Carl Edwards Has Something to Finish at Phoenix International Raceway

Carl Edwards Has Something to Finish at Phoenix International Raceway

The racing at Daytona International Speedway matched the prestige of the event and did not disappoint. This week NASCAR returns to a much different track, Phoenix International Raceway, for The Profit on CNBC 500 presented by Small Business Fueling America. Carl Edwards will show he has this track mastered.

The Phoenix International Raceway is a one mile track that has very little banking. There are 10-11 degrees of banking in turns 1 and 2. There are only 8-9 degrees of banking in turns 3 and 4 which also includes the backstretch. The frontstretch has 3 degrees of banking. The shape of this track is like no other on the NASCAR circuit. Turns 3 to 4 to 1 look like a traditional oval but turn 2 was bumped out like an egg. This configuration makes it impossible to have cars set up perfectly in every corner.

Carl Edwards won this race last year and was on his way to win the race in the fall but ran out of gas. The track was configured into its current form in 2011. Edwards has the new configuration down. He has one win and a second place finish on this configuration. If he hadn’t run out of gas he would have excellent stats.

Looking at the Driver Ratings for Phoenix tells a different story. Jimmie Johnson appears to be the driver to beat. His commanding rating of 116.7 is in a time zone all by himself. This leaves Kevin Harvick (last fall’s winner), Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, and a bunch of others to fight it out.  Though he won four times on the old configuration, Johnson hasn’t been able to put it together on the new.

Looking at the most recent races though, Carl Edwards has the advantage; he has been just a little better than Johnson.

Phoenix has been one of our best racetracks lately. I really like racing there and hopefully we can go and do the same thing we did last year.” Carl added, “We’ve got Subway on the car again. We have a great partnership with them. It’s a short race, it’s a tough race and strategy is important. It will be the first race with the new rules package for the down force tracks so I think everyone in the garage is looking forward to getting out there and seeing how the new package races. We are coming off a very strong run at Daytona and I feel really good about it. I’m excited about Phoenix.

Carl Edwards and his crew chief Jimmy Fennig will finish what they started last fall at Phoenix.

If you can’t get to Phoenix International Raceway, the race will be televised on Fox at 2:30 PM ET. The race is 500 kilometers-312 laps.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Phoenix
Jimmie Johnson………………….. 116.7
Kevin Harvick……………………… 101.3
Carl Edwards………………………. 100.0
Jeff Gordon………………………….. 99.4
Tony Stewart………………………… 99.2
Denny Hamlin……………………….. 98.2
Kurt Busch…………………………… 98.0
Kyle Busch…………………………… 97.4
Greg Biffle…………………………… 91.6
Ryan Newman………………………. 87.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among
active drivers at Phoenix International Raceway.

Featured Photo Credit: 283470 Jerry Markland/Getty Images