After a dominant run by William Byron in Las Vegas, NASCAR is set to wrap up their West Coast swing with a visit to Phoenix Raceway.
However, the biggest storyline from last week at Vegas did not come from the race track. It was announced that 2020 Cup Series Champ Chase Elliott will miss time after suffering an injury in a snowboarding accident.
Chase Elliott has won NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award for five consecutive season so his presence will surely be missed while Josh Berry and Jordan Taylor serve as substitute drivers.
With the driver change in mind – let’s look at the entry list for Sunday’s race.
|1||Ross Chastain||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet|
|2||Austin Cindric||Team Penske||Ford|
|3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart Haas Racing||Ford|
|5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|6||Brad Keselowski||RFK Racing||Ford|
|7||Corey Lajoie||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|8||Kyle Busch||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|9||Josh Berry||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|10||Aric Almirola||Stewart Haas Racing||Ford|
|11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford|
|14||Chase Briscoe||Stewart Haas Racing||Ford|
|15||Todd Gilliland||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|16||AJ Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet|
|17||Chris Buescher||RFK Racing||Ford|
|19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|21||Harrison Burton||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford|
|23||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|31||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet|
|34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|38||Zane Smith||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|41||Ryan Preece||Stewart Haas Racing||Ford|
|42||Noah Gragson||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|43||Erik Jones||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|45||Tyler Reddick||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|51||Cody Ware||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|54||Ty Gibbs||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|77||Ty Dillon||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|78||BJ McLeod||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford|
|99||Daniel Suarez||Trackhouse Racing Team|
The Spring race at Phoenix takes on a bit of added significance given the fact that NASCAR’s championship race is run here come November.
In addition to those stakes, this is also NASCAR’s first race with a new lower downforce package that the series will use on short tracks and road courses – meaning this weekend’s results could have major lasting on the rest of the season. Check out the below thread from Bozi Tatarevic (an absolute must follow for racing fans) for more about how this package change could impact the drivers:
With that change in mind, it’s tough to predict who will run well in the desert. The one constant in the past ten years at Phoenix raceway has been the performance of Kevin Harvick. Harvick has not finished outside of the top ten at the track since 2013 and boasts nine victories. If I absolutely have to pick a winner for Sunday’s race, it has to be “Happy” Harvick.
Check out the schedule below to make sure you don’t miss any action from race week.
General Tire 150 (ARCA Menards Series) – 7:00 p.m CT on FS2
NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying – 12:05 p.m. CT on FS1
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – 1:05 p.m. CT on FS1
United Rentals 200 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) – 3:30 p.m. CT on FS1
United Rentals Work United 500 (NASCAR Cup Series) – 2:30 p.m. CT on Fox