PHOENIX RECORD: 23 career starts, 1 wins, 5 top-5s, 9 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in 2002. Finished seventh in this race last year and was 23rd in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth would love to have the same kind of season he had last year, including a series-high seven wins and potentially end up with his second career Cup championship this season.
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth was hoping to earn his third career Daytona 500 win, but came up short, finishing sixth. Here's Kenseth's thoughts on how the 500 played out: "No (he's not disappointed with his finish). For the way the whole week went and we finished sixth, it could be a lot worse than that. I'm glad Dale Jr. got the win - he needed that. That was good for him and Denny [Hamlin]. Denny was super-fast all week and it looks like he almost pulled it off too."
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 92.2 percent (6,693) of the 7,257 total laps contested in 23 career starts at Phoenix. His average start there is 19.9 and his average finish is 17.4. He has four DNFs there.
17 RICKY STENHOUSE JR., Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got off to a great start in his sophomore season on the Sprint Cup circuit, finishing seventh in the Daytona 500. He is tied in the Sprint Cup standings with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle. The duo trails points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 11 points, is one point behind sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads ninth-ranked Austin Dillon by one point.
PHOENIX RECORD: 2 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-5s, 0 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: 12th in 2013 fall race. Finished 16th in his first career Sprint Cup race at Phoenix last spring and was 12th in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Now it's a matter of Stenhouse continuing what he did in the season opener at Daytona. He's had a lot of experience at PIR, especially in the Nationwide Series, so look for him to likely have another top-10 day this Sunday.
LOOKING BACK: Stenhouse drove an intelligent race, stayed out of trouble, kept pace with the leaders and came home with a very good seventh-place finish. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's Daytona 500 run: "We came home seventh and that is a good way to start the year. We just needed a little bit more there at the end. We needed a couple cars behind us to be able to get to the 2's bumper and we just didn't quite get it."
ETC.: Stenhouse has completed 100 percent (628) of the 628 total laps contested in two career starts at Phoenix. His average start there is 19.5 and his average finish is 14.0. He has zero DNFs there.
16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Greg Biffle had a good run in the season-opening Daytona 500, finishing eighth. Biffle had a very strong Ford that challenged for the lead several times and could have pulled an upset with a break or two. He is tied in the Sprint Cup standings with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The duo trails points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 11 points, is one point behind sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads ninth-ranked Austin Dillon by one point.
PHOENIX RECORD: 20 career starts, 0 wins, 5 top-5s, 7 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in 2012 spring race. Finished 17th in this race last year and was 13th in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Phoenix is not one of Biffle's best tracks. He's never won there and seems to struggle more often than not. That's kind of surprising given Biffle's extensive short track racing career. He started racing on short tracks in his native Washington state and was quite successful back in his pre-NASCAR days.
LOOKING BACK: Biffle showed lots of promise for the rest of the 2014 season by finishing eighth in Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. Here's his thoughts on his finish: "It was a good night. They just have a tick more speed, it seems like. I could kind of hold them off, but it depends on who is pushing you, I guess. You get some fast cars lined up and you're fast, but that last restart killed me. That was it."
ETC.: Biffle has completed 97.6 percent (6,172) of the 6,321 total laps contested in 20 career starts at Phoenix. His average start there is 14.6 and his average finish is 13.8. He has one DNF there.
3 AUSTIN DILLON, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Austin Dillon comes into the second race of the season in ninth place, after also finishing ninth in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday. Dillon, who started on the pole for that race, trails Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 12 points in the Sprint Cup standings, is one point behind the seventh-place tie of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle and leads 10th-ranked Casey Mears by two points.
PHOENIX RECORD: 0 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-5s, 0 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Sunday will mark Dillon's first career Sprint Cup start at Phoenix. However, in five career Nationwide Series races there previously, he had two top-five and four top-10 finishes. And in two career Camping World Trucks Series races, he had one top-five and another top-10 finish at PIR.
LOOKING AHEAD: Dillon started off his Sprint Cup rookie season by finishing ninth in the season-opening Daytona 500. Here are his thoughts heading into Sunday's race at Phoenix: "(PIR) is a track I've been looking forward to for several weeks. I'm a rookie and I have a lot to learn - I know I'll have a lot to learn all season. I feel like I showed my rookie stripes quite a bit during the Daytona 500, but Phoenix is a track where I've made a ton of laps as a driver, so I've been looking forward to entering that race. ... I've raced there in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series so I feel like I have a good feel for the track."
LOOKING BACK: Even though he finished ninth in Sunday's Daytona 500, Dillon had problems during the race, being involved in at least three different wrecks. He is young, enthusiastic and will make mistakes this season, but to work through all those wrecks and still finish ninth is a significant accomplishment.
ETC.: Dillon has never raced in the Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix.
13 CASEY MEARS, Chevrolet
Team: Germain Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Casey Mears had one of the best season-opening finishes he's ever had, winding up 10th in the Daytona 500. Mears is tied for 10th in the Sprint Cup standings with Joey Logano, each with 14 points. Both drivers trail points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 14 points, are two points behind ninth-ranked Austin Dillon and are three points ahead of 12th-ranked Kevin Harvick.
PHOENIX RECORD: 19 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-5s, 0 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: 11th in spring 2008 race. Finished 14th in this race last year and was 27th in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Off to a great start to begin the season, Mears hopes to build upon his Daytona performance with an equally strong run - if not stronger - this Sunday at Phoenix. Here's some of Mears' thoughts: "Everybody is always excited about a season, but we are especially excited at Germain Racing, for sure. We've got a lot of things going on with the partnership with (Richard Childress Racing, which supplies motors and chassis to Germain Racing). ... It's a big step for our organization. Last year was our first full season and now having a full relationship with RCR from the technical side to being able to review data, cars parts and pieces, it's a real big step in the right direction for our program."
LOOKING BACK: Mears literally flew under the radar for most of Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500, stayed out of trouble for the most part and came home with a promising 10th-place finish.
ETC.: Mears has completed 91.0 percent (5,408) of the 5,943 total laps contested in 19 career starts at Phoenix. His average start there is 23.5 and his average finish is 26.2. He has four DNFs there.
Driver Capsules for week of Feb. 25
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Team Penske
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, no points out of the top 10.
PHOENIX RECORD: Finished ninth in the November race for his fourth top-10 finish in 10 starts. Led 33 laps in the November event.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano is quick to point out that racing at Phoenix is a "totally different style of racing" than Daytona. "At Daytona, you are mentally worn out after the race because you are on edge the whole time. When you get to Phoenix, you can get more into a zone. It's more racing where handling and car prep really comes into play. And you just approach it different from the very beginning. Daytona is Daytona. But you really feel like you start the season when you get to Phoenix."
LOOKING BACK: Logano finished 11th in the Daytona 500. "That was a crazy, crazy race there at the end," said Logano. "It's funny because you line up behind Brad (Keselowski, his teammate) and he gets a hole and I don't, and then you see where he goes and where you're at. We got shuffled all the way to the back with 10 (laps) to go. We worked our way up some. We got sideways at the end, but I was able to save it."
ETC.: Logano feels that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. winning the Daytona 500 "will be good for our sport. It will bring a lot of attention our way in the coming weeks. That's probably our biggest star winning the biggest race. That's got to be good, right? Hopefully, we as a sport can take the extra attention and make it pay off with some big races in the next couple of weeks. And hopefully we can win both of those (Phoenix and Las Vegas)."