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NASCAR Preview For Phoenix

Phoenix International Raceway (Getty Images)

Just three points separates Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart entering the final two races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

After finishing seventh at Talladega and then winning at Martinsville and Texas, Stewart has gained 21 points on Edwards in the last three races. And Stewart will be looking to continue the momentum Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Stewart has four wins so far in this year’s Chase. Jimmie Johnson is the only other driver to do it, but Johnson did it three times in 2004, ’07 and ’09.

Edwards won this race last year.

Sunday’s race should be interesting because the one mile track has been repaved and reconfigured since they raced there back in February. So with all kinds of questions about the track and how to handle it, it could really shake things up if the teams and drivers miscalculate.

A number of drivers, including Edwards and Stewart, have done tire tests at Phoenix in August and another test session last month, but the way the track handles in racing conditions will be completely different.

Kevin Harvick is a distant third in the Chase standings, 33 points back.

Kyle Busch will be allowed back on the track this week after being parked by NASCAR for last week’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide races. That was the penalty after intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday in the Friday night Truck Series race.

The Nationwide Series is also at Phoenix this weekend and Carl Edwards is one of four Sprint Cup regulars that are entered. Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski are also entered.

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