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Instacart 500 Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Instacart 500 Preview and Best Bet

NASCAR Cup Series: Instacart 500
Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX) at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona

Race Info

The Instacart 500 is so-called because, in completing 312 laps, drivers will have accumulated slightly over 500 kilometers — 513 to be exact.

This event consists in three stages.

Stage 1 requires 75 laps. For Stage 2, drivers will complete 115 laps. The last Stage requires 122 laps.

As in previous weeks, an entry list for this upcoming event has already been posted. 38 drivers will compete, barring any unforeseen changes.

Regarding the starting lineup, there is no practice or qualifying for this event.

The starting lineup has yet to be determined.

To determine to what extent you should be concerned about the starting lineup, we need to look at the track.

Track Info

Previously known as the Phoenix International Raceway, the Phoenix Raceway is a one-mile-long track.

It is a tri-oval with a racing surface made of asphalt.

Compared to previous weeks' tracks and other NASCAR tracks in general, the banking at Phoenix is low.

Turns one and two each feature eight degrees of banking. Turns three and four have 11 degrees of banking. The backstretch is banked at three degrees.

There is also an element of this track called the dogleg, which track designers had to build in order to accommodate the coexistence of a road course.

This so-called dogleg introduces an unusual shape to the track, which is why it’s nicknamed “the desert oddball.”

Historically, this track has a reputation for meriting complaints from drivers regarding the difficulty of passing other drivers.

Even though progressive banking was introduced, drivers were still having comparative difficulty in driving side by side.

Smaller, one-mile tracks were generally disappointing NASCAR observers.

So NASCAR changed the racing package for Cup Series events run on a one-mile track.

Last year, Phoenix Raceway was the guinea pig for this new, lower downforce racing package.

Drivers were ecstatic in their response to this new racing package because they were passing more drivers than they ever could have before at this track.

With the new racing package, drivers could follow and otherwise run next to other drivers more closely than before.

While Phoenix Raceway is still not the easiest track to pass people in, NASCAR has found a way to improve this part of the racing experience.

So starting position is not a make-or-break factor.

Drivers To Avoid

With its unique configuration, its overall oddity, and its short length, Phoenix Raceway has historically been tougher for some drivers to navigate successfully.

One driver to avoid investing in at this track is Martin Truex Jr.

Truex Jr. can be hit-or-miss at this track. But his good performances are hardly good enough and they are also rare.

In his two most recent performances last year at the track, he failed to finish better than 10th.

His overall average finishing position in Phoenix is 15.87.

Similar to Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney has flopped at this track about as often as he found moderate success.

While he has two career top-five finishes in Phoenix, his average finishing position at this track is 15.70.

Although Denny Hamlin's overall driving history is better at Phoenix Raceway than that of Truex Jr. and Blaney, he is also somebody who is rather hit-or-miss on this track. There are more consistent options out there.

Top Two Guys

Given the attractive payout offered by Sports Betting Sites, it makes sense to bet on multiple drivers to win.

Some bettors will split a unit on multiple drivers. Some will invest a unit in each particular one. It’s a matter of personal preference.

At this track, two drivers look more promising than the rest of the field: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

One thing I like about each driver in Phoenix is their high floor.

Both drivers are consistently competitive at this track. So you can rely on them to be in the thick of the action in the race’s later stages.

Harvick and Busch also consistently achieve success at Phoenix.

Of all active drivers, Harvick easily has the most wins in Phoenix — he has nine while the next-most successful driver has three.

Busch is the driver with three wins at this track.

Before last year’s latest rendition on this track, he had accrued five consecutive top-three finishes in Phoenix.

In good racing form — he’s coming off a third-place finish in Las Vegas — he promises to resume his success in Phoenix.

Harvick, who has demonstrated positive form since the season began, is coming off a rare bad effort and is primed to bounce back.

Best Bet: Harvick To Win & Busch To Win (Odds TBA)


Well-Known Member
KB burned me earlier in the year. I need to see another good race from him before I jump back in. So I'm sure he wins this week. Lol. I'm down to deciding between the Penske four and Harvick.