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NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, March 6
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $8,483,997
TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 165), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)
2021 Race Winner: Kyle Larson
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Alsco Uniforms 300
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, March 5
The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,676,079
TV: FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2021 Race Winner: A.J. Allmendinger
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, March 4
The Time: 9 p.m. ET
The Purse: $699,491
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30)
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)
2021 Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
NASCAR Cup Series
Champ Kyle Larson is back to his winning ways, looks to keep streak alive in Vegas
Didn’t take long for 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion and Hendrick Motorsport’s driver, Kyle Larson, to get back to Victory Lane since he won the Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway last November – two races to be exact. The 29-year-old from Elk Grove, California capitalized late at Auto Club Speedway last Sunday to get his first win of the 2022 season, his second at the 2-mile track and the 17th of his series career. Now the series defending champ is headed to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube this Sunday, March 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Larson’s win has him joining DAYTONA 500 victor Austin Cindric as the first two drivers to lock themselves into the Playoffs this season. A good step in his endeavor to become the first driver to win back-to-back titles since Jimmie Johnson won five straight from 2006-2010.
It was not lost on Larson what a quick start like this means for him. The defending winner of this weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was already thinking about the future in his post-race frontstretch interview at Auto Club Speedway.
“Definitely wild but cool to get a win here in California, and hopefully we get on a little streak,” said Larson.
Win streaks were a big part of Larsons 10-win season last year that led to his first series title. He became the fourth different driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win three or more consecutive races multiple times in a single season; joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt (1987) and Richard Petty (1967, 1971) and David Pearson (1968).
Larson has made 11 series starts at Las Vegas posting one win (2021), four top fives and eight top 10s. He has also led 224 laps at the 1.5-mile track.
Team Penske’s Cindric becomes first rookie to hold Cup points lead more than one race
Records are meant to be broken and Team Penske’s Austin Cindric is well on his way to etching his name into the record books.
With his out-of-the-box win in the season-opening DAYTONA 500 and then his 12th-place finish last weekend at Auto Club Speedway, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate has become the first rookie in series history to hold the points standings lead for more than one race (Daytona, Auto Club). Prior to this season, seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson was the only rookie to hold the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings lead during their rookie season but did so following just the Kansas Speedway race in 2002. Cindric currently holds an eight point lead over second place Joey Logano in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings.
Cindric also leads the 2022 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over second place Todd Gilliland (-55) and third place Harrison Burton (-72).
Cindric now turns his attention to Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he will be making his NASCAR Cup Series track debut this weekend. He has made eight NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas putting up three top fives and five top 10s.
Hot start to 2022 season
Action-packed racing was the goal for the NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen car and through the first two races of 2022 season, it has passed the eye test. But what’s even more encouraging, is that the statistics are backing up the great on-track competition that the fans have come to expect at a NASCAR event.
The 2022 DAYTONA 500 produced 104 green flag passes for the lead, becoming just the fifth DAYTONA 500 to eclipse 100 GFPL mark since the inception of the Loop Data statistic in 2007; joining the 2014 (177), 2010 (170), 2017 (137) and 2019 (110). The event was also won by a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate for the first time in the race’s history.
Auto Club Speedway also had some great action on-track this season. The Wise Power 300 produced the third-most lead changes (32) in the NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway all-time; behind 2014 (35) and 2008 (33). The race also tied the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race for the sixth most green flag passes for the lead at Auto Club Speedway with 33 GFPL.
“I think the playing field has definitely been leveled,” said Austin Dillon in his media availabilities leading up to Las Vegas this weekend.
23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace off to best season start of Cup career
Mobile, Alabama’s Bubba Wallace is off to the best start to a season in his NASCAR Cup Series career. The 23XI Racing driver rallied to his second career runner-up finish in the DAYTONA 500 to start the 2022 season, and then followed it up with a 19th-place finish after a wild Auto Club Speedway to find himself ninth in NASCAR Cup Series driver standings heading to Las Vegas this weekend.
Now the 28-year-old, Wallace, is a mere 20 points back from the series standings lead and is looking to roll the dice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to keep his good luck this season alive.
Wallace has made eight starts at Las Vegas in the NASCAR Cup Series amassing one top-10 finish.
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
NASCAR Cup Series Featured Matchups: 2022 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Below is a close look at the featured matchups fans can bet on heading into this weekend’s event.
