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TicketGuardian 500: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 3/11/18

The 2018 TicketGuardian 500

TicketGuardian 500: Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm (ISM Raceway)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX

We stay out west for the 2018 TicketGuardian 500, one of two scheduled trips in Arizona. This is one of the newer races of the season, as it debuted in 2005 and is only 312 miles long. Last week we finally got on board with a victory, suggesting Kevin Harvick as one of our plays, so we’re feeling a little better about ourselves heading into the week. Let’s not waste anymore time, shall we?

Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t released when this article was posted) 

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TicketGuardian 500: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 3/11/18

USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Harvick - It would be extremely impressive to win three of the first four races, but we have no choice but to put Kevin Harvick on the card yet again. Despite the short history of this event, Harvick has won it four times, including three of the last four years. Harvick also has a history of winning the second race in Phoenix, and he’s no stranger to winning the Phoenix race in the Camping World Truck Series. Needless to say, Harvick is the king of Arizona. You can’t put together a card this week and not include Harvick, the hottest racer on the planet.

Ryan Newman - Ryan Newman is in pretty good form right now, as he’s finished 11th or better in two of his three races and has top-10 performances in two of his last four races. Newman did win the TicketGuardian 500 last year and is a two-time winner of this event overall. Newman also has top-10 finishes in nine of his last 16 appearances at the ISM Raceway, which includes many top-five performances. Newman has just one win under his belt over the last several years, but his history in Phoenix makes him worth a look.

Joey Logano - Joey Logano hasn’t produced a victory in quite some time, but no driver is in better form than him. Logano has finished seventh or better in each of his last four races and has finished seventh or better in six of his last nine races. Logano has just one career Phoenix victory, but he does have nine top-10 finishes. With his consistency, it’s only a matter of time before Logano returns to victory lane, and I’m trying to cash in when he does. I’m leaving him on my NASCAR card.

Martin Truex Jr. - Another driver who is tough to bet against is Martin Truex Jr., who has finished fifth or better in 11 of his last 13 races. Truex is still looking for his first victory of the young season, but there will be no shortage of those as long as he’s in the thick of things coming into the last turn. Truex has never won in Phoenix, but he finished 11th and third in the two races last year and has eight career top-10 finishes at the ISM Raceway. Truex has also gone more than three races without a victory just once since his Quaker State 400 win last July. 

Ryan Blaney - If you’re looking for a real dark horse this week, it would probably be Ryan Blaney, who has put together top-10 finishes in two of his three races and has a nice history in Phoenix. Blaney has an average finish of 14.5 in four career races in Phoenix at this level, and he has a pair of runner-up finishes on this track in the Xfinity Series. Blaney has also finished seventh or better in all three Phoenix appearances in the Camping World Truck Series. Another guy who enjoys Arizona. Keep an eye out for him this week.

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