TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

LAS VEGAS: KOBALT TOOLS 400

The #5 driver will probably be up on the wall all day on Sunday, #42 Kyle Larson. Kyle comes into “Sin city” with six starts and half of them were Top 5’s. In fact he got Top 5’s in his last three consecutive starts! He is ranked #6 for me on tracks like this and is #7 hottest over the last six races.  

The #4 driver is a former winner here year and if he wants to could sleep at his parents house, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle sits #3 in points and is the #1 hottest driver over the last six races. He has 15 starts, a win in 2009 and six Tops 5’s. Kyle is also my #2 rated driver on tracks like this. 

My #3 driver won here in 2017, #19 Martin Truex Jr. Martin has 14 starts here, that win and four Top 5’s. He got all four Top 5’s in his last five starts. He is #1 ranked for me on tracks like this and #6 hottest over the last six races he has been in.

My #2 driver to watch is due for a win here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has four Top 5’s in his 11 starts. He is just getting better here, his four Top 5’s came in his last six starts. He is #4 hottest over the last six races and ranked #5 for me on tracks like this.

My #1 pick is the only three time winner here, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad won here in 2014 and in 2016 and in the Playoff race last year. He has 11 starts, the three wins and five Top 5’s. Three wins in just 11 starts is very strong. He has finished 7th or better in his last seven starts here. Brad is my #4 ranked driver on tracks like this and sits third hottest over the last six races. Oh and he just won in Atlanta while sick.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Camping World 500 from Phoenix.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

TOP 30 DRIVERS:LAS VEGAS

  1. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  2. JOEY LOGANO #22
  3. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  4. KYLE BUSCH #18
  5. KYLE LARSON #42
  6. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  7. RYAN BLANEY #12
  8. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  9. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  10. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  11. RYAN NEWMAN #6
  12. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  13. CLINT BOWYER #14
  14. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  15. ERIK JONES #20
  16. PAUL MENARD #21
  17. KURT BUSCH #1
  18. DANIEL SUAREZ #41
  19. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  20. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  21. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  22. TY DILLON #13
  23. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  24. ROSS CHASTAIN #15
  25. MATT DIBENEDETTO #95
  26. RYAN PREECE #47
  27. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  28. DAVID RAGAN #38
  29. LANDON CASSILL #00
  30. DARRELL WALLACE JR. #43

 

Friday we break down the Top five drivers to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST ATLANTA

  1. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #1)
  2. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #5)
  3. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #4)
  4. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
  5. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #7)
  6. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #3)
  7. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW #9)
  8. GERMAIN RACING (LW #8)
  9. JTG DAUGHERTY RACING (LW OFF)
  10. PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS (LW #10)

 

Two races into the season and the Top Ten is still pretty volatile. Joe Gibbs Racing had another good weekend and they stay at #1. Stewart Haas Racing also had a good weekend and move up three places to #2. Chip Ganassi Racing are off to a good start in 2019 and they move up a spot to #3. Brad Keselowski gets a HUGE win but his two team mates did not look as strong so Team Penske drop two positions to #4. Roush Fenway Racing move up one place to #5. . Hendrick Motorsports drop three places to #6. Wood Brothers Racing move up two places to #7. Germain Racing remain in the #8 place. JTG Daugherty Racing join the Top 10 after to being off last week. Premium Motorsports stay in the #10 place. Richard Childress Racing fall out of the Top Ten by a very thin margin.

 

 

Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers for the Kobalt Tools 400.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

LAS VEGAS

  1. MARTIN TRUEX JR. #19
  2. KYLE BUSCH #18
  3. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. JOEY LOGANO #22
  6. KYLE LARSON #42
  7. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  8. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  9. RYAN BLANEY #12
  10. AUSTIN DILLION #3

These are the Top Ten drivers on Downforce tracks. Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers ranked for the Kobalt 400 from Las Vegas.

