William Byron’s victory last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a huge career boost for the 23-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver and continued an interesting storyline in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.

There have been two first-time race winners in Daytona 500 champ Michael McDowell and Daytona Road Course winner Christopher Bell and, although Byron is a former race winner competing for an elite team, many NASCAR fans would not have predicted these three would hoist a trophy before any of last year’s championship-contending drivers. Byron’s win was his only top-20 finish this season.

It has all intensified a must-see 2021 that — judging by historical statistics — will crown a fourth winner this week in the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m.).

Last year’s Championship 4 — Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — are still looking for their first victory of this season. And neither Hamlin nor the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Elliott has ever won at Las Vegas.

The Team Penske drivers Keselowski and Logano have been particularly good at the 1.5-miler, winning three of the last five races. Logano is the two-time defending winner of the spring race.

Logano, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, has only one top-10 this season despite leading laps in all three of the season’s races.

He was leading when he crashed in the season-opening Daytona 500, finished runner-up at the Daytona Road Course and then 25th last week at Homestead. He has top-10 finishes in nine of the last 10 Las Vegas races and led laps in all 10. A trophy would go a long way to making Logano’s results more reflective of his performance this year. Statistically, Las Vegas is the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion’s best track. He has an average finish of 8.4 in 15 starts.

His Team Penske teammate, Keselowski, is the winningest active driver at Las Vegas with three victories, the most recent coming in the 2018 playoff race. He finished runner-up to Logano at Vegas in 2019 and has 10 top-10 finishes in the last 11 Las Vegas races. For the 2021 season, however, the 2012 series champion has only one top-10, but was making a move for the race win in the Daytona 500 when he was involved in a last-lap crash. He led 47 laps at Homestead last week and finished 16th.

Hamlin, who won seven races in 2020, has been close to Victory Lane and a favorite at each 2021 stop. He leads the championship standings by 20-points over Kevin Harvick. He finished fifth in the Daytona 500 and third at the road course the following week, but was 11th at Homestead — the only race this season when he has not led a lap. In 18 Las Vegas starts he has only three top-five finishes. His best effort is third and he’s done that twice, including last year’s playoff race.

Elliott, who finished runner-up in the Daytona 500, is looking for his first top-10 since. He was 21st at the Daytona Road Course after leading 44 of the 70 laps and 14th at Homestead last week. His best finish (third) at Las Vegas came in his last race there in the midst of his title-clinching playoff run.

“I thought we were pretty good at Las Vegas last year in the spring race,” Elliott said. “We struggled a little bit in the fall, but there are certainly some things we can learn and take from both of those races. I think more importantly, we can take the things we saw at Homestead last Sunday, where we need to improve and apply those to this weekend.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick is a two-time Las Vegas winner. The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion joins Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell as the only drivers with top-10 finishes in all three races this season. He turned in dominating performances in both his Las Vegas wins — leading 142 laps in his 2015 victory and leading 214 of 267 laps in his 2018 win. He’s on a four-race streak of top-10 finishes and has led 277 laps in that time at Las Vegas.

Martin Truex Jr., also a two-time Las Vegas winner, is another easy favorite. The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion has only a single top-10 finish in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota so far this season, however, but has six top-10 finishes, including his two victories in the last seven Las Vegas races.

In addition to these traditional favorites, there are several others that make a good case for victory. Two-time series champion Kyle Busch is an obvious pick. The Las Vegas native has won at the track in all three NASCAR national series. Kurt Busch won the most recent race at Las Vegas, last season’s playoff race.