performance this season and at these this type of track. Larson has a win and eight top-five’s in 19 races at Phoenix and led 201 laps here from the pole in the Spring. If you take out the one DNF Larson has had in the 5 car (engine failure in the Spring 2022 race), the man has an average finish of 4.8 in his last five races here. I expected a good qualifying mark here but that simply wasn’t the case as he’ll start back at 17th. Still, Larson will be a factor and if he drives like he did last week he could have a monster day if he gets up front and leads laps while producing that place differential floor.

Joey Logano ($9,500), Starting 23rd

The 22 car has been fast this season as he’s qualified on the front row at Daytona, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. In his career at Phoenix Logano has posted n average finish of 12th, which can be deceiving considering that he’s DNF’d in four of his 30 starts there. Looking a little bit deeper, Logano has won three times here while finishing in the top-five eight times and has led 82 or more laps here four times including 187 in the Fall of 2022 when he won from the pole. Furthermore his performance at similar tracks like Richmond and New Hampshire stand out. Here are some key stats from those tracks:

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

  • 25 Starts
  • Two wins, nine top-five’s

Richmond Raceway

  • 29 Starts
  • Two wins, 13 top-five’s
  • Average finish of 10th

Logano stands out at these flat, short tracks and I don’t expect that to be any different come Sunday. For the first time this season he’ll start somewhere other than the front row, in this case he’ll have some ground to make up as he’s got good place differential he’ll likely produce starting 23rd

Brad Keselowski ($8,200), Starting 18th

101 races. That’s how long it’s been since Brad K. has visited victory lane. Heading to Phoenix, a type of track that has been good for Keselowski could be the ticket this weekend. In his career at Phoenix, New Hampshire, and Richmond the driver-owner of the 6 car has average finishes of 14th, 10th, and 12th respectively with 8 top-five’s at Phoenix, two wins and 10 top-five’s at New Hampshire, and two wins to go along with six top-five’s at Richmond.

Also Consider

Kyle Busch ($9,200), Starting 31st

Josh Berry ($7,200), Starting 36th

William Byron ($11,000), Starting 5th

Corey LaJoie ($6,300), Starting 35th