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Cup rookies heading into Fontana with momentum

Daniel Suarez awaits practice time at Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, AZ — Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones posted career-best finishes of seventh and eighth, respectively, in Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

     Suarez leads a tight rookie race by one point over Jones. They are followed by Ty Dillon (seven points behind Suarez), Corey LaJoie (-11) and Gray Gaulding (-21).

     Suarez, 25, and Jones, 20, are alumni of the NASCAR Next program. Although Suarez ranks better than Jones in the Rookie of Year race, Jones sits higher in the points standings at 18th (102 points behind Kyle Larson), while Suarez occupies the 21st spot (-112).

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