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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Kobalt 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, March 9
SITE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- Las Vegas, Nev.
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval
CAPACITY: 142,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 17th
TELEVISION: FOX
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. ET
QUALIFYING TIME: Friday, March 7/6:40 p.m. ET
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Matt Kenseth
RUNNER-UP: Kasey Kahne
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (finished 3)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kasey Kahne, 2012 (190.456 mph)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1998 (146.554 mph)
 
2013 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Matt Kenseth186Jimmie Johnson3
2Kasey Kahne47Dale Earnhardt Jr12
3Brad Keselowski18Martin Truex Jr11
4Kyle Busch139Kevin Harvick9
5Carl Edwards510Paul Menard17
2013 Kobalt 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 146.287 mph
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 44 mins., 16 secs.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.594 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 25 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (owner points/qualifying rained out)
Past Kobalt 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2013 -- Matt Kenseth (18) -- Toyota -- 146.287 mph
2012 -- Tony Stewart (7) -- Chevrolet -- 137.524 mph
2011 -- Carl Edwards (3) -- Ford -- 135.508 mph
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson (20) -- Chevrolet -- 141.450 mph
2009 -- Kyle Busch (1) -- Toyota -- 119.513 mph
2008 -- Carl Edwards (2) -- Ford -- 127.729 mph
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (23) -- Chevrolet -- 128.183 mph
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (3) -- Chevrolet -- 133.358 mph
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson (9) -- Chevrolet -- 121.038 mph
2004 -- Matt Kenseth (25) -- Ford -- 128.790 mph
2003 -- Matt Kenseth (17) -- Ford -- 132.934 mph
2002 -- Sterling Marlin () -- Dodge -- 136.747 mph
2001 -- Jeff Gordon (24) -- Chevrolet -- 136.377 mph
2000 -- Jeff Burton (11) -- Ford -- 119.982 mph
1999 -- Jeff Burton (19) -- Ford -- 137.537 mph
1998 -- Mark Martin (7) -- Ford -- 146.554 mph
 
NOTE: Formerly called Las Vegas 400 (1998-1999), Carsdirect.com 400 (2000),
UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 (2001-07), UAW-Dodge 400 (2008), Shelby 427
(2009), Shelby American (2010), Kobalt Tools 400 (2011-13).
 
Past Kobalt 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2013 -- None -- Weather
2012 -- Kasey Kahne -- 19
2011 -- Matt Kenseth -- 11
2010 -- Kurt Busch -- 35
2009 -- Kyle Busch -- 1
2008 -- Kyle Busch -- 11
2007 -- Kasey Kahne -- 35
2006 -- Greg Biffle -- 8
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 9
2004 -- Kasey Kahne -- 2
2003 -- Bobby Labonte -- 4
2002 -- Todd Bodine -- 29
2001 -- Dale Jarrett -- 2
2000 -- Ricky Rudd -- 12
1999 -- Bobby Labonte -- 5
1998 -- Dale Jarrett -- 40
Last Race Results
RACE: The Profit on CNBC 500 (March 2)
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, Ariz.
MILES: 312
LAPS: 312
WINNER: Kevin Harvick
RUNNER-UP: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
THIRD: Brad Keselowski
FOURTH: Joey Logano
FIFTH: Jeff Gordon
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (finished 3)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 51 mins., 23 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 109.229 mph
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.489 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 38 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 8 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Keselowski-pole, Logano 1-37, Gilliland 38-39, Keselowski 40,
Logano 41-73, Harvick 74-110, Keselowski 111-112, Harvick
113-190, Logano 191, Harvick 192-236, Edwards 237, J. Gordon
238-241, Newman 242-247, Bowyer 248, Harvick 249-312.
Kobalt 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Cessna
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Miller Lite
3.Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Cheerios
4.Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Jimmy John's
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
7Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Pilot/Flying J
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/Aspen Dental
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Red Cross
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Zest
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
20 *Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Toyota/Dollar General
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Ford/Shell/Pennzoil
23Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Axalta
26Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Toyota/Swan Energy
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
30Parker Kligerman (Westport, CT)Toyota/Lending Tree
31Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Ask More-Get More
33Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Chevrolet/Circle-Sport.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Taco Bell
35Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Ford/MDS Transport
36Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Love's Travel Stops
40Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/Hillman Racing
41Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Farmland
44J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Phoenix Warehouse
47A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Kingsford Charcoal
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Kobalt Tools
51Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt Professional
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
66Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Toyota/Let's Go Places
77Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Ford/TBA
78Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/Borla Exhaust
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Mountain Dew Kickstart
95Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/WRL General Contractors
98Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/Ambient Edge/HVAC
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200520062007200820092010201120122013
Matt Kenseth824204351122Won
Kasey Kahne38435611914192
Brad Keselowski------------382626325
Kyle Busch23911Won1538234
Carl Edwards14266Won1712Won55
Jimmie JohnsonWonWonWon2924Won1626
Dale Earnhardt Jr422711210168109
Martin Truex Jr---20121532206178
Kevin Harvick51127412217119
Paul Menard------3222351712710
Tony Stewart10217432672Won11
Joey Logano------------136231612
Jamie McMurray1523102593427813
Denny Hamlin---1039221972015
Greg Biffle6816371028317
Kurt Busch3162638233593520
Jeff Gordon4523563361225
Clint Bowyer---1536282815627
Ryan Newman94381425185438
 
Mover of the Week
Carl Edwards - started 23 and finished 8
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Denny Hamlin) - finished 19
 
NOTES:
The Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the third race on the 2014 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Construction of this racetrack, which is known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998.

This track, which is 1.5 miles in length, has 20 degrees of banking in all four of its turns as well as nine degrees of banking on the frontstretch and backstretch. In 2006, it was reconfigured to include progressive banking.

The first NASCAR race held at LVMS was a K&N Pro Series West event won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. Mark Martin won the inaugural Sprint Cup race there on March 1, 1998. The Cup Series has competed at this track once each year since then.

There have been 16 Sprint Cup races held at Las Vegas. Four driver have competed in all of them: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin. Labonte and Martin are not competing in this year's event. Burton is on the entry list for Las Vegas, driving the No. 66 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. He is running a partial schedule for MWR this season.

Jimmie Johnson holds the record for most victories at Las Vegas with four. Johnson won three consecutive races there from 2005-07. His other victory at this track came in 2010.

Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Gordon and Martin have the most top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each. Martin's 10 top-10 finishes is the best among all drivers who have competed there.

Kasey Kahne has the most poles at Las Vegas with three. Kahne has yet to win a Sprint Cup event there.

One year ago at Las Vegas, Kenseth gambled on tires late in the race and then held off Kahne in the closing laps to score his 25th career Sprint Cup victory but his first with Joe Gibbs Racing. It came in just his third start as driver of the No. 20 Toyota for JGR. He also celebrated his 41st birthday on the day of his Las Vegas win.

Kenseth has three Sprint Cup victories at this track. He won back-to-back races there from 2003-04.

The closest margin of victory for a Cup race at Las Vegas occurred in 2006 when Johnson nipped Kenseth to the finish line by just 0.045 seconds.

Three drivers who are entered in this weekend's race made their first career Cup starts at Las Vegas: Kyle Busch (2004), Aric Almirola (2007) and Timmy Hill (2012).

Kahne is the only driver who claimed his first career pole in the series at Las Vegas (2004).

No active driver has scored his or her first Cup win at Las Vegas.

The next race is the March 16 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kahne won last year's spring event there.

03/04 15:32:11 ET

As of March 4, 2014, at 03:32 PM ET

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