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NASCAR Fantasy Picks for the 2024 Shriners Children’s 500

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Mavis Brakes Plus Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Shriners Children's 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 08, 2024 in Avondale, Arizona.

NASCAR Fantasy is ready to go for the Cup Series ahead of the Shriners Children’s 500 from Phoenix Raceway.

The fourth race of the 2024 NASCAR season will take place on Sunday, March 10th. With a new short track package, 36 cars will take to the one-mile Arizona circuit at 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT) on FOX. Radio listeners can catch the action on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio.

NASCAR Fantasy Live gives fans the chance to partake in driver selection each Cup Series race weekend. One will pick five starters and one “garage” driver per event. The garage driver will not receive any points but acts as a replacement for a starter who may face trouble in the first part of the race. At the end of stage two, picks will lock and no changes can be made. Points are awarded based on stage points and finishing positions in addition to four “head-to-head” driver picks. A driver may only be picked ten (10) times across the 26-race Regular Season and then five (5) times in the 10-race Playoffs.

See NASCAR’s website here for rules of how to play.

My recommendations are NOT my guaranteed lineup for Sunday. Here are my NASCAR Fantasy suggestions for the 2024 Shriners Children’s 500. Also, see my results from last weekend’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


    • Kyle Larson (9 uses left)
      • 40 Place Points + 20 Stage Points = 60 Total Points
    • Martin Truex Jr. (9 uses left)
      • 30 Place Points + 14 Stage Points = 44 Total Points
    • Joey Logano (9 uses left)
      • 28 Place Points + 2 Stage Points = 30 Total Points
    • William Byron (8 uses left)
      • 27 Place Points + 0 Stage Points = 27 Total Points
    • Kyle Busch (9 uses left)
      • 11 Place Points + 7 Stage Points = 18 Total Points
    • Christopher Bell (GARAGE – 10 uses left)
      • 4 Place Points + 1 Stage Point = 5 Total Points
    • Daniel Suarez vs. Chase Briscoe
      • PICK: Suarez
      • RESULT: Correct (Suarez = 11th, Briscoe = 21st)
    • Martin Truex Jr. vs. Joey Logano
      • PICK: Truex Jr.
      • RESULT: Correct (Truex Jr. = 7th, Logano = 9th)
    • Ty Gibbs vs. Bubba Wallace
      • PICK: Wallace
      • RESULT: Incorrect (Gibbs = 5th, Wallace = 35th)
    • Ross Chastain vs. Brad Keselowski
      • PICK: Chastain
      • RESULT: Correct (Chastain = 4th, Keselowski 13th)
  • RANKING – RACE 3/36
    • Total Points = 209
    • Collective Rank = 22,112th (+15,769 positions)


Pick 1 – Kyle Larson

Who else should take the top spot other than Kyle Larson? Last weekend at Las Vegas, the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports driver dominated en route to his 24th career NASCAR Cup Series victory. He will enter this weekend as a top favorite in search of his 25th.

The Copper State has treated Larson well. Winning last year’s March race was nearly in his grasp until a late-race caution with three laps to go. He won the 2021 Championship by taking the checkered flag, and a third in 2023’s finale was his eighth finish of fourth or better in 19 trips to Phoenix. When looking at Next Gen races, Larson has averaged 12.25 stage points per race with a Top 10 in all eight stages. Although he will start 17th, the pick is a must.

Pick 2 – Ryan Blaney

Defending Series Champion Ryan Blaney has a knack for the Phoenix asphalt. Although he did not win in his title-crowning run, his performance was nothing short of impressive. His track stats see five consecutive finishes inside the Top 5 with nine of ten stage appearances. In the last four, he had led the most laps (254) of active divers.

Blaney has finished third or better in five of the last six NASCAR races. Although this streak will come to an end at some point, I do not envision a dip in performance this weekend.

Pick 3 – William Byron

You could say William Byron found himself in a trashy situation at Las Vegas. A literal trash bag made its way onto the front of his Chevrolet Camaro, forcing him onto pit road for an unscheduled stop. A long fight all day saw the 2024 Daytona 500 Champion recover to a 10th-place finish.

In twelve Cup starts at Phoenix, Byron has not finished worse than 24th place. Eleven of the twelve have come inside the Top 20 with seven inside the Top 10. His last three finishes have been a 6th or better winning the 2023 March race. Byron joins teammate Larson as the only driver receiving points in all eight Next Gen Phoenix stages. Cumulatively, his Average Running Position ranks first among active drivers in the four most recent events.

