Snapshot: Phoenix preview
March 01, 2014, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com
What: The Profit on CNBC 500, presented by Small Business Fueling America.
Where: Phoenix International Raceway.
When: Sunday, March 2, 2014, 3 p.m. ET.
Distance: 500 kilometers/ 312 laps
Average Race Time: 2:57:33
Fuel window: 85 laps
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Caution Car Speed: 50 mph
Minimum speed: 30.23 seconds
Driver Introductions: 3 p.m. ET
Invocation: 3 p.m. ET by PIR Chaplain, Ken Bowers.
National Anthem: 3:01 p.m. by Emmy Award winner Dr. Jesse McGuire.
Command: 3:08 p.m. by Star of CNBC's "The Profit," Marcus Lemonis.
Green Flag: 3:15 p.m.
On The Front Row: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, No. 2 Ford (139.384 mph); Joey Logano, Team Penske, No. 22 Ford (139.265 mph).
Notable: Brad Keselowski's qualifying speed is a track record, beating Jimmie Johnson's qualifying lap of 139.222 mph from November 2013. His teammate Joey Logano also surpassed the old track record.
To The Back: Justin Allgaier, No. 51 Chevrolet.
Notable II: Jimmie Johnson has -- by far -- the highest Driver Rating among those entered in the race at 116.7, along with an average finish of 6.1. Kevin Harvick has the next closest driver rating at 101.3.
Defending Race Winner: Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford.
Notable III: There have been a total of 35 Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, but this race will be just the 10th run in the winter/spring months.
Fastest In Practice
First Practice: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet (138.723 mph).
Second Practice: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (137.757 mph).
Third Practice: Harvick (136.960 mph).
Former Race Winners In Field: Carl Edwards (2013); Denny Hamlin (2012); Jeff Gordon (2011; '07); Ryan Newman (2010); Jimmie Johnson (2008); Kevin Harvick (2006); Kurt Busch (2005).
Fantasy Sleeper Pick (powered by Rotowire.com)
Ryan Newman: The sneaky-good fantasy racing play for the Profit on CNBC 500 is Newman. What most people may not realize is that the veteran driver's career numbers are a bit shaky at the one-mile oval, but recent seasons have been nothing short of outstanding for the driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet. Newman has a victory, a runner-up finish and five top-fives in his last eight races at Phoenix International Raceway. He has rather quietly amassed these numbers in the last four seasons. Newman could really be seen as more of a solid play than a sleeper this week, although a Top-10 finish is nearly a lock. (Click here for more fantasy advice or to sign up for NASCAR Fantasy Live.)