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NASCAR Cup drivers to watch Sunday at Phoenix

Cup teams close out the West Coast swing with a Sunday afternoon race at Phoenix Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox).

William Byron, Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson all have spots in the playoffs after winning the first three races of the season. Reigning champion Ryan Blaney is winless after three races but holds the second spot in the point standings.

Here is a look at the drivers to keep an eye on during Sunday's race at the 1-mile track.

FRONTRUNNERS

Kyle Larson

Points position: 1st

Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I)

2024 stats: Three starts with two top-15 finishes, one DNF and one win. An average finish of 14.7 with 205 laps led.

Past at Phoenix: Larson has 19 starts at Phoenix with 12 top-10 finishes, eight top fives and an average finish of 11.3. He has led 382 laps and celebrated one win (2021). Larson started from the pole in last spring's race and led 201 laps before finishing fourth. He finished third in last year's season finale.

AUTO: MAR 03 NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
AUTO: MAR 03 NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

Kyle Larson takes top spot in NASCAR Power Rankings after Las Vegas win

Kyle Larson scored his 24th Cup win and 18th with Hendrick Motorsports.

Ryan Blaney

Points position: 2nd

Best finish this season: 2nd (Atlanta I)

2024 stats: Three starts with two top-three finishes and one DNF. An average finish of 11.7 with 43 laps led.

Past at Phoenix: Blaney has only finished worse than 10th once in the last 10 races at Phoenix while leading 417 laps. He has not won at the 1-mile track in Cup but has finished fourth or better in five straight races. This includes three consecutive runner-up finishes.

Ross Chastain

Points position: 5th

Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I)

2024 stats: Three starts with two top-10 finishes, one top five, 16 laps led and an average finish of 10.7.

Past at Phoenix: Chastain has finished third or better in three of the last four races at Phoenix, all since moving to Trackhouse Racing. He won last season’s finale at Phoenix after leading 157 laps and holding off Blaney in the closing laps.

William Byron

Points position: 4th

Best finish this season: 1st (Daytona 500)

2024 stats: Three starts with two top-10 finishes, one win, 19 laps led and an average finish of 9.3.

Past at Phoenix: Byron has seven top-10 finishes at Phoenix in 12 starts with an average finish of 11.3. He won last season’s spring race at Phoenix after leading 64 laps. Byron has led laps in three of the last four races at Phoenix.

AUTO: MAR 02 NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
AUTO: MAR 02 NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

‘Never seen anything like that,’ NASCAR crew chief says of what happened in Las Vegas race

A large trash bag covered the front of William Byron’s car and had a surprise in it.

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER

Alex Bowman

Points position: 13th

Best finish this season: 2nd (Daytona 500)

2024 stats: Three starts with one top-five finish, three laps led and an average finish of 15.7.

Past at Phoenix: Bowman has 17 starts at Phoenix with only two top-10 finishes. He finished sixth in 2016 while replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. and then he finished ninth in last season’s spring race. Bowman has an average finish of 22.5 at his home track.

Chase Elliott

Points position: 7th

Best finish this season: 12th (Las Vegas I)

2024 stats: Three starts with three top-15 finishes, 13 laps led and an average finish of 13.7.

Past at Phoenix: Elliott has eight top-10 finishes and five top fives at Phoenix with 564 laps led. This includes the win in 2020 that secured his first Cup championship. However, Elliott’s best finish at Phoenix in the Next Gen era is 11th (2022). Elliott still seeks his first top-10 finish of the season.

Brad Keselowski

Points position: 28th

Best finish this season: 13th (Las Vegas I)

2024 stats: Three starts, two DNFs and one top-15 finish. Average finish of 26.3 with five laps led.

Past at Phoenix: Keselowski has made 29 starts at Phoenix and finished second twice (2018, 2020) while leading 284 laps. His best finish at Phoenix since moving to RFK Racing is 15th. His other finishes in this span of time are 18th, 35th and 23rd.