Pick 4 – Ross Chastain

Blaney’s friend from last year’s Phoenix finale, Ross Chastain, will look to defend his Avondale crown. Three of his last four races have been finishes of third or better including last November’s victory. A chance for four could have happened in the 2023 March race before an incident with the below driver occurred in overtime.

Chastain has looked sharp to start 2024 with a seventh at Atlanta and a fourth at Las Vegas. Fellow Trackhouse Racing teammate, Daniel Suarez, already found the winner’s circle with his stunning last-lap Atlanta finish. There are not many tracks better to his driving style, and his consistent competitiveness will be key for NASCAR Fantasy.

Pick 5 – Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin is about to get his season going in high gear. The 43-year-old has not had an Average Running Position worse than twelfth in the Next Gen at Phoenix. He is the 2012 March winner and the 2019 Fall winner with 22 Top 10s in 37 starts. Hamlin’s first-career NASCAR Cup Series pole also came at Phoenix in only his sixth start.

Toyota’s have struggled at the track in recent years, but Hamlin always finds himself in the mix at the end. Has he gotten the stage points? No. However, I take value in his lap averages from Friday’s practice and his team’s ability to improve throughout the race. Long green flag runs will see Hamlin comfortably around the Top 5. From the pole, No 11. will lead Sunday’s field to green.


  • Joey Logano: three Cup checkered flags at Phoenix including 202 Championship crown; five straight Phoenix – Race One finishes of 10th and better
  • Christopher Bell: 5 of 8 stage finishes inside Top 10 (Next Gen era); former Xfinity Phoenix winner; 6th place finish in 2023 March race
  • Tyler Reddick: 6 of 8 stage finishes inside Top 10 (Next Gen era) with two March finishes of 3rd
  • Erik Jones: two Trucks wins; 100% Top 10 streak through ten total races in Xfinity and Trucks; 5th fastest ten-lap average (Friday practice)


  • Chase Briscoe: March 2022 victor; three finishes in Top 10 through four Next Gen races with 5 of 8 stage Top 10s; looking for recovery after slow Friday evening practice


  • Austin Dillon: no finish Cup better than 8th at Phoenix; only two Top 10s in 20 career starts
  • Austin Cindric: 29th Average Running Position in 2023 Championship race with 35th place finish
  • Corey LaJoie: only one Phoenix Top 20 and two lead lap finishes


Ryan Blaney vs. Ross Chastain

Ross Chastain defeated Ryan Blaney in last year’s Championship finale. The two shared a moment last weekend at Las Vegas in the closing laps of the race. It appears this duo pairing is a new on-track rivalry. Can it carry over on race day? Yes. Who takes the cake on Sunday? I do not have a confident answer.

This is the tightest pairing of the weekend. By the thinnest of margins, I choose Chastain.

Denny Hamlin vs. Chase Elliott

Based on recent performances and statistics, there is a clear favorite here. Although Chase Elliott had the best Chevrolet lap time in practice, Toyota appears to have brought a different level of horsepower this weekend. Additionally, Elliott has not finished inside the Top 10 at Phoenix since the 2022 finale race.

With NASCAR Fantasy having featured matchups only based on finishing position, and until the former Champion shows improved results, my pick has to be Hamlin.

Kyle Busch vs. Christopher Bell

Friday’s test session did not look good for the Richard Childress Racing group. Kyle Busch showed late improvements, but it was nothing as strong as Christopher Bell’s. 15-lap, 20-lap, and beyond-lap averages were all in his favor. Bell enters the weekend looking to bounce back after having his 2023 title hopes end early and with back-to-back finishes this season outside the Top 30.

Bell takes the edge.

Ty Gibbs vs. Alex Bowman

Similar to Elliott, we have not seen the results from Alex Bowman. Only two Top 10s have amounted since his return from injury in May of last year. In 13 starts with HMS, he surprisingly has only found two finishes of twelfth or better. Last weekend, I suggested avoiding Gibbs at Las Vegas, and his performance bit my pick.

The pieces are coming together for the rising star, and because of this, I like Gibbs to defeat Bowman on Sunday.

What does your NASCAR Fantasy lineup look like for the 2024 Shriners Children’s? Tweet us @LWOSMotorsport. Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.


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