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NASCAR Finish Line: Analyzing best Group 2 play at Phoenix

NASCAR Finish Line, a free-to-play gaming app from Penn National Gaming, has launched for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Each week, there will be six groups of six drivers for the upcoming race. Users will predict which driver will finish first among each group and then also the overall race winner for a chance to win $50,000 each week if all seven scenarios are correctly selected.

Last week’s race at Auto Club Speedway saw no jackpot winners earn the $50K prize.

RELATED: Download NASCAR Finish Line

The second of six groups for Sunday’s FanShield 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX/FOX Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Phoenix Raceway consists of Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Three of those drivers — Busch, Johnson and Logano — have NASCAR Cup Series victories at the 1-mile track.

The 2020 short-track package that will be used this weekend is an added wrinkle of which we have no data to go on yet, so we will lean on the past to offer some insight before on-track activity. For a stats look, NASCAR.com has compiled the results of the last three races at Phoenix — all since the reconfiguration of the track took place — and the early returns from the 2020 season to see who is entering the desert hot.

A point system has been assigned to each year, starting with one point for the best finisher and counting up to six points for the worst finisher. Those numbers were then added up. The lowest total signifies the strongest driver (green) and the highest total represents the weakest driver (red) — at least in recent years.

Driver Phoenix-2 results (’18) Phoenix-1 results (’19) Phoenix-2 results (’19) 2020 avg. finish Total
Ryan Blaney Finished 34th (5) Finished 3rd (1) Finished 3rd (1) Avg. finish: 10.7 (1) 8
Kurt Busch Finished 32nd (4) Finished 7th (2) Finished 11th (5) Avg. finish: 20.3 (6) 17
Erik Jones Finished 17th (3) Finished 29th (6) Finished 7th (2) Avg. finish: 17.0 (5) 16
Jimmie Johnson Finished 15th (2) Finished 8th (3) Finished 14th (6) Avg. finish: 15.7 (3) 14
Brad Keselowski Finished 2nd (1) Finished 19th (5) Finished 10th (4) Avg. finish: 16.0 (4) 14
Joey Logano Finished 37th (6) Finished 10th (4) Finished 9th (3) Avg. finish: 13.0 (2) 15

The stats show Blaney is the overwhelming favorite in Group 2. His early results of the 2020 season would also back up he is the driver to pick in NASCAR Finish Line’s Group 2.