Ø 9 – Chase Elliott VS. 5 – Kyle Larson
o The two young Hendrick Motorsports superstars make up an ultra-compelling lead Featured Matchup this week coming on the heels of their dust-up this past Sunday in Fontana.
o Elliott and Larson each had race-winning speed at various points of the race on Sunday – with Larson ultimately prevailing after throwing an errant block for the win on Elliott that sent Elliott into the wall, effectively ending his day.
o Both drivers have showed significant strength at Las Vegas in recent races at the track – Larson won the spring race at Las Vegas in March of 2021; Elliott finished second in the Fall 2021 event at the track after a late battle for the win with Denny Hamlin.
Ø 18 – Kyle Busch VS. 22 – Joey Logano
o Busch and Logano infamously tangled late in the race in the 2017 spring race at Las Vegas – an incident that ultimately drove both drivers to fisticuffs after the event.
o Busch – a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, and a hometown crowd favorite, has historically had bad luck at his home track (outside of a lone Vegas victory in 2009) despite running well nearly every time the series visits the facility. However, Busch has been strong at the track in recent races – he has the fifth highest average finish (8.17) at Las Vegas since February 2019
o In Logano’s case, Vegas is one of his strongest race tracks – he owns the highest driver rating at the track since February 2019 among all drivers (109.2) – and has collected 2 wins in that span (2019 and 2020, both in the Spring)
Ø 8 – Tyler Reddick VS. 24 – William Byron
o Reddick and Byron had two of the best cars in the field in Fontana on Sunday before a late-race accident between the two drivers (due to a cut tire on Reddick’s car) ended each of their days. Reddick led a race-high 90 laps in the event and appeared to have the dominant car before the incident.
o Reddick and Byron have notably battled fiercely for wins late in numerous races over the past year prior to Sunday – the two drivers battled hard at Playoff races in Charlotte and Texas last season and have seemingly run near each other each week since. Both drivers are on the cusp of a breakout – Reddick is still seeking his first Cup win, while Byron (a two-time Cup winner) is looking to convert his weekly race-winning speed into more frequent wins.
Ø 3 – Austin Dillon VS. 45 – Kurt Busch
o Las Vegas native and local favorite Kurt Busch squares off in the final matchup on this week’s slate against last week’s surprise runner-up at Fontana – Austin Dillon.
o Dillon and Busch have very similar recent numbers at intermediate tracks – Busch has a slightly higher average finish on intermediate tracks since 2019 (13.05 to Dillon’s 13.66), and also has a recent win at Las Vegas (Fall 2020).
o However, despite Kurt’s breakthrough win at the track in 2020, Dillon has posted better numbers at Las Vegas in recent races. Since 2019, Dillon has averaged a 15.50 finish at the facility vs. Busch’s 16.17.
Grammy-Nominated Country Trio Midland to headline Pennzoil 400 pre-race – Country music group Midland will headline pre-race festivities for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Known for such hits as “Drinkin’ Problem” and “Burn Out”, Midland will make its first appearance ever at Las Vegas Motor Speedway prior to the annual NASCAR Cup Series race.
“We’re thrilled to have one of country’s hottest acts kick off the Pennzoil 400,” said LVMS President Chris Powell. “Midland is incredibly popular with our race fans and we know the guys will put on a great show to get everyone’s motor running for the green flag.”
The band is expected to take the stage at the speedway at approximately 11 a.m. (local time).
Tiera Kennedy to perform national anthem at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Alabama-native and rising singer/songwriter Tiera Kennedy will make her first appearance ever at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as she performs the national anthem prior to the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 6.
Kennedy, The Valory Music Co. recording artist known for her standout tracks “Found It In You” and “Shut It Down,” was inducted into CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2020 as well as its Listen Up Class of 2022. Named as an Artist to Watch by Teen Vogue, Nashville Lifestyles, Pandora Country, Spotify’s Hot Country, Country Now, MusicRow and Sounds Like Nashville, Kennedy is the host of Apple Music Country’s The Tiera Show.
Hall of Famer and former Raider Marcus Allen named Grand Marshal at Las Vegas – NFL Hall of Famer and former Raider Marcus Allen will serve as Grand Marshal for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As part of Allen’s duties, he will bring the roar of the NASCAR Cup Series engines to life with the most famous words in motorsports.
One of football’s greatest running backs, Allen played 16 seasons with the now-Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. During that time, he gained 12,243 yards rushing, 5,412 yards receiving and scored 145 touchdowns. To this day, Marcus Allen is the only NFL player to win a Heisman Trophy, NFL MVP, Super Bowl Championship and Super Bowl MVP.
“I am honored to be the grand marshal” Allen said. “I am a fan of the sport and look forward to meeting the drivers”.
