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Race Rewind: Kobalt Tools 400
Birthday Boy Matt Kenseth Celebrates his win in the Kobalt Tools 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sights and Sounds: Kobalt Tools 400
Revisit the drama of the Kobalt Tools 400 as Matt Kenseth celebrates his birthday with a victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Best of Garage Cam: Las Vegas Kobalt Tools 400
Matt Dilner shows you around the Las Vegas garage before NSCS final practice in this week's Kobalt Tools 400 .
Stats advance: Analyzing the Kobalt 400
A stats-based look ahead to the third race of the Sprint Cup season Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada going into the KOBALT 400 on March 8. LAS VEGAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It Ford) · Two top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 14.5 · Average Running Position of 12.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 97.9, fifth-best · 150 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 568 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.725 mph, fifth-fastest · 1,759 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%), eighth-most · 281 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 11th-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Three top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 14.0, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best · 108 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · 584 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.610 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,857 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), sixth-most · 336 Quality Passes, fifth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 Comcast Toyota) · Two wins, five top fives, six top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Average Running Position of 12.0, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 97.8, sixth-best · 159 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 636 Green Flag Passes, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.568 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,879 Laps in the Top 15 (69.8%), fourth-most · 390 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 3M Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 15.0 · Average Running Position of 9.7, second-best · Driver Rating of 103.7, second-best · 181 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 548 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.927 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,130 Laps in the Top 15 (79.2%) · 385 Quality Passes, third-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet) · Three top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 14.7 · Average Running Position of 11.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 94.5, eighth-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 571 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.564 mph, eighth-fastest · 1,870 Laps in the Top 15 (69.5%), fifth-most · 316 Quality Passes, sixth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 KOBALT Tools Chevrolet) · Four wins, five top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 9.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 8.9 · Series-best Driver Rating of 113.6 · Series-high 346 Fastest Laps Run · 553 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 171.233 mph · 2,090 Laps in the Top 15 (77.7%), third-most · 365 Quality Passes, fourth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet) · Three top fives, six top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.5 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 10th-best · 94 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 609 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.170 mph, 11th-fastest · 1,735 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), ninth-most · 290 Quality Passes, 10th-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 D E WALT Toyota) · Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 98.1, fourth-best · 197 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.972 mph, second-fastest · 1,774 Laps in the Top 15 (65.9%), seventh-most · 295 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Pennzoil Ford) · One top five, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.3 · Average Running Position of 13.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 87.5, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.111 mph, 12th-fastest Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Three top fives, seven top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.3 · Driver Rating of 81.9, 12th-best · 37 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 1,667 Laps in the Top 15 (61.9%), 11th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/ Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · One win, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 14.0 · Average Running Position of 14.0, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 97.1, seventh-best · 188 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 538 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 170.498 mph, ninth-fastest · 1,733 Laps in the Top 15 (64.4%), 10th-most · 298 Quality Passes, seventh-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Joey Logano 6 1 0 1 2 0 12.3 87.5 2 Jimmie Johnson 13 0 4 5 8 0 9.2 113.6 3 Kevin Harvick 14 0 0 3 5 0 14.7 94.5 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15 0 0 3 8 2 14.7 91.5 5 Martin Truex Jr. 9 0 0 0 2 0 16.0 81.9 6 Casey Mears 11 0 0 0 3 0 20.9 57.3 7 Kasey Kahne 11 3 0 3 6 2 13.5 88.1 8 AJ Allmendinger 5 0 0 0 0 0 26.4 60.7 9 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 0 3 31.3 51.2 10 Clint Bowyer 9 0 0 1 3 0 17.8 74.2 11 David Gilliland 8 0 0 0 0 1 27.0 49.5 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 3 0 0 0 0 0 28.3 62.3 13 Greg Biffle 11 1 0 2 6 1 14.5 97.9 14 Carl Edwards 10 0 2 5 6 0 9.2 97.8 15 David Ragan 8 0 0 0 1 1 26.9 52.3 16 Danica Patrick 2 0 0 0 0 0 27.0 49.3 * – Based on last 10 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2005 – 2014). Las Vegas Motor Speedway Data Season Race #: 3 of 36 (3-8-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 20 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 9 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 9 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,275 feet Backstretch Length : 1,572 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400 .5 Kilometers Top 10 Driver Ratings at Las Vegas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 113.6 Jeff Gordon .............................. 103.7 Kyle Busch ............................... 103.4 Matt Kenseth .............................. 98.1 Greg Biffle .................................. 97.9 Carl Edwards .............................. 97.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 97.1 Kevin Harvick .............................. 94.5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ....................... 91.5 Kasey Kahne .............................. 