Analysis of all 43 cars in Sunday's Kobalt 400 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings 1. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . An 18th-place start was only a temporary stall for the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, who surged to take the lead on Lap 91. He paced the field for a race-high 142 laps and persevered through "an uncomfortable last run" to earn his first Cup win at the 1.5-mile desert oval and his third straight top-two result of the 2015 season. Harvick, now the points leader, has won his past three contests at Phoenix International Raceway , the next stop on the Cup circuit. " WATCH: Harvick discusses the win in Victory Lane 2. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex overcame a loose-handling condition midway through the race to record his best LVMS result and earn his third straight top-10 of the year. " READ: Truex's inspirational drive 3. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . As the temperatures increased on the 1.5-mile desert track, the handling of Newman's Chevrolet initially disappeared. He rallied to finish third and capture his best career LVMS result. " WATCH: Newman discusses Vegas finish 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Junior showed strength driving the high line, but his late-race lead was cut short by a hard-charging Harvick. "Second, fifth, fourth -- it don't matter (where you finish) if you don't win," said Earnhardt, who now ranks second in the points standings. " WATCH: Junior weighs in on late-race gamble 5. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The left-front of Hamlin's Toyota sustained damage early while he tried to navigate a congested pit road. The impact was enough to affect his initial speed but not his overall performance. He is the biggest mover from the race weekend, improving 11 spots to eighth in the standings. 6. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG-Daugherty Racing. The single-car outfit continues its ascent after Allmendinger wheeled his way to his second straight top-10 result. Allmendinger picked up three spots and now ranks fifth in the standings. 7. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . A tire vibration and subsequent pit road violation could have spelled doom for Keselowski, but he caught a break in both cases. First, the competition caution gave his team a chance to address the vibration. Much later, Jimmie Johnson blew a tire, which prompted the caution and enabled then-beneficiary of the free pass Keselowski to return to the lead lap. The 2012 Champion picks up six spots in the standings, improving to 16th. 8. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . Larson's pit crew performed well, helping the Cup sophomore nab his first top 10 of the season. 9. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth scored his second top-10 of the year after working with his team to solve a loose-handling condition. Another big mover, Kenseth improves eight spots to now rank 10th in the points standings. " See the full Sprint Cup Series standings 10. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Two pit road speeding penalties couldn't keep Logano down, as the driver led the opening 27 laps prior through the competition caution. The Daytona 500 champion rallied to post his third straight top-10 of the year and ranks third in the points standings. 11. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray just missed recording his first top-10 of the season and improves seven positions to 25th in the driver standings. 12. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard, who narrowly avoided being collected by Carl Edwards ’ incident on Lap 195, improves four spots in the points standings to 13th. 13. Brian Scott , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Scott benefited from the beneficiary of the free pass after a caution on Lap 187 and went on to claim his best career Cup finish. 14. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush-Fenway Racing. Biffle started strong, but encountered a loose-handing condition that hindered his forward progress. Still, he improved two spots in the points standings to 11th. 15. Brian Vickers , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Vickers, in his first race back since open heart surgery, began Sunday's race by thanking his team for not giving up on him. He surged quickly through the field after starting 28th. 16. Regan Smith , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Smith weathered an early pit road penalty and returned to the lead lap as the beneficiary of the free pass after Carl Edwards ’ accident on Lap 195. Smith was running fourth with 17 laps to go and was among the leaders trying to hold out for a late-race caution during the long green-flag stretch. 17. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne could seemingly run any line he wanted at Vegas on Sunday and spent the first half of the event racing inside the top five. His luck faded, though, on Lap 195 when he was traveling the high line and Carl Edwards forced him into the wall. " MORE: Kahne, Edwards clash in Kobalt 400 18. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon, the Coors Light Pole Award winner, had to start from the rear of the field after being involved in an accident with Danica Patrick during final practice. The highs and lows continued for the veteran in his final Vegas race. He improved to crack the top 10 by Lap 143, but sustained critical damage to the nose of his car after bumping Jeb Burton 29 laps later. Burton was trying to avoid being collected when Jimmie Johnson blew a tire. " MORE: Tough day for Gordon in Las Vegas 19. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney recovered from early issues to find speed late in the race and post his best result so far of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season. 20. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon improved 15 spots to crack the top 10 on Lap 75, but later was dealt a pit road penalty that impacted his team's forward march. 21. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Rear grip was a problem for Bowyer in practice and on Sunday, he constantly reported a tight-handling race car. His team gambled on pit strategy by staying out during late-race, green-flag stops, but Bowyer ultimately had to stop to make it to the end. 22. David Ragan , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Despite qualifying 13th, Ragan started from the rear of the field after slapping the wall during final practice. The team made consistent gains and ran steadily inside the top 25. 23. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Crew chief Donnie Wingo reminded Gilliland that Las Vegas had a history of getting looser as the race continued and encouraged Gilliland to use the driver-adjustable track bar feature. 24. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Late-race gains improved the handling of the No. 9 Ford, and he held on to score his best result at LVMS since 2009. 25. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Although handling was an ongoing issue, Mears' top-25 result keeps him inside the top 10 of the points standings. He is ranked ninth going into next week at Phoenix International Raceway . 26. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola ran as high as ninth on Sunday and raced inside the top 20 until he was clocked going too fast entering pit road at Lap 197. 27. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick's team salvaged her starting spot after she was involved in a last-minute accident in final practice. She reported aero issues on Sunday, which she said made her car easy to turn sideways in traffic. 28. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne struggled to find balance all race long in his Ford, which shifted from a tight- to loose-handling condition as the race unfolded. 29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse's Vegas run was complicated after he made contact with the wall and then hit a loose tire on pit road. He worked with his team to persevere through the damage. 30. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . McDowell narrowly avoided colliding with Michael Annett , when Annett lost the handle on his car around Lap 150. Still, McDowell held on to earn his best LVMS finish. 31. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier struggled to make forward progress after being penalized three times throughout the race by the new pit road scoring system. " MORE: Allgaier's car too light in post-race inspection 32. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Although Whitt's team struggled to find the right combination, he held on to achieve his best Las Vegas result. 33. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . A steering box issue compounded initial handling woes for Stewart, who also was dealt an uncontrolled tire violation during a Lap 84 pit stop. 34. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise kept his nose clean during Sunday's race and quietly steered the No. 98 machine to his best result at the 1.5-mile desert track. 35. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. An early pit road violation wasn't insurmountable for Cassill, who went on to post his best Vegas finish. 36. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley finished 16th in Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race, but struggled to carry that momentum over into the Cup scene. 37. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Moffitt opened the race with promise after posting an eighth-place finish last weekend at the intermediate track of Atlanta Motor Speedway . He qualified 36th and struggled to make up much ground, ultimately brushing the wall as he concluded his first outing at Las Vegas . 38. Brendan Gaughan , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. The only Las Vegas native in the race -- given the absence of the Busch brothers -- was clocked too fast entering pit road on Lap 76 during green flag stops. 39. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Early in Sunday's contest, Annett wiggled exiting Turn 4 and made hard contact with the wall. Tire smoke prompted him to make an unscheduled pit stop. 40. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The lone Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the field, Burton slowed to avoid Jimmie Johnson 's first incident when he received an inadvertent nudge from behind by veteran Jeff Gordon . 41. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson led 45 laps during the first half of Sunday's race and appeared poised to contend for his fifth Las Vegas victory when tire issues arose. Two blown tires within 14 laps of one another sent Johnson to the garage at Lap 186. " MORE: Tire trouble ruins Johnson's day at Vegas 42. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards' promising run was cut short Sunday when his car slid up the track and made contact with Kahne. Edwards almost saved his car from a subsequent spin, but ultimately retreated to the garage with a busted oil cooler. " MORE: Edwards, Kahne clash at Las Vegas 43. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . An engine issue on Lap 28 dashed Bowman's hopes of continuing the momentum he started last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway . 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