Allen joins a list of luminaries to deliver the command at Las Vegas Motor Speedway including Mark Wahlberg, Tim Allen, Cole Hauser, Derek Carr, Kim Kardashian, Carroll Shelby, Rascal Flatts and Dana White.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Cole Custer does it again at his home state track
As the only former Auto Club Speedway winner in the field for last Saturday’s Production Alliance 300, Cole Custer used the expertise to his advantage. After a race that went into triple overtime and lasted more than three hours, Custer managed his second win at the Fontana, California track in the No. 07 SS Green Light Racing Ford.
Custer had an all-around great race, consistently battling for the lead with Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier. Ultimately, Custer led the final 21 laps and finished the race with a total of 80 laps led.
His last trip to Auto Club Speedway’s Victory Lane was in 2019 where he managed to stay on top in the last 19 laps. That season, he went on to post a career-high seven wins, 17 top fives and 24 top 10s.
Custer’s win in the Production Alliance 300 marks the first in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for SS Green Light Racing. The Bobby Dotter-owned team has a technical alliance with Custer’s NASCAR Cup Series team, Stewart-Haas Racing.
The decorated driver competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series but will make more appearances this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He finished runner-up in NASCAR Xfinity Series championships in back-to back seasons (2018 and 2019) and finished his NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie season fifth in the standings in 2017.
This weekend, SS Green Light Racing will have Joe Graf Jr. piloting the No. 07 Ford at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Go big or go home: Heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway
This weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 300. The race begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on March 5, 2022 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
This will be the 30th running of a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 29 previous Xfinity races have produced 17 different pole winners and 21 different race winners.
Five drivers are tied for the Xfinity Series lead in poles at Las Vegas with two each – Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and Cole Custer.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the NASCAR Xfinity Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four (1999, 2005, 2008 and 2011). Kyle Busch leads all active drivers this weekend with two victories (2016, 2019).
Six of the 29 (20.7%) NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most recent was Chase Briscoe’s win in 2020.
This weekend’s practice is scheduled for Friday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by Qualifying at 7 p.m. ET both will be televised on FS1.
Regular Season champ A.J. Allmendinger returns to Vegas atop the standings
For the second week in a row, Kaulig Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger holds the top spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings after opening the season with two top-10 finishes.
Allmendinger is the defending winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series spring Las Vegas race, taking the checkered after taking the lead with just 13 laps to go. The win kick started Allmendinger 2021 campaign which led to a Regular Season Championship and eventually earning a spot in the Championship 4 Round in the Playoffs for the first time in his career.
This season, the 40-year-old from Los Gatos, California is looking to be the first driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to win consecutive regular season titles.
Allmendinger has made two series starts at Las Vegas posting a win and two top 10s. His average finish is 4.0.
JRM’s Josh Berry looks to go back-to-back at Las Vegas
Last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway Playoff race winner, Josh Berry, will be driving his No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend with a chance to become just the second driver in series history to win back-to-back races at the 1.5-mile track; joining Chase Briscoe, who swept both Xfinity races in 2020.
Josh Berry is in his first full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and is paired with crew chief Mike Bumgarner at JR Motorsports. In the 2021 season, he finished 17th in the final championship standings after making just 22 series starts. He posted two wins, six top fives and 12 top 10s.
Berry is currently seventh in the Xfinity Series driver standings 27 points behind A.J. Allmendinger in the series standings lead. Berry finished 16th in the season opener at Daytona and then fourth last weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
Berry has made two series starts at Las Vegas posting one win (2021), and two top 10s. His average finish is a stout 4.0 – tied with AJ Allmendinger for series-best among active drivers this weekend.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Two Races In
After a wild NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway that resulted in three overtimes, the 2022 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class learned the competition is stiff.
The Production Alliance 300 didn’t go as planned for last week’s Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 winner, Austin Hill. The Richard Childress Racing driver was involved in an early race incident and finished 27th but added another 10 points to his season standings tally.
Hill’s RCR teammate, Sheldon Creed, was unable to finish the race after completing only 156 laps and being involved in two separate incidents. He ultimately finished 32nd.
Not far behind Creed was Jesse Iwuji who finished 36th after having to go behind the wall early in the race with ignition issues. He returned after fixing the issue but was several laps down.
Hill leads his competition with 57 points, already secure in his Playoff spot after winning in Daytona. Creed is still fighting his way up with 36 points, followed by Iwuji with 11 points.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Not a bad start for Trevor Bayne, Ryan Truex now has a shot – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Trevor Bayne made his NASCAR Xfinity Series return at Auto Club Speedway in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota last weekend posting a third-place finish.