88.1 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 total) among active drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski, Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 Track qualifying record: Joey Logano, Ford 193.278 mph, 27.939 secs. 03-07-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski, Ford 154.633 mph, (2:35:24), 03-09-14 At Las Vegas Motor Speedway: History · The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998. · The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin . · In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking. Notebook · There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. · 135 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas; 100 in more than one. · Two drivers have participated in all 17 races: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon . · Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.). · 11 drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Kasey Kahne with three (2004, 2007 and 2012). · Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from (2008-‘09). · Youngest LVMS pole winner: Kyle Busch (3/2/2008 – 22 years, 10 months, 0 days). · Oldest LVMS pole winner: Dale Jarrett (3/4/2001 – 44 years, 3 months, 6 days). · 10 different drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth (three), Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards (each have two). · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five. · Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and only driver to win from the pole, in 2009. · Only three LVMS races (17.6%) have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); Carl Edwards, 2008 (second-place); Brad Keselowski , 2014 (second-place). · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) have been won from a top-five starting position at Las Vegas. · Eight of the 17 (47%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position at Las Vegas. · Four of the 17 races (23.5%) at Las Vegas have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004. · Youngest LVMS winner: Kyle Busch (03/01/2009 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest LVMS winner: Sterling Marlin (03/03/2002 – 44 years, 7 months, 32 days). · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with three; followed by Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart with two each. · Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart lead the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each. · Mark Martin has 10 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with nine top-10 finishes. · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 9.200; Jimmie Johnson (9.231) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10. · There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267). · Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004). · Aric Almirola made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2007. · Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the three to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007). · Eight of the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Las Vegas participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Mark Martin (1998; inaugural event) is the only driver to win at Las Vegas in his first appearance. · Tony Stewart competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 13 times before winning (2012); the longest span of any the nine winners. Stewart is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win at LVMS. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane with 15. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas was the (3/12/2006) race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.045 second. · No driver has won the first three races of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The five drivers that have won the first two events of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season are: Matt Kenseth (2009), Jeff Gordon (1997), David Pearson (1976), Bob Welborn (1959) and Marvin Panch (1957). · Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Las Vegas the following season: Matt Kenseth (2004), Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times (2007, 2010) and Tony Stewart (2012). · Three drivers have won at Las Vegas and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (2001), Matt Kenseth (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2007 and 2010). · Danica Patrick and Shawna Robinson are the only two female drivers to compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 22 21 3/9/2014 Danica Patrick 37 33 3/10/2013 Shawna Robinson 36 42 3/3/2002 · Only two car numbers have produced three or more Las Vegas NSCS wins: Car Number – Drivers – (Years) o No. 48 - Jimmie Johnson (2005-2007 and 2010) o No. 99 – Jeff Burton (1999, 2000) Carl Edwards (2008, 2011) MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView tod FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Logano snags the pole for the Pure Michigan 400
Joey Logano puts the pedal to the floor as he earns the Coors Light Pole Award at Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 with a lap of 201.698 mph.
Post-Race Reactions: Kobalt Tools 400
Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and others talk about the exciting finish in Vegas.
Out Front with Miss Coors Light: Kobalt Tools 400
Rachel chats with Kasey Kahne about winning his third career pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
'Gnarly' wind could play role in Kobalt 400
RELATED: Live weather updates " Saturday's practice reports " Starting lineup LAS VEGAS -- The expectation of high winds for the NASCAR race weekend in Las Vegas has been, at the very least, a talking point if not a concern for drivers. Local weather forecasters are predicting winds as high as 20-30 mph in the area Sunday with gusts even higher. There is actually a High Wind Advisory in the Las Vegas area lasting through the duration of the scheduled race time. "We have talked about it some," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said after winning the outside pole position Friday evening for Sunday's Kobalt 400 . "What we do hope is that it is a constant wind," Logano said. "The gusts of wind are what crashes cars. ... If it is constant it is OK. If you get big gusts, the car jumps out of the race track and leads you into the wall or spins you right out. It is going to be dangerous, treacherous for sure." Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski said he hadn't been too worried about the winds, but offered an explanation for the effect that form of weather could have. "I try not to worry about the things that affect everyone equally," said Keselowski, who will roll off fourth on the starting grid. "Wind is one of those things. I haven't thought about it." Pressed to explain his take on the forecast, however, Keselowski said: "The wind moves the car around dramatically, much like every aero force and the cars rely on three key aero forces: drag, downforce or side force. "All three of those are three dimensional. ... The wind, depending on where it strikes, where it blows you in what direction, can affect all three of those. Of course a headwind down the straightaway can add a lot of drag and make the motor feel a lot weaker. "A crosswind in a corner can add or take away from the side force on the car, and a headwind into the corner can give you a lot of added downforce or vice versa, a tailwind can take it away." Pole-winner Kurt Busch , a Las Vegas native, conceded he was fully anticipating the wind being an extra factor in the race. It hadn't picked up to the level anticipated for the weekend and showed no ill effects on speed Friday with four cars bettering the previous track record. Busch set the new track record of 196.378 mph in the first round of qualifying. "I'm looking at the forecast," Busch said. "It looks pretty gnarly for the wind. That's a West Coast term, gnarly, but the speed of the wind will push us big time, from what I'm gathering, from a southwest direction into Turn 3. When you have a tailwind multiplied by 30 mph that is a headwind of 30 mph down the front straightaway. That is a swing of 60 mph. "That is a significant difference that these cars are going to feel. We have tested Nashville a few times way back in the day where there was a crosswind of 40 mph. The downforce increase and decrease is staggering. We are all going to be out there struggling, fighting and trying to gain that grip with the tailwind." The wind had already picked up some during final Saturday morning Cup practices with drivers left to anticipate the situation come race day. "It is going to be just crazy to think about what that wind is going to do," Logano said. "It is not like we know what direction it is going to be blowing on the race track. I don't know at least. Maybe some weather guy can tell me. "I just think it is definitely going to be moving cars around and I am sure cars will crash for that reason if it is that windy and you get a gust at the wrong time when you are under somebody. It could be big."
Pole-winner Jeff Gordon goes to backup car
Gordon will start in back in Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Coors Light Pole Award winner Jeff Gordon earned the right to start first in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). However, contact with Danica Patrick late in the final practice session on Saturday ensures he'll start from the rear of the field, as the damage endured will force the four-time series champion to a backup No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Gordon's primary car, which he used to earn his 79th career Coors Light Pole Award on Friday, took on right-side damage, particularly in the front. His team swiftly unloaded the backup car from its hauler and wheeled it to the garage bay, then backed it up and put on a cover. Meanwhile, work continued on the No. 24 primary even after Gordon tweeted he would go to a backup car. Eventually, the team dragged an oversized toolbox directly in front of its garage stall, blocking the view for the many who were interested in the progress. While the wrecked chassis is the one Gordon used to win at Indianapolis and Michigan in 2014, his backup is the one that picked up a pair of runner-up finishes in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicago and Charlotte and was on pace for a top-five before contact with Brad Keselowski derailed his efforts at Texas. David Ragan , who qualified 13th, also will go to a backup car after slapping the wall in final practice and consequently head to the back of Sunday's field. Just when u think everything is starting to go your way 10 spins in front of u & ruins ur day & the @3MRacing @TeamChevy . Going to backup! — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) March 7, 2015 Follow @jeffgordonweb Brad Norman, who is in Las Vegas, contributed to this report. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Two teams penalized for Vegas infractions
NASCAR hands down penalities to Nos. 2 and 51 Sprint Cup teams Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live MORE: Official NASCAR release NASCAR issued penalties Tuesday to two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Team Penske No. 2 Ford operation for driver Brad Keselowski and the HScott Motorsports No. 51 Chevrolet organization with driver Justin Allgaier , for technical violations found last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Steve Addington, HScott Motorsports crew chief of the No. 51 was fined $25,000 after the car was found to be too light in a technical inspection after Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 , the third race of the Sprint Cup season. The infraction was ruled as a P3 violation, according to the NASCAR deterrence system, which was implemented ahead of the 2014 season. Officials determined that ballast had fallen from the car during the course of the event, a violation of Section 20.3.5 in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book. That improperly mounted ballast resulted in the car failing to meet the minimum weight requirement, a violation of Section 220.127.116.11. In a statement released by the team, Harry Scott Jr., president and CEO of HScott Motorsports , said the organization would not appeal the penalty. "The No. 51 experienced a malfunction during the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that resulted in a P3 infraction being assessed to the team by NASCAR," Scott said. "The issue was unintentional and we regret its occurrence. Going forward, we have implemented additional procedures to ensure that we do not have a repeat incident. We accept NASCAR's penalty and fully support its efforts to keep the sport as safe as possible for competitors, officials and fans." The Penske No. 2 was pulled from its place on pit road minutes before the start of Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying after NASCAR officials determined that the crew had altered the fenders, flaring out the sheet metal around the rear wheel wells. Officials required the car to undergo another inspection, causing Keselowski to miss the first several minutes of the first qualifying segment. Manipulation of the side skirt sheet metal -- designed to improve aerodynamics over the rear of the car -- ran rampant over the course of last season, causing NASCAR to ban the practice before the 2015 season began. Team Penske 's violation was determined to be a P2 infraction under NASCAR's deterrence system. As a result, Team Penske No. 2 crew chief Paul Wolfe was placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Keselowski qualified 11th and finished seventh Sunday, marking the 200th start of his Sprint Cup career. Allgaier started 26th and finished 31st in the 43-car field. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule