2009 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Las Vegas

This week the series heads to Las Vegas, Nevada for the running of the Shelby 427.The engines won’t be as much of a factor this week as they were last week at Fontana because the track is a half-mile shorter and has a bit more banking in the corners which are 20 degrees compared to the 14 degrees in Fontana. Therefore, the cars won’t need as much power on the straightaways.

The race is also 73-miles shorter this weekend. Needless to say, I’m sure that Hendrick Motorsports will get rid of the batch of valve springs that failed at California and replace them with all new ones.

  • Matt Kenseth is my pick to win once again this weekend at Las Vegas. The pit crew for this team has been flawless so far this year and new crew-chief, Drew Blickensderfer, has made all of the right calls so far this season. Matt won back to back races here during the 2003 and 2004 seasons and finished runner-up in 2006.
  • Jimmie Johnson will be the non-Roush driver with the best chance of beating Matt this weekend. Jimmie won 3 races in a row here from 2005-2007 and wants to break Matt’s momentum if he can. This team is capable on going on a winning streak at anytime as they have shown the last 3 years.
  • Carl Edwards won this race last season when he dominated the mile and a half tracks. They said that the Roush teams won the last 5 races at California and now they head to Vegas where they have won 6 of the 11 Cup races that have been run. Carl will be very stout this coming weekend!
  • Jeff Gordon has started out having a very good year. The Roush teams have won 6 races at Las Vegas but the Hendrick teams have won here 4 times themselves. The only other team to have a win here is Chip Ganassi Racing when Sterling Marlin won back in 2002. Jeff won here back in 2001 and looks to be back on track in his Hall of Fame career.
  • Kyle Busch can’t be counted out in any race that he runs. He could have easily won 3 races at Daytona and did win 2 out of 3 at Fontana last weekend. He has a 2nd and 3rd place finish in Vegas to his credit already and this is his home town.
  • Denny Hamlin had a good race last weekend and has done very well at Vegas in his 3 starts there finishing in the top 10 every race with a best finish of 3rd. This is only Denny’s 4th full season in NASCAR and he seems to mature every week. Once again they should make the Chase once again this year.
  • Tony Stewart has been impressive so far this season with his new team. Tony hasn’t won a race at Vegas yet but he has 6 top 10 finishes in 10 starts there. New teams always get better as the weeks go by and Tony has always been a slow starter himself. This could be a team to watch out for come June and July.
  • Greg Biffle had a strong run at Vegas last week and like I said before, the Roush teams are very good here. This team is one of the streakiest teams on the circuit and right now they are running well. If not for a mistake in the pits late in the race last weekend. Greg would have been battling with Matt and Jeff for the win.
  • Mark Martin has run well at Vegas for every team he has run for and this weekend will be no exception. Mark won the inaugural race in Vegas and has finished in the top 10 9 times in 11 starts. He is one of the most consistent drivers here and has a car that can get him into victory lane this weekend if all of the pieces fall in the right place

Yahoo Picks for Las Vegas

Group A

  • Matt Kenseth (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Denny Hamlin (starter)
  • David Ragan (starter)
  • Tony Stewart
  • Kasey Kahne

Group C

  • Bobby Labonte (starter)
  • Reed Sorenson

Top 5 Overall at Las Vegas

  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: David Ragan

Stay Away From: Clint Bowyer

As always you can Email me with any questions, comments or suggestions at gutsamaniac@hotmail.com. Good luck once again this weekend!