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Race Information: NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500 at Phoenix

Race Info

Race: NASCAR Cup Series Instacart 500

Track: Phoenix Raceway

Race Date: Sunday, March 14, 2021

Time: 3:30 PM ET

Green Flag Time: 3:47 PM ET

Broadcast: FOX (TV) — MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR (Radio)

Laps: 312

Stage 1: 75 laps  —  Stage 2: 115 laps  —  Stage 3: 122 laps

To the Rear: Kyle Larson, William Byron, Cody Ware (multiple failed inspections),  Garrett Smithley (driver change), Chase Elliott and Quin Houff (Unapproved Adjustments).

Race Preview

Kyle Larson didn’t take long finding victory lane with Hendrick Motorsports in his return to the NASCAR Cup Series after a suspension that ended his 2020 season. In his fourth race with HMS, Larson became the fourth different winner in NCS competition in four events in 2021.

Larson was set to roll from the outside pole in Sunday’s Instacart 500 at Phoenix, but he’ll drop to the rear of the field on Sunday as his car failed pre-race inspection twice.

Still Larson will look to become the first two-time winner in 2021.

However, Brad Keselowski — who finished second to Larson this past weekend, and has been close to victory a few times already this season — will start from the pole. The Team Penske driver is very hungry, and it would not be surprising if Keselowski were to snag a victory.

Other favorites for this race would have to include Denny Hamlin (starting third) and Chase Elliott (starting sixth).

Elliott won the last event contested at Phoenix, which secured him the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Elliott has already racked up 402 laps led in just 10-career starts in the desert and he has finished inside the top-10 at the track six times.

Hamlin has two wins at this race track, including one in the fall of 2019, which sent him to the Championship 4 in the Playoffs. Hamlin has four top-five finishes in his last six starts at the 1-mile oval.

While these drivers are all safe bets to contend for the win on Sunday, the master of Phoenix — Kevin Harvick — starts way back in 18th.

Harvick and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing team struggled mightily in Las Vegas this past week, as Harvick was the team’s highest finisher in 20th. However, if there is a place to snap out of a funk, for Harvick at least, it would be Phoenix.

In Harvick’s last 18 starts at this facility, he has 17 top-10 finishes, and he has scored seven of his all-time high nine wins at the speedway over that span.

Harvick finished runner-up in this race a season ago, and after a rough outing at Vegas, you would expect Harvick to be out for blood this weekend.

Pre/Post-Race Stats and Information

Pre-Race

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Driver / Team Chart
Team Charters
Pre-Race Driver Standings
Entry List
Starting Lineup
Team Rosters
Pit Stall Map

Post-Race

Race Results
In-Race Penalty Report
Post-Race Driver Standings
Post-Race Owner Standings
Loop Data

Weekend Schedule

No practice / qualifying

  • Sunday, March 14th — 3:30 PM ET — Race (Stages 75/190/312 Laps = 312 Miles)

Race Stories / Video Highlights / Recap

Inspection Complete: Martin Truex Jr. Officially Wins Cup Series Race at Phoenix

Martin Truex Jr. Muscles Past Joey Logano For First Win of 2021 in Phoenix

Video: Anthony Alfredo Crashes Hard After Getting Turned By Cody Ware at Phoenix

Video: Alex Bowman Spins Off Front End of Austin Dillon After Stack-up

Chase Elliott and Quin Houff to the Rear of Field at Phoenix After Unapproved Adjustments

Kyle Larson, William Byron and Cody Ware to Rear of Sunday’s Cup Series Field at Phoenix After Multiple Inspection Failures

Engineer Davin Restivo Set to Serve as Crew Chief For Cole Custer at Phoenix After Mike Shiplett Suspension

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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