Get caught up before Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live What : 18th annual Kobalt 400 Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway , 1.5-mile oval in Las Vegas When : Sunday, March 8, 3:30 p.m. ET. TV/Radio: FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Distance: 267 laps; 400.5 miles. Competition caution: Lap 25 so teams can check wear on Goodyear tires (No Sunoco Green E-15 refueling prior to competition caution) Fuel window: 54 laps Pit road speed: 45 mph. Caution car speed : 55 mph. On the front row " Starting lineup 1. Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet. 2. Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Fastest in practice First practice: Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (191.646 mph). " Full results Second practice: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (191.891 mph). " Full results Final practice: Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (187.637 mph). " Full results To the rear: Jeff Gordon , Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet (backup car); David Ragan , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (backup car) Last year's winner: Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford. Driver rating (Best driver rating average at Las Vegas based in the past 10 years): Jimmie Johnson , 113.6 Jeff Gordon , 103.7 Kyle Busch , 103.4 Matt Kenseth , 98.1 Greg Biffle , 97.9 V for Vickers Brian Vickers will make his first start this year after missing the opening two races of 2015 following offseason heart surgery. The driver of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota will start 28th in Sunday's race. This weekend was the first time Vickers had been in a race car since the 2014 season finale in November. Feels like the first time Given the nature of his illustrious 23-year premier series NASCAR career, it's hard to believe Jeff Gordon is still accomplishing things for the first time. But that's the case at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , where he won his first career Coors Light Pole Award at the 1.5-mile track in the desert. Of the 23 tracks currently on the Sprint Cup Series circuit, Gordon now has won a pole at 21 of them -- only Kansas and Kentucky remain. The feeling of that accomplishment may have been somewhat blunted on Saturday, however, when Gordon was forced to a backup car. He'll still get credit for the pole, but will start in the back. In Gordon's honor, the track has given white towels to fans to wave at Lap 24. Mr. 200 Sunday will be Brad Keselowski 's 200th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Three drivers have won in their 200th Cup start -- Bobby Allison in 1970, Terry Labonte in 1985 and Kevin Harvick in 2006. Show of power Hendrick Motorsports (four cars), Team Penske (two cars) and Chip Ganassi Racing (two cars) sent every one of their respective rides to the final round of group qualifying Friday. Hendrick cars comprised three of the top four spots on the leaderboard in Jeff Gordon (first), Kasey Kahne (third) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (fourth). Magic number: 2 Following Joey Logano 's win in the Daytona 500 , his primary sponsor Pennzoil donated $22,222 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The number represented Logano's car (22) winning the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 (2/22). If Logano wins Sunday's race, Pennzoil will donate an additional $222,222 to the organization. He said it: "I've learned that my love for racing has only increased -- my love for what I do and how much I appreciate it -- but I've also learned that it's not who I am. It's something I do." -- Brian Vickers , on how his mindset changed following another health scare. He said it II: "I used to play a lot of blackjack and I still play a little bit of blackjack. Then I really started playing a lot of poker. I realized, like most things that I do outside of racing, that I don't get near enough time to practice them and build a real skill for it. I'm a better gambler on the race track." -- Jeff Gordon , after being presented with a personalized blackjack table from Las Vegas Motor Speedway . He said it III: "I'm just really, really happy, man. It's two weeks in a row we have done great on the 1.5-miles. I hope it's a sign of things to come." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . He said it IV: "Who wouldn't? And I don't just mean the track." -- Clint Bowyer , when asked if he liked going to Las Vegas . Former Las Vegas winners in the field: Jimmie Johnson (4), Matt Kenseth (3), Carl Edwards (2), Jeff Gordon (1), Brad Keselowski (1), Tony Stewart (1). 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
No. 24 driver sets track record, has earned three of the last four poles RELATED: Starting lineup for race " See every car in the field LAS VEGAS — Scratch one small item off Jeff Gordon 's swan song bucket list. With a track-record lap at 194.679 mph, Jeff Gordon won the pole for Sunday's Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , one of three active Cup tracks where the four-time champion had not won a Coors Light Pole Award—before Friday afternoon's time trials. Covering the 1.5-mile distance in 27.738 seconds, Gordon shaved .201 seconds off the track record Joey Logano set last year. Logano (194.315 mph) was second to Gordon in Friday's qualifying during a third and final round that saw nine drivers break the track record. "Oh, boys, this is good!" Gordon said after setting the record. "That was a damn good lap." The pole was Gordon's second of the season and the 79th of his career. The top qualifier for the season-opening Daytona 500 , Gordon did not make a qualifying run in last week's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta because his No. 24 Chevrolet didn't clear inspection in time. Friday's time trials represented a welcome turnaround. After running a conservative 193.653 mph in the second round of knockout qualifying, Gordon knew he had a shot at the pole. "Well, I didn't come off the throttle much, if any—I know I had to blip it just the tiniest, tiniest bit," Gordon said of his pole-winning lap. "The lap before, in the second session, I was a little conservative and the car just stuck so good, I thought when I heard some of the lap times that were up there (in the third round), I knew (I had to) be fully committed and just go for it. "So I drove it down into (Turn) 1. I may have come off of it just a tiny bit, but it wasn't much at all. And it stuck so good, I was like, 'Okay, do I run wide open through (Turns) 3 and 4?' I don't know. It was real close. There was a lot of wide-open throttle there. It was fun. What a turnaround from last week. I'm just so proud of this team and keeping their heads up. Last week was a tough one, and this is a great, great way to start out weekend here in Las Vegas … "I can't believe I won my first pole in Las Vegas in my final race here." Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne (194.287 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (194.091 mph), qualified third and fourth, respectively. Kyle Larson (193.959 mph) grabbed the fifth spot on the grid. Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick will start 18th, having failed to make the final 12 at a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway for the first time since last year's Las Vegas race. NASCAR officials pulled the No. 2 Ford of last year's Las Vegas race winner, Brad Keselowski , after noticing the team had flared out both rear fenders on the car. Before the start of the season, NASCAR informed teams that manipulating the car bodies would not be permitted. Accordingly, Keselowski's car had to clear inspection an additional time before being allowed to qualify. Nevertheless, Keselowski made the final 12 and earned the 11th starting spot for Sunday's race. Note: The only two remaining tracks where Gordon has not won a pole are Kentucky and Kansas. The only active track where he has not won a Sprint Cup race is Kentucky. READ MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule All-time Sprint Cup poles Rank Driver Poles 1. Richard Petty 123 2. David Pearson 113 3. Jeff Gordon* 79 4. Cale Yarborough 69 5. Darrell Waltrip 59 6. Bobby Allison 58 7. Mark Martin 56 8. Bill Elliott 55 9. Ryan Newman* 51 10. Bobby Isaac 49 *Active driver
Keep tabs on the activity at Las Vegas Motor Speedway This week brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series to Las Vegas Motor Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 will be held on Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX. The XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 is on Saturday, March 7 at 4 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1. For more information on track times, press conferences and GarageCam, you can check out the full weekend schedule . We know you may not have the time to watch the race action without any interruptions, so if you're on the go, here's how to keep up at Las Vegas . NASCAR.com's live Sprint Cup Series leaderboard and XFINITY Series leaderboard update in real-time and offer constant text updates of lead changes, cautions, strategies, strong runs and everything in between. From the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard, fans can also access live standings . On the go? Download the NASCAR Mobile app to follow the leaderboards live from your device. Lap-by-Lap will keep you caught up even if you can only take a peek here and there. Check in to read back through all the laps you've missed, or keep an eye on the feed for real-time race updates. We'll also send race updates via Twitter through the official @NASCAR and @NASCARStats handles. RaceBuddy will have enhanced views and coverage for the Sprint Cup Series and for most XFINITY Series races with 10 HD live race views, including up to eight in-car cameras, two mosaic views, live leaderboard and interactive chat. Haven't tried RaceView yet? If you sign up, you'll get virtual videos of cars on the track from various angles and hear what your favorite team is saying over the radio in both the Sprint Cup and select XFINITY Series races. Use it as a second screen or as your only screen. Just want to scan the radios? You can have that too with Scanner (formerly RaceView Audio). On a mobile device? Get RaceView Mobile here . If you want to be more involved in the on-track action, you can manage your fantasy team on NASCAR.com and follow your team's performance in NASCAR Fantasy Live . Mobile users can also download NASCAR Connect , a game from OneUp Sports that allows users to play other fans with race predictions for some off-track competition while drivers battle it out on the track. Live Press Pass video streams will keep the NASCAR action rolling even after the winner goes in and out of Victory Lane. Catch interviews with the top finishers and series champions immediately following the checkered flag for all three national series events, and stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the week for the latest news. FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See where your favorite driver will pit in the Boyd Gaming 300 (4 p.m. ET, FS1) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Following NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying, pit still assignments were also revealed for Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . After winning the Coors Light Pole Award, Austin Dillon had first pick of pit stalls. Dillon chose the stall closest to the pit road exit, which will give him a speedy exit off pit road. He also has an empty stall in front of him, which will eliminate the chance of his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet getting blocked in by other cars on pit road. Brian Scott , who qualified second, chose pit stall No. 15 with an open space in front of it. Erik Jones , who qualified third, also chose a pit stall with space in front of it (stall No. 31), just farther back from Dillon on Scott on pit road. Coverage of the Boyd Gaming 300 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway gets underway at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. 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
