The 2013 NASCAR season probably could not have gotten off to a better start, as last weekâ€™s Daytona 500 was a close race throughout with history being made. Two of its biggest stars, Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson, made history with their performance. Patrick led at one point before finishing eighth, becoming the first woman ever to finish that high. Meanwhile, Johnson took home the ultimate prize, winning his second Dayton 500. All the top drivers will return to action this Sunday, as the field squares off at the Phoenix International Raceway.
Jimmie Johnson looks focused and ready to go in 2013. He only had limited success at Daytona prior to last week, but that did not hold him back much. In Phoenix, he is a four-time winner, and even when he does not win, he finds a way to stay in the hunt. Chevy drivers in general drove well at Dayton, so it will be interesting to see if that will be a trend or just a one-time thing.
The biggest challenger to Johnson last week was Brad Keselowski. Both of these guys should be in the hunt again this week. Keselowski is hungry to show that he is one of the best in NASCAR right now, so a win would do wonders for his confidence. After all, as the defending Sprint Cup champion, this is supposed to be his time, not Johnsonâ€™s.
There has been a lot of talk about the Chevy drivers and their switch to the Gen-6 car. Keselowski has always been quick to adapt in the past, and that could be something he ends up pulling off on Sunday as well. Phoenix runs quite a bit differently than Daytona, so he will be tested. As a guy still looking to prove that he is the best of the best, look for him to be very much in the hunt towards the end of the race on Sunday.
Finally, after taking a pair of favorites to win the race, here is one guy who is a bit of a dark horse to consider. Kevin Harvick is currently listed as 15/1, but all signs point to him being a strong contender at the end of the race on Sunday. He won at this race track during the Chase last season in November. Not only that, but he showed during the Dayton 500 that he can compete on that type of track as well.
In Daytona, he was able to win both the Sprint Unlimited and one of the Budweiser duel races. A wreck spoiled his strong start in the Daytona 500, but that does not mean he canâ€™t get back on track and win yet again.
For those looking at a theme, all three of the drivers are sponsored by Chevy. The Gen-6 car will once again be at work on Sunday for Harvick, and he showed in Daytona that it has not really harmed him at all. As long as he avoids any type of wrecks or pile ups this time around, he will be in contention.
Picks: Jimmie Johnson (6/1), Brad Keselowski (8/1), Kevin Harvick (15/1)
Written By Betting Tips 101