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NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)
March 11th, 2022
The NASCAR Cup Series’ west coast swing will wrap up this Sunday with the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Since Phoenix is the host track for November’s championship-deciding race, every driver with Bill France Cup aspirations will want to figure things out quickly at the Avondale, AZ oval in the Next Gen car.
Not surprisingly, reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson is the +400 favorite to become a back-to-back winner at this course. But we’ve uncovered three alternatives to the favorite who are worth a wager in Sunday’s Ruoff Mortgage 500.
Martin Truex Jr. is the second-choice in the betting in the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at +700, and the most likely driver to win on Sunday.
Truex has seven Top 10s in his last nine trips to Phoenix, including five Top 5s. Chief among those is his victory here last March, in which he led 64 laps.
TRUEX TAKES THE 🏁 AT PHOENIX! pic.twitter.com/egQ31kCWSD— Charlotte Motor Speedway (@CLTMotorSpdwy) March 14, 2021
TRUEX TAKES THE 🏁 AT PHOENIX! pic.twitter.com/egQ31kCWSD
The No. 19 Toyota driver was the biggest threat to Larson in last year’s championship race, as he won Stage 1 and led 72 laps en route to a runner-up finish. Don’t be surprised if Truex records his first Top 5 of the 2022 season in style here.
Chase Elliott – Larson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports – could still bring the checkered flag home for the team and Chevrolet on Sunday if the latter fails to do so.
Elliott has finished no worse than seventh in his last four trips to Phoenix, leading 340 laps in the process. He dominated much of the November 2020 race here as he clinched his first ever Cup Series Championship.
RaceDay Headlines in Vegas: Chase Elliott-Kyle Larson meet. What they said about their meeting. Plus Front Row appeals penalty from Fontana and Kyle Busch trying to come from the back. pic.twitter.com/Fh33Mw5gmU— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 6, 2022
RaceDay Headlines in Vegas: Chase Elliott-Kyle Larson meet. What they said about their meeting. Plus Front Row appeals penalty from Fontana and Kyle Busch trying to come from the back. pic.twitter.com/Fh33Mw5gmU
The No. 9 driver has two Top 10s through the first three races of the season, and may have been robbed of a third thanks to an accidental collision with Larson at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago.
At double the price of Larson, Elliott appears to be offering good value in the Ruoff Mortgage 500.
If Penske Racing wants to pull even with Hendrick Motorsports at two wins apiece in this early portion of the campaign, Joey Logano appears to offer the best hope.
Retweet to congratulate Joey Logano on his win at Phoenix Raceway!@CocaColaRacing pic.twitter.com/HPbsSKOlER— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 8, 2020
Retweet to congratulate Joey Logano on his win at Phoenix Raceway!@CocaColaRacing pic.twitter.com/HPbsSKOlER
Logano had a string of three straight Top 3s at Phoenix interrupted last November, as he checked in a nondescript 11th, well behind the Championship 4. But he had a win here in March of 2020, and led a combined 328 laps in his three prior visits.
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