AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Larson earned Hendrick Motorsports' best finish in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. 

William Byron (12 stage points) and Chase Elliott (10 stage points) earned double-digit stage points and were two of five drivers to do so. Those two drivers spent nearly all the first two stages in the top-eight positions. However, a spat of cautions early in the final stage and the last caution on lap 216, with multiple strategies coming into play. That shook up the running order and led to most of the Hendrick Motorsports camp finishing in positions that were not indicative of the races they had run. For example, Byron (9.23) and Elliott (9.94) had the seventh- and ninth-best average running positions in the race.

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Larson placed 14th in the No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Starting 17th, the 2021 Cup Series champion fought a car that was "a little tight in the middle" as he finished stage one in 11th. Pitting during the stage break, an issue with the left-rear tire saw Larson come back down for service. In the 125-lap second stage, he drove from 33rd to 14th. On the pit stop between stages, an issue on the right-rear tire cost the No. 5 team additional time and led to Larson restarting 18th. Crew chief Cliff Daniels called for two right-side tires under caution with 95 laps to go. That set his driver to line up fifth among the drivers with two tires, with nine drivers staying out. In the ensuing green-flag run to the finish, he got up to 13th.

Byron took the green flag from the fifth position and spent all of the opening stage in the top six, ultimately finishing the stage in sixth. Fast work in the pits positioned the 26-year-old driver to start the second stage from the third position. He radioed that he needed "to be a bit more free" as he maintained a top-five spot throughout most of the 125-lap stage. Byron finished the stage fourth in the No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. More quick work on pit road – this time with a stop of 9.98 seconds – moved Byron to restart third for the final stage. He held that spot over multiple restarts before pitting from there under caution with 95 laps to go. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native came out of the pits 15th but was the first car on four fresh tires. However, a chaotic restart saw the 2024 DAYTONA 500 winner pushed back to 23rd and he would only make up five spots from there in the closing run to finish 18th. 

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Elliott started the race from the third position, his best qualifying effort for the season. The 28-year-old driver spent the entire opening 60-lap run in the top five and placed fifth. Gaining a spot on pit road during the stage break, Elliott restarted stage two in fourth. He maintained a top-five position over the first half of the stage and cycled out to seventh following green-flag stops, where he finished the segment. The driver of the No. 9 Kelley Blue Book Chevy restarted the final stage in fourth after his pit crew gained him three spots on pit road. Under the rash of cautions to open the final stage, Elliott maintained a position in the top 10 before pitting on lap 217 on the day's final caution. He restarted 17th with 92 laps to go but had difficulty moving forward over the final run and finished 19th. 

Alex Bowman started the day from the 25th spot in the No. 48 Ally Best Friends Chevy. In stage one, he reported that he was tight in the center of both ends of the track and needed more drive off of turn four. The team went to work in the pits and he restarted 18th in stage two. Bowman was a fast mover on the next restart – gaining four spots in the opening laps. After cycling out to 12th following a green-flag pit stop in the middle of the stage, the Tucson, Arizona, native maintained the position to end the stage. He told crew chief Blake Harris that he needed more security on entry to help the overall drive of the ride. For the final stage, a great pit stop of 9.78 seconds by the No. 48 Ally Racing pit crew put Bowman in the top 10 on the ensuing restart. He stayed around that spot for the next 20 laps before pitting under the final caution. The final restart of the day put Bowman in 21st with 92 laps to go and he finished 20th. 

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Christopher Bell won the race in Phoenix. This race marked the debut of the 2024 short-track package. This rules setup includes 2023 short track/road course splitter stuffers, no engine panel strakes, a three-inch spoiler (was previously two inches), a simplified diffuser and simplified diffuser strakes. This will be used at all upcoming tracks one mile or shorter and road courses, except for Bristol Motor Speedway and Dover Motor Speedway.

Leaving Phoenix, Hendrick Motorsports remains three laps shy of 80,000 circuits led in the Cup Series. Across 35 tracks with 29 drivers, the team has posted the most laps out front by any team at the sport's top level. Larson is tied for second in the standings and 10 points behind the points leader. Byron is fourth in the standings, Elliott is ninth, and Bowman remains 13th. 

Next up for Hendrick Motorsports are the concrete high banks of Bristol. The track is hosting two races on its traditional layout for the first time since 2020. Over the last three years, the track has been covered in dirt for the spring race. On the 0.533-mile track, the Rick Hendrick-owned team has won 12 times. Jeff Gordon leads the team with five wins and Jimmie Johnson won twice for the organization. Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Terry Labonte, Larson and Darrell Waltrip each have one win at "The Last Great Colosseum." Larson's win in the 2021 playoff race is the most recent victory for the team at Bristol.

Tune in to watch the action at Thunder Valley on Sunday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).