Welcome to Phoenix! If New Orleans is the House of the Rising Sun, then Phoenix is quite possibly the House of the Setting Sun. As the sun goes down and brings out the brilliant reds of the desert, will we see the 3 team in Victory Lane?
In truck competition and Xfinity races, Austin has an average finish of 8.5, for ease we will just say he averages a 9th place finish. It appears he had this track figured out in lower series, in Cup however he qualifies 19th on average and finishes around 25th place.
Does this mean he is doomed for another mid-twenties finish? I don’t think so. He is averaging 12 spots above his average finish this year. If you subtract those 12 spots from his finish total in Cup you get a new finish of 21st. If you combine his average finish from truck, Xfinity, and Cup you come to a nice 13th place finish.
A top 15 at Phoenix? That would be incredible. However, each race my prediction has been off by 4. Therefore, a range of 9th to 17th should be expected. Barring any unforeseen accidents, Austin is set for a finish in the top 1/3rd of the field.
What does all of this mean to us as fans? Well, it means Austin is certainly better this year. He has good momentum and a solid trend going. If he and the team can continually put themselves in the top 10, he will eventually luck into a win. Last week he had the fastest car on track much of the race and likely could’ve been a contender for the win had it not been for pit road.
The team aren’t the only ones to shoulder the blame for pit road. This is something week in and week out that Austin has been working on, getting faster and better on the slow road. The team itself is capable of very fast stops, the trick stops that they try to pull and Austin hitting the box right are what is slowing them up from my observations.
Hope everybody enjoyed the new set up, stay safe out there and I’ll see you from the box.