NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Kobalt 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, March 8
SITE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- Las Vegas, Nevada
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval
CAPACITY: 142,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 18th
TELEVISION: FOX
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3:30 p.m. ET
QUALIFYING TIME: Friday, March 6/7:45 p.m. ET
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (finished 4)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Joey Logano, 2014 (193.278 mph)
RACE RECORD: Brad Keselowski, 2014 (154.633 mph)
 
2014 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Brad Keselowski26Jimmie Johnson5
2Dale Earnhardt Jr147Ryan Newman10
3Paul Menard218Kasey Kahne13
4Joey Logano19Jeff Gordon15
5Carl Edwards1110Matt Kenseth29
2014 Kobalt 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 154.833 mph
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 35 mins., 24 secs.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.530 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 18 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 21 among 10 drivers
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (193.278 mph)
Past Kobalt 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2014 -- Brad Keselowski (2) -- Ford -- 154.833 mph
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)
2014 -- Joey Logano -- 4
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: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (March 1)
SITE: Atlanta Motor Speedway -- Hampton, Georgia
MILES: 500.5
LAPS: 325
WINNER: Jimmie Johnson
RUNNER-UP: Kevin Harvick
THIRD: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
FOURTH: Joey Logano
FIFTH: Matt Kenseth
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (finished 4)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hrs., 49 mins., 6 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 131.078 mph
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.802 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 54 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 28 among 12 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Logano 1-27; J. Nemechek 28-28; J. Logano 29-48; M. Bliss
49-49; J. Logano 50-67; M. Bliss 68-68; J. Logano 69-86; K.
Harvick 87-95; J. Logano 96-96; D. Gilliland 97-97; K. Harvick
98-138; D. Hamlin 139-139; B. Keselowski 140-141; M. Kenseth
142-147; K. Harvick 148-176; D. Hamlin 177-189; K. Harvick
190-197; J. Johnson 198-211; K. Harvick 212-212; J. Johnson
213-225; K. Harvick 226-253; J. Johnson 254-261; D. Earnhardt Jr
262-262; J. Johnson 263-293; C. Bowyer 294-294; B. Moffitt
295-295; J. Johnson 296-300; M. Kenseth 301-304; J. Johnson
305-325.
Kobalt 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Cessna
2 *Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Miller Lite
3Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Dow
4Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Jimmy John's/Budweiser
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Time Warner Cable
6Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/AdvoCare
7Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ)Chevrolet/Nikko/Toy State
9Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Ford/Medallion Bank
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Office
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/Cheez-It
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Fastenal
18David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Toyota/M&M's Crispy
19Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Toyota/Comcast Business
20Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Toyota/DeWalt
21Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Ford/Shell Pennzoil
23J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/3M
26Jeb Burton (Halifax, VA)Toyota/Maxim Fantasy Sports App.
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
29Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Toyota/TBA
31Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/draftdemons.com
33Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Chevrolet/Shore Lodge
34To Be AnnouncedFord/Shaw's Southern Belle Sea
35Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Ford/Speed Stick
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Love's Travel Stops
40Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/carsforsale.com
41Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Smithfield
44Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Chevrolet/TBA
46Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Cypress
47A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Clorox
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Kobalt Tools
51Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
62Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Hotel
66Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Toyota/TBA
78Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Matt DiBenedetto (Grass Valley, CA)Toyota/Burger King
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Nationwide
95Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/K Love Radio
98Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200620072008200920102011201220132014
Brad Keselowski---------382626325Won
Dale Earnhardt Jr27112101681092
Paul Menard---32223517127103
Joey Logano---------1362316124
Carl Edwards266Won1712Won555
Jimmie JohnsonWonWon2924Won16266
Ryan Newman43814251854387
Kasey Kahne4356119141928
Jeff Gordon5235633612259
Matt Kenseth24204351122Won10
Denny Hamlin103922197201512
Martin Truex Jr2012153220617814
Jamie McMurray2310259342781315
Kyle Larson------------------------19
Greg Biffle81637102831722
Clint Bowyer153628281562723
Tony Stewart217432672Won1133
Kevin Harvick112741221711941
 
Mover of the Week
Jimmie Johnson - started 37 and finished 1
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Kevin Harvick
Last Week's Pick to Win (Matt Kenseth) - finished 5
 
NOTES:
The Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the third race on the 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Construction of this racetrack 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 length of the frontstretch is 2,275 feet, and the backstretch measures 1,572 feet.

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 series has competed at this track once each year since then.

There have been 17 Cup Series races held at this track. Jeff Gordon is the only driver on the entry list that has competed in all of them. Jeff Burton had 17 starts there before retiring from the series last year.

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 occurred in 2010.

Matt Kenseth has the second most wins at this track with three (2003, '04 and '13).

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

One year ago, Brad Keselowski won the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races at this track. He became the second driver to score a weekend-sweep there. Burton first did it in 2000.

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

Only one driver entered in this race made his first career Cup start at this track: Aric Almirola (2007). Kyle Busch, a Las Vegas native, made his series debut at his home track in 2004, but Busch is not competing in this weekend's event after fracturing his right leg and left foot during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway.

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 this track.

The next race is the March 15 CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner.

03/03 13:52:54 ET

As of March 3, 2015, at 01:53 PM ET