XFINITY Series regular has served as sub for first two Sprint Cup races of '15 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Regan Smith will remain interim driver of Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 41 Chevrolet this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in place of suspended driver Kurt Busch. Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will mark the third straight race that Smith has filled in for Busch, who was suspended indefinitely Feb. 20 -- two days ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500. Smith finished 16th (Daytona) and 17th (Atlanta) in his two previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for Stewart-Haas this season. According to the release provided by SHR, the team has not decided on an interim driver for the following weekend's race, March 15 at Phoenix International Speedway , or beyond. Busch was suspended after a Delaware family court ruled that a "preponderance of the evidence" indicated that Busch "committed an act of domestic violence" last September. Busch agreed last Friday to NASCAR's terms and conditions to pursue reinstatement. Smith has four career victories in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where he competes for championship points for JR Motorsports. The 31-year-old driver also has one Sprint Cup victory, bringing Furniture Row Racing its only win in 2011 at Darlington Raceway. 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
Multiple-time series champions battle flat tires, wrecked race cars Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full Kobalt 400 results LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon must be thrilled to get out of Sin City. Armed with two of the fastest cars on the track throughout the weekend, both multiple-time premier series champions couldn't shake off a spate of unfortunate events that seemed to magnify as race day deepened. Johnson had to pit from second place with a vibration, then blew a tire just when he had climbed his way back through the field. Then he blew another one for good measure. Gordon's misfortune actually began late Saturday with less than a minute remaining in final practice, when he rammed the No. 10 Chevrolet following a spin from Danica Patrick , and it caused enough to damage to his No. 24 Chevrolet that it necessitated a backup car. So the Coors Light Pole Award winner started from the rear, sprinted his way into the top 10, and then mussed up his car's nose by running into Jeb Burton … the direct result of Burton trying to get away from Johnson's wrecking No. 48. "I guess Jimmie blew a right front tire," said Gordon, who patted Burton's head on pit road after the race as the two had a brief talk. "I was right behind Jeb (Burton) getting ready to make a move on him. I wasn't sure if I was going to go inside or outside, but all of a sudden he started checking up and I thought he was doing it to let me go by him and I didn't realize until right at that moment when my spotter said something to me that Jimmie was having a problem. And I ran into the back of him. It ruined our day and certainly ruined the front end." The 43-year-old wound up 18th, as he nursed his battered, tape-covered Chevrolet around the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval over the final 80 laps. Johnson's bad vibes didn't start Saturday as Gordon's did, but they came over a brutal hour-long stretch Sunday. The No. 48 Chevrolet was out front for 45 laps and seemed to have a car with the ability to challenge eventual race winner Kevin Harvick , who led 142 of 267 laps. In fact, "Six-Time" was leading on Lap 91 when he slowed considerably after feeling a vibration. He came down pit road for tires and was scored 35th (and one lap down) when he returned to the track. Johnson worked his way back to being one spot behind Clint Bowyer , and then Brad Keselowski , for the beneficiary position. A tire blew on Lap 173, though, which eliminated any hope of Johnson getting back on the lead lap. Twelve laps later, another tire went down -- and his No. 48 Chevrolet again caromed into the wall as a result. "The first one, they said the bead blew on it," Johnson said. " That's kind of a freak deal. The second one, it went soft. So there could have been some damage that caused it or some rub or something like that, and it went soft going into Turn 3 and I hit the wall, unfortunately. I'm disappointed. We certainly had an awesome race car." The poor result is less of a worry for Johnson than it is for Gordon. With one win in pocket already, the No. 48 team has virtually clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . It might be a little more concerning for Gordon, who actually jumped six spots in the standings -- up to 30th -- following his 26-point day. "It was a great effort," Gordon said. "I just can't believe the way these days are going." 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
See where your favorite driver will pit on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The pit stall assignments are out for Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Jeff Gordon selecting the pit stall closest to the pit road exit. Gordon won his second Coors Light Pole Award of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Friday and his third in the past four Sprint Cup Series events. By selecting the first pit stall, Gordon will have no one in front of him when he pulls off of pit road. He is not the only driver to have no one in front of him on pit road. Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne (starting third) and Dale Earnhardt Jr . (starting fourth) as well as Richard Childress Racing 's Ryan Newman (starting seventh) also will have an opening in front of them on pit road. Kyle Larson (starting fifth) chose the pit stall closest to the pit road entrance, giving him an easy shot to his pit stall when he comes in to pit. 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
Host Matthew Dillner takes you inside the Sprint Cup Series Garage and talks with several drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael McDowell joins hosts Matthew Dillner and Chuck Bush on Race Center to break down the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .