NASCAR Las Vegas Motor Speedway & Starting Line Up of Kobalt 400

during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Credit: 317810Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps)
Sunday, March 6 3:30 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90

NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)
Saturday, March 5 4 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250
Martinsville Speedway Distance: 131.5 miles (250 laps)
Saturday, April 2 2:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

2016 Mar 6 316332

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series kicks off its three-race NASCAR Goes West trip with Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX). Following its trip to Vegas, the NSCS heads to Phoenix before closing its West Coast road trip at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Lower Downforce Package Produced Passing, Happy Drivers At Atlanta
The 2016 lower downforce aerodynamics package did not disappoint at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. Passing increased, while drivers expressed enthusiasm about the package. Drivers made 44 passes for the lead on Sunday, the most ever recorded at Atlanta since the inception of loop data in 2005.

The 3,717 green flag passes on Sunday marked the second-highest total at AMS since the inception of loop data in 2005.

“It was fun,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. “You know, everybody just wasn’t hooked up and hauling tail. You had to drive the cars. The cars were a real challenge, and I had a great time today inside of the car and enjoyed driving it.”

Carl Edwards echoed similar sentiments, saying, “This is real racing. We’re driving hard. You can see the guys out here just digging for everything they’re worth. I’m worn out. That’s a tough race and just a lot of fun.”

L3gendary Company: Johnson Ties Earnhardt On All-Time Wins List
Jimmie Johnson visited Victory Lane in last Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to earn the 76th checkered flag of his career – tying him with Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time wins list.

It took Johnson 509 starts over 15 years to reach 76 wins compared to Earnhardt’s 676 starts over 22 years.

Coincidentally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second to Johnson on Friday, marking the 40th time Hendrick Motorsports drivers have finished first and second in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Johnson can pass Earnhardt in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he claims a track-record four wins. In 14 Las Vegas starts, the No. 48 Chevrolet driver also owns five top fives and eight top 10s. He won three consecutive races at the Nevada track from 2005-07.

Among active drivers at LVMS, Johnson also boasts the best average finish (11.6) and driver rating, (111.9) and ranks second in average running position (10.1).

Truex Off To Another Hot Start
Martin Truex Jr. is proving his Championship 4 effort from a year ago was no fluke.

The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing driver placed seventh at Atlanta, one week after finishing second in the Daytona 500.

Since the beginning of the 2015 season, only three drivers have racked up more top-10 finishes than Truex’s 24 – Kevin Harvick (30), Joey Logano (29) and Brad Keselowski (26).

In 10 starts at Las Vegas, Truex has completed all but four of the 2,691 laps for a 99.9 percent lap completion rate. The four laps he didn’t complete were at the 2009 race.

Truex finished runner-up in last year’s Kobalt 400 at LVMS.

“I feel we’re starting out the season stronger than the way we ended last season,” Truex said. “Our new affiliation with Toyota and our alliance with JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) is really working out for us. I feel we’re only going to get better as the season moves on.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 19th Annual Kobalt 400 Qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Credit: 317811Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Car 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual Kobalt 400 with a lap of 27.505 seconds, 196.328 mph. This is Kurt Busch’s 21st pole in 543 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is Busch’s 2nd pole & 3rd Top 10 start in 2016. This is his 2nd pole in 15 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Credit: 317812Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Car 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 2nd posted his 2nd Top 10 start of 2016 and his 6th in eight races at Las Vegas Motor speedway. Car 20 Matt Kenseth DeWalt Toyota 3rd posted his 6th Top 10 start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is his second in three races this season. Car 24 Chase Elliott # NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 13th was the fastest qualifying rookie. Busch set the track record in the first round of qualifying with a lap of 27.498 seconds, 196.378 mph.

2016 Mar 4 316329

Starting Line Up by Row Las Vegas Motor Speedway 19th Annual Kobalt 400
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Fri, March 04, 2016 @ 09:07 PM US
Driver Date Time Speed
Track Race Record: Brad Keselowski 03/09/14 02:35:24 154.633

