NASCAR has another new points leader after Phoenix race

Ryan Blaney is the fourth different points leader in four races to start the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney reeled off his third consecutive top five finish in Sunday's Shriners Children's 500 at Phoenix Raceway, the same track where a runner-up finish last November secured him his first career championship.

Blaney is the only driver with three top five finishes through the first four races of the 2024 season, and despite having not yet won this year, he finds himself leading the point standings heading into this coming Sunday afternoon's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford is the fourth different driver to lead the point standings through the first four races of the 2024 season.

NASCAR Cup Series: Four points leaders in four races

Daytona 500 winner William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports led the standings following his season-opening win at Daytona International Speedway, but Richard Childress Racing's Kyle Busch, who finished the Daytona 500 in 12th place, moved to the lead with a third place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hendrick Motorsports' Kyle Larson then moved to the top with a dominant win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, despite having not finished in the top 10 in either one of the season's first two races. His 14th place finish at Phoenix Raceway, coupled with Blaney's fifth place finish, moved the reigning champion to the top.

Larson now finds himself in a second place tie with Joe Gibbs Racing's Martin Truex Jr., whose four finishes have all fallen within the seventh to 15th range. Byron sits in fourth while Busch finds himself down in 12th.

Trackhouse Racing Team's Daniel Suarez, who won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, sits in 10th place, and Joe Gibbs Racing's Christopher Bell, who won at Phoenix Raceway, sits in 12th.

Blaney has led the point standings multiple times before, most recently last June. Of course, he technically led the standings after the 2023 season as the series champion, but he was only sixth in total points scored throughout the year.

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The Food City 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Bristol Motor Speedway beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 17. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so now and don't miss it!