2008 NASCAR Fanasy Preview: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

UAW-Dodge 400

Is NASCAR Insane?

Well, NASCAR did it again this weekend. Waiting until 2:00 a.m. ET to postpone the race was just insane. I know that a lot of those in attendance probably had to go to work on Monday or get home but most of them were probably gone way before NASCAR made their decision anyway. The drivers would have preferred to get the race in on Sunday but after sitting there forever they are wondering why they didn’t get to bed a little earlier themselves. When water is seeping up through the track and then it rains again it is an easy decision to postpone the race until the next day. NASCAR is big on technology but they seem to have forgotten that radar is technology. So much for being fan oriented this season.

My Pick To Win

The drivers have all headed to the East Coast for what remains of the week and will all fly back to the West Coast in a few days to try and tackle Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson has won the last 3 races at Vegas and is my pick to do it again. Jimmie had a great car at California but just couldn’t quite keep up with Carl Edwards.

Las Vegas Frontrunners

Jeff Gordon will be Jimmie’s toughest competition this week. Jeff has 3 straight top 5 finishes at Vegas and had a very good car in his own rite last week at California. Jeff said his engine let go on the last lap after the caution had already been displayed and held on for a 3rd place finish. This week’s race is 100 miles shorter than California. Maybe it was a good thing that practices were shortened or canceled last weekend.

Kyle Busch leads the points race right now and has done very well at Las Vegas in the past. After finishing 41st in his first trip to Vegas, Kyle has rebounded with 3 top 10 finishes since then. Kyle is on the top of his game right now as he leads the Sprint and craftsman Truck standings and sits in 2nd in the Nationwide standings.

Las Vegas is another track that has been dominated by the Roush/Fenway teams in the past except for what Jimmie has done the last 3 years. The Roush teams won 5 of the first 7 Sprint Cup races at LVMS. Out of 10 races Roush has 5 wins, Hendrick has 4 wins and Ganassi has 1 win with Sterling Marlin back in 2002. Matt Kenseth won two in a row right before Jimmie went on his tear. Matt has finished in the top 10 in each of those races also.

The rest of the current Roush drivers have a best finish of 6th while driving for Jack Roush at Las Vegas. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle have both done this while Jamie McMurray’s best finish with Roush is a 10th and David Ragan finished 37th last year in his only Cup start.

Casey Mears has also had some success at LVMS with 3 top 10 finishes in 5 starts. While Dale Earnhardt Jr. only has 3 top 10 finishes in 8 starts at this track when he was driving for DEI. One of these finishes was a 2nd back in 2003.

Kurt Busch is solidifying his position in the top 35 2 weeks into the season. Kurt sits in 4th in the standings while his teammate and Daytona 500 winner, Ryan Newman, occupies the 2nd position. Kurt’s best finish at Las Vegas is 3rd and Ryan’s best finish is 4th. However Ryan has 4 top 10 finishes in 7 races here.

Kasey Kahne has started out this year with 2 top 10 finishes and looks much better this year compared to last. Kasey has 2 top 5 finishes in 4 starts here and sat on the pole here last year. Kasey looks like he is going to be a contender all year.

Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin both excel at Vegas. No wins yet between them here but a slew of top 10 finishes. Tony has 6 top 10’s in 9 starts while Denny is 2 for 2 in that same category.

We haven’t heard a lot about Kevin Harvick or Jeff Burton this year but they are both in the top 10 in the standings. Jeff was awesome at Las Vegas when he was with Roush Racing, collecting 2 wins and a runner-up finish in the first 3 races held there. Along with Clint Bowyer these 3 drivers have only 3 top 10 finishes at Vegas for RCR.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson (starter)
  • Jeff Gordon

Group B

  • Kasey Kahne (starter)
  • Ryan Newman (starter)
  • Kyle Busch
  • Casey Mears

Group C

  • Brian Vickers (starter)
  • Sam Hornish Jr

Stay Away From

  • Clint Bowyer

Dark Horse

  • Casey Mears