Position Car Driver Team Time Speed MPH
Row 1:
1. Car 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet 27.505 196.328
2. Car 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 27.572 195.851
Row 2:
3. Car 20 Matt Kenseth DeWalt Toyota 27.582 195.780
4. Car 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 27.598 195.666
Row 3:
5. Car 3 Austin Dillon Dow Energy & Water/Intellifresh Chevrolet 27.604 195.624
6. Car 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 27.628 195.454
Row 4:
7. Car 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 27.651 195.291
8. Car 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 27.652 195.284
Row 5:
9. Car 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 27.681 195.080
10. Car 78 Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Toyota 27.696 194.974
Row 6:
11. Car 48 Jimmie Johnson Kobalt Chevrolet 27.837 193.986
12. Car 47 AJ Allmendinger Smith’s/Kingsford Chevrolet 27.961 193.126
Row 7:
13. Car 24 Chase Elliott # NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 27.740 194.665
14. Car 21 Ryan Blaney # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 27.741 194.658
Row 8:
15. Car 27 Paul Menard Dutch Boy/Menards Chevrolet 27.784 194.356
16. Car 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fastenal Ford 27.792 194.301
Row 9:
17. Car 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 27.851 193.889
18. Car 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet 27.889 193.625
Row 10:
19. Car 14 Brian Vickers Mobil 1 Chevrolet 27.893 193.597
20. Car 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Nationwide Chevrolet 27.915 193.444
Row 11:
21. Car 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 27.931 193.334
22. Car 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 27.989 192.933
Row 12:
23. Car 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75 Toyota 28.009 192.795
24. Car 19 Carl Edwards ARRIS Toyota 27.678 195.101
Row 13:
25. Car 34 Chris Buescher # Love’s Travel Stops Ford 27.972 193.050
26. Car 16 Greg Biffle Cheez-It Ford 27.989 192.933
Row 14:
27. Car 38 Landon Cassill MDS Transport Ford 28.015 192.754
28. Car 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 28.019 192.726
Row 15:
29. Car 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 28.075 192.342
30. Car 95 Michael McDowell WRL General Contractors Chevrolet 28.122 192.020
Row 16:
31. Car 23 David Ragan Dr Pepper Toyota 28.144 191.870
32. Car 44 Brian Scott # Albertsons Co/White Tail Ford 28.251 191.144
Row 17:
33. Car 7 Regan Smith Road Rippers Street Beatz Chevrolet 28.291 190.873
34. Car 83 Matt DiBenedetto Cosmo Motors Toyota 28.398 190.154
Row 18:
35. Car 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet 28.566 189.036
36. Car 98 Cole Whitt Speed Stick Chevrolet 28.659 188.422
Row 19:
37. Car 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 28.661 188.409
38. Car 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt # Can-Am Ford 28.747 187.846
Row 20:
39. Car 30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 29.062 185.810

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Starting Line Up by Row unless a team make an engine change, unauthorised modifications, engine change or switch to back-up car

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

2016 Mar 5 316330

Bright lights, big casinos, world-class accommodations and Las Vegas Motor Speedway welcome the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300 (4 p.m. ET on FS1). For the second-straight week Elliott Sadler has held command of the standings lead as the series embarks on the three-race NASCAR Goes West swing. Following LVMS, the series where names are made will head to Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway (Fontana).

Sadler holds a three-point edge over second-place Daniel Suárez and he has a five point advantage over third-place Ty Dillon.

The JR Motorsports veteran Sadler has made nine starts at Las Vegas, posting two top fives, three top 10s and a pole. His average finish at Las Vegas is a 12.3.

NASCAR’s Loop Data dives deeper into Sadler’s success at Las Vegas. He’s ranked seventh in average running position (8.5), eighth in driver rating (97.6) and third in percentage of laps in the top 15 (97.8%).

Suárez On The Bumper Of The Standings Lead
Standings leader Elliott Sadler currently has a mirror full of second-place Daniel Suárez, who is just three points behind him after the first two races of the season. This is Suárez’s career-best NASCAR XFINITY Series points position. Suárez launched 2016 off with a great run at Daytona, finishing eighth and then backed that up with a seventh at Atlanta, propelling him from fourth in the standings to second just three points back from the lead.

Jones & Dillon Make Moves In The Points
Two drivers made titanic moves in the points this past weekend. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones climbed 11 spots and Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon jumped five spots following their top-five finishes at Atlanta.

Jones, last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, was caught in an accident at Daytona that ultimately had him finish 31st to open the season. He then rebounded at Atlanta with a solid third-place that vaulted him from 22nd in points to 11th. Jones is now 22 points behind standings leader Elliott Sadler. Jones has made one NASCAR XFINITY Series start at LVMS. It resulted in a 29th-
place finish due to an accident. The NASCAR Next alum won the NCWTS race at Las Vegas in 2014.

Ty Dillon is picking up where he left off last season – in the center of the championship conversation. Dillon vaulted five spots in the series standings following his fifth-place finish at Atlanta. He is now third in points just five markers back from the series lead. Dillon has made three starts at Las Vegas, posting a pole, one top 10 and an average finish of 10.0.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

Nemechek Earns Chase Berth With Atlanta Win
John Hunter Nemechek led the final eight laps of last Saturday’s Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to capture his second career victory and a berth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase.

The NASCAR Next member became the second driver in as many races to all-but-guarantee his spot in the Chase, joining GMS Racing’s Johnny Sauter, who won at Daytona, in the eight-driver, seven-race playoff. Nemechek is the first driver in NCWTS history to win multiple races on intermediate tracks before turning 19 years old. Nemechek has finished second or better in four of his last six starts, including three of his last four.

Kligerman Out To Early Truck Series Lead
After competing in just one NASCAR national series race in 2015 (Darlington, XFINITY Series), Parker Kligerman leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in points following finishes of third at Daytona and eighth at Atlanta in the first two races of the season.

Kligerman is followed in the points by Daniel Hemric (-1), John Hunter Nemechek (-3), Timothy Peters (-6) and Tyler Young (-8). Kligerman pilots the No. 92 Ford for one-truck Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises out of Cerro Gordo, North Carolina. He also works as a NASCAR analyst for NBC.

Hayley Paces ThorSport With Career-Best Finish In The Peach State
NASCAR Next alum Cameron Hayley posted a career-best 2nd-place finish in last Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta. His previous top showing was a third-place finish at Martinsville last fall.

Hayley, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was followed by his ThorSport teammates Ben Rhodes (sixth), Rico Abreu (11th) and Matt Crafton (30th). Crafton led a race-high 76 laps until a late wreck forced him to the garage for the rest of the day.

http://www.nascar.com/en_us/sprint-cup-series.html

Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR

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