Next stop on the Nextel Cup Schedule is Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Next week NASCAR heads to sin city to try their luck at the newly revamped Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since the last race at Vegas, Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, took a gamble on overhauling the turns at the 1 1/2 mile track. The track prior to this season had 12 degree banking, low for a speedway. The revamped track will boost turns of 20 degrees rivaling other speedway tracks like Atlanta and Lowe's Motor Speedway.
What Mr. Smith is banking on with his renovations is that Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be the premiere venue for all of NASCAR. As it stands now, Vegas is the premiere venue for reigning champion Jimmie Johnson. Of the current drivers, Jimmie has had the most success at LVMS. In 5 starts, Johnson has an average finish of 7th.
Other drivers to note:
Matt Kenseth - Average finish of 8th
Casey Mears - Average finish of 9th
Denny Hamlin - Average finish of 10th
Jeff Burton - Average finish of 11th
Next Week's Schedule:
Nextel Cup: @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway (all times EST)
03/09/07 - 06:10pm NASCAR Nextel Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Qualifying
03/10/07 - 01:20pm NASCAR Nextel Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Practice
03/11/07 - 04:30pm NASCAR Nextel Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400
Busch Series: @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway
03/09/07 - 01:20pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 300 Practice
03/09/07 - 08:05pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 300 Qualifying
03/10/07 - 03:00pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 300
Craftsman Truck Series: @ Texas Motor Speedway
11/02/06 - 02:30pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k Practice
11/02/06 - 07:00pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k Qualifying
11/03/06 - 08:00pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k
Matt Kenseth Picks Up First Win for Roush-Fenway Racing!
Looking to make up ground after being taken out in the last lap chaos in the Daytona 500, Matt Kenseth came to California on a mission. Kenseth started his assignment by winning the Stater Bros. 300 Saturday night, and finished it by holding off a charging Jeff Gordon to win the Auto Club 500 on Sunday.
The wins mark a new beginning for the newly partnered Roush-Fenway race team, and appear to be the first of many. Don't let the name change fool you, the quality of cars, team members, and drivers racing for Jack Roush and his new partner John Henry are the same. And don't be surprised if a Roush-Fenway team isn't gunning for the championship come November.
If you recall from last week's Daytona 500, Matt Kenseth was in third before Kyle Busch's aggressive driving sent Kenseth into the wall. Had it not been for the Busch inspired chaos, Matt Kenseth would be sitting in the series lead.
None-the-less, what's done is done. And considering that Matt and the rest of the Roush-Fenway drivers excel at the speedway-style tracks that make up the bulk of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Schedule, I predict that Matt or another Roush driver will be sitting atop the standings for much of the 2007 NASCAR season!
Kevin Harvick Suffers Major Setback at California
It's nothing new to a seasoned NASCAR fan. Your favorite driver is gunning for the lead only to have the race gods frown on him at the end. What was making for an exciting finish to the Auto Club 500 in California yesterday with Kevin Harvick taking huge strides to catch leader Matt Kenseth, turned sour quickly on the last restart of the race. Just before going green, the #29 car of Harvick had a left front go flat. As a result, Kevin had to pit at the end, and ended the race in 17th place.
The setback dropped Kevin to 4th in the points. However, Harvick fans do not be dismayed. The resurgence of Richard Childress Racing that we saw last year seems to have carried through to this season. Currently, all 3 drivers for RCR sit in the top 6 in points. And as typical in NASCAR, successful teams are a breeding ground for even more success.
Look for Kevin to rebound next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Historically, Harvick hasn't faired well at the speedway type tracks. However, history doesn't take into account the recent dominance of Richard Childress Racing.
Auto Club 500 at California Speedway Recap
The California sun wasn't shining so bright on DEI drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr and Martin Truex Jr in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Both suffered early race engine failures and finished 40th and 43rd respectively. Is the DEI drama too much for Jr who currently sits 41st in points?
One person not suffering any setbacks as a result from the dramatic finish at Daytona is Mark Martin. The partially retired Viagra man is still getting it on and finished yesterday in 5th place. Only in NASCAR does 5 + 2 = 1st place in the point standings.
Other top drivers faired as follows:
Jeff Gordon is having a strong start to his 2007 campaign. With a 12th place finish at Daytona, and a 2nd place finish in California, the 4 time champion is making his case for a 5th. Jeff currently sits 3rd in the points.
Jimmie Johnson rebounded from his wretched 39th place finish at Daytona with a 3rd place finish in California. The reigning champion currently sits 15th in points.
Tony Stewart also made up ground after finishing 43rd at the Daytona. Stewart finished in 8th position and currently sits 21st in points.
Kasey Kahne started the 2007 season with a step in the right direction at Daytona. But the driver with the most wins in 2006 took a major step back at California with a 38th place finish. Kahne currently sits in 32nd place.
Carl Edwards can't seem to find any luck in 2007. Edwards currently sits in 26th position after a 29th place finish at California and a 23rd place finish at Daytona.
Juan Pablo Montoya is still in grade school in terms of his NASCAR education. The Columbian born star currently sits in 20th position after a 19th place finish at Daytona, and a 26th place finish in California.
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