The Daytona 500 might be NASCAR's premiere event, but the season truly gets underway on Sunday in Arizona.
NASCAR's second race of the season begins in earnest on Sunday afternoon when the green flag waves on the The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Speedway. The mile-long track is a good opportunity for some Daytona also-rans to get their feet back on the ground.
After finishing outside the top ten at Daytona after a poor final lap (and crashing teammate Danica Patrick), Kevin Harvick has had one of the fastest cars in practice this week at Phoenix. A win at Phoenix would go a long way toward instilling some confidence in Harvick and his new team.
But no driver needs a win quite like Brad Keselowski. The 2012 champion suffered through a miserable 2013 campaign and fell just short of a win at Daytona after dominating Speedweeks. He starts on the pole, but it will be interesting to see how he fares without crew chief Paul Wolfe. Wolfe is busy tending to his wife and their newborn child and won't be guiding Keselowski through the desert.
Then again, Denny Hamlin raced without a radio at Daytona and finished second, so Keselowski shouldn't have any excuses for not performing well without his crew chief.
The Profit on CNBC 500 Coverage:
TV: Fox - 3 p.m. ET (Green flag waves at approximately 3:15 p.m.)
Online: NASCAR.com RaceView (with a paid subscription)