NASCAR Driver Rankings for Phoenix

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The Cup Series has already completed three races and now they will head to the most important track on the schedule. Phoenix Raceway is where the 2024 Cup Series Champion will be crowned. Teams know they cannot win the championship if they cannot run well in the desert. This one-mile, D-shaped oval is flat and NASCAR is trying their best to put on a good show this week. The Shriners Children’s 500 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

The instruction of the Gen-7 car prior to the 2022 season improved the racing on the intermediate tracks, but the short-track racing has been poor. NASCAR is trying their best to improve the way the Gen-7 car races at the short-tracks, so the Cup Series will have a new aero-package this week. The rear diffuser has been changed; the rear spoil will be increased from 2” to 3” and the engine panel stakes will be removed (not sure what that is). All we need to know is that there will be a new car on the track this week.

NASCAR tested the new aero-package at Phoenix Raceway last December. The six drivers who participated in the two-day test include Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Erik Jones and Corey LaJoie. The teams will also have a 50-minute practice session Friday to work with the new aero-package.

Christopher Bell said following the test, “The package is not perfect. I doubt we will ever get this car to driver on the short-tracks like the old car did, but the changes made today were an improvement. The cars are move drivable now. We can make some bold moves and not have to worry about spinning out. I would like more speed, but I understand that cost money and NASCAR doesn’t want to go in that direction.”

Just when we think we have enough data to handicap the race, another curveball is thrown at us. I still think the drivers who ran well at Phoenix in the Gen-7 car will be the drivers up front Sunday. I used the data from the two races at Phoenix last year, the data from the four races in the Gen-7 car at Phoenix (combined the stats), the data from the flat, short-tracks last year (Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire) and the average finishing position from the three races this year (I like having momentum as a stat in the rankings) for the driver rankings this week.

Here are the Driver Rankings for the Shriners Children’s 500

DRIVER
1. WILLIAM BYRON
2. RYAN BLANEY
3. KYLE LARSON
4. ROSS CHASTAIN
5. MARTIN TRUEX JR.
6. DENNY HAMLIN
7. KYLE BUSCH
8. JOEY LOGANO
9. CHRIS BUESCHER
10. TYLER REDDICK
11. BUBBA WALLACE
12. CHRISTOPHER BELL
13. CHASE BRISCOE
14. CHASE ELLIOTT
15. DANIEL SUAREZ
16. ALEX BOWMAN
17. TY GIBBS
18. RYAN PREECE
19. BRAD KESELOWSKI
20. JOSH BERRY
21. AUSTIN DILLON
22. AUSTIN CINDRIC
23. ERIK JONES
24. MICHAEL MCDOWELL
25. NOAH GRAGSON
26. COREY LAJOIE
27. CARSON HOCEVAR
28. RICKY STENHOUSE JR.
29. JOHN H. NEMECHEK
30. DANIEL HEMRIC
31. ZANE SMITH
32. HARRISON BURTON
33. TODD GILLILAND
34. JUSTIN HALEY
35. DEREK KRAUS
36. KAZ GRALA

 

 

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