RACE PREVIEW

KOBALT TOOLS 400

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

MARCH 3rd, 3:30PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

1.5 MILES 20 Degrees of Banking

I have never missed this race or this weekend.  This has been one of the most fun cities to watch a race in, but in the beginning it wasn’t the most fun race to watch. All of that changed the minute the 2006 race ended.  Right after the checkered flag flew workers began to make changes to this track. Garages were bulldozed and the track surface was ripped up, re-banked, and rebuilt. The 12 degrees of banking was replaced with a steeper, faster, and racier 20 degrees of banking. Now the country’s most exciting city might just have one of its most exciting tracks. So exciting and popular that this year for the second time we’ll see two races here. In addition to the Kobalt 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the first Playoff race, the South Point 400 in September. Talk about a must see stop on the circuit!

We have had two great races to kick off the season with a Toyota winning at Daytona and a Ford at Atlanta. For the third year we’ll stage racing here. At this race we’ll see two 80 lap stages followed by a 107 lap final stage.

Roush Fenway used to dominate here with five wins in the first seven races. Since they reconfigured the track Roush has only had two wins – still pretty good, but not the domination they once had. Chevy has three wins in the last ten years or 11 races.  Hendrick Motorsports has one of those wins and Stewart Haas Racing has two. Stewart Haas Racing has since changed to Ford. They got a win with a Ford last year giving SHR three wins in 11 races or ten years. Team Penske had three wins in the last ten years and Roush added a win in the Ford column. Giving Ford five wins in 11 races. Brad Keselowski and Team Penske have three wins.  Stewart Haas has three total wins, two from Kevin Harvick. The Toyota camp of Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing have racked up three wins, talk about parity. Will Chevy or Ford continue their slight lead in most wins or will Toyota catch up? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on Downforce Tracks.

TOP 30 POWER RANKINGS

QUIK TRIP 500 from ATLANTA

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. KYLE BUSCH #18
  4. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  5. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  6. JOEY LOGANO #22
  7. ERIK JONES #20
  8. KURT BUSCH #1
  9. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  10. KYLE LARSON #42
  11. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  12. RYAN BLANEY #12
  13. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  14. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  15. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  16. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  17. TY DILLON #13
  18. CLINT BOWYER #14
  19. RYAN NEWMAN #6
  20. DANIEL SUAREZ #41
  21. PAUL MENARD #21
  22. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  23. RYAN PREECE #47
  24. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  25. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  26. DAVID RAGAN #38
  27. DARRELL WALLACE JR. #43
  28. MATT DIBENEDETTO #95
  29. COREY LAJOIE #32
  30. ROSS CHASTAIN #15

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drives to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST DAYTONA

  1. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #2)
  2. TEAM PENSKE (LW #1)
  3. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #5)
  4. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #4)
  5. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #3)
  6. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #7)
  7. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #8)
  8. GERMAIN RACING (LW #9)
  9. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW #6)
  10. PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS (LW #OFF)

 

One race into the season Team Penske drops from #1 to #2. Joe Gibbs Racing moves into the top spot, not a shock after the JGR 1-2-3 finish in the 500. Hendrick Motorsports move up two spots to #3. Chip Ganassi Racing remain in the #4 place. Stewart Haas Racing after a tough race at Daytona drop back two places to #5. Roush Fenway Racing move forward a place to #6.  Richard Childress Racing also advance a place, they are at #7. Germain Racing find themselves also up a place from #9 to #8. Wood Brothers Racing have a rough race and drop back three places to #9. At #10 we find newcomers to the Top 10 Premium Motorsports. Ross Chastain had a great race at Daytona and a god end to the 2018 season. I hope they stick around in the Top 10. That may be tough as there are some great teams just outside the Top 10. Teams like JTG Daugherty Racing, Leavine Family Racing, Front Row Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports just to name a few. Strap in for 2019 because there is a great deal of parity in NASCAR.

Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers for the Quik Trip 500.