Bayne is running a part-time schedule this season, so you won’t see him competing in Las Vegas this weekend but expect to see him later this month at Phoenix Raceway.
Instead, this weekend Ryan Truex will rejoin Joe Gibbs Racing and pilot the No. 18 Toyota this weekend as part of a four race deal he has signed with the organization in 2022.
“I’m honored to compete in the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season,” Truex said. “Having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing entry is an absolute dream come true. Even better, Toyota is sponsoring my inaugural race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend. I can’t thank them and Joe Gibbs Racing enough for making this happen.”
Ryan Truex has made four Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-10 finish.
Xfinity Milestone Starts – Last weekend Jeremy Clements made 400th NASCAR Xfinity Series career start. This weekend, Justin Allgaier will be making his 375th NASCAR Xfinity Series career start. Tommy Joe Martins will be making his 125th NASCAR Xfinity Series career start this weekend.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Back At It: Camping World Truck Series heads to Las Vegas
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers and teams had last weekend off to recharge and regroup after an action-packed race in Daytona to open the 2022 season but this weekend they are back for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET. on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Fans last saw Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith make his first trip to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway with his new team in the No. 38 Ford.
Going into this weekend, eyes may be on last year’s Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 winner, Christian Eckes to see if he can pull it off again. His 2021 win at Las Vegas was his first in the series. In his 10 series starts, he has managed one win, two top fives and five top 10s. In 2019, he became the youngest pole winner in Las Vegas Motor Speedway history at 18 years, 3 months and 28 days old.
Kyle Busch leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with three (2018, 2019 and 2020). He isn’t the only former winner entered in the race this weekend. He will be joined by Christian Eckes (2020), teammate John Hunter Nemechek (2019), Grant Enfinger (2018) and Ben Rhodes (2017).
Truckin’ in Vegas
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Las Vegas this weekend for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 (Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET. on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
This will be the 30th running of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The first series race took place on November 3, 1996 and was won by three-time series champion Jack Sprague driving for Hendrick Motorsports.
In total, the 29 previous Truck races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have produced 20 different pole winners and 24 different race winners.
Mike Skinner (2004, 2005, 2006) and Jack Sprague (1997, 1998, 2001) lead the series in poles at Las Vegas with three each. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers this weekend with two (2019, 2020).
Practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take place on Friday, March 4 at 4:30 p.m. ET directly followed by Cometic Gaskets Pole Qualifying at 5 p.m. ET both will be televised on FS1.
Busch also leads the Camping World Truck Series in wins at Las Vegas with three (2018, 2019, 2020). Busch is the only driver in the series to win in all three of NASCAR’s national series at the 1.5-mile facility.
Todd Bodine ‘The Onion’ is back
For fans that have followed the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a while, the name Todd Bodine should ring a bell (and rightfully so!) Bodine has made quite the name for himself. He won two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships (2006 and 2010), finished top five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings for six consecutive seasons (2005-2010) and has made 727 career starts across NASCAR’s three national touring series.
It’s been almost a decade since the veteran driver has been seen on track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the last time being in 2013 when he competed in eight races (seven for ThorSport Racing and one for Turner Motorsports).
This season, Bodine will be back for select races behind the wheel of the No. 62 Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota with veteran crew chief Trip Bruce. Bodine will be teammates with Halmar Friesen Racing’s driver of the No. 52 Toyota – Stewart Friesen.
Bodine will be looking to post his third career NASCAR national series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. His first was in 2001 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and his second was in 2005 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
In total, Bodine has made nine Truck Series starts at Las Vegas posting one win (2005), six top fives and seven top 10s.
Zane Smith looks to become fourth driver to open season with consecutive victories
Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith has jump started his 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season with a big win at Daytona International Speedway and now heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 (Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET. on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to try to become the fourth different driver in series history to win the first two races of the season; joining Ben Rhodes (2021: Daytona, Daytona RC), Johnny Sauter (2013: Daytona, Martinsville) and Mark Martin (2006: Daytona, Auto Club).
Zane Smith currently has a two point lead in the driver standings over 2021 series champion and ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes.
Smith has made four Camping World Truck Series starts at Las Vegas posting three top-10 finishes.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Matt Crafton to make 500th consecutive start – No driver has made more consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts than ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton. Actually, no other Truck Series driver has made more starts than Crafton period and this weekend the veteran will make his 500th career consecutive start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Crafton’s streak began with his very first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Auto Club Speedway on October 28, 2000. In the event he started 17th and raced his way up to a ninth-place finish. Since then, Crafton has collected 15 wins, 130 top fives and 300 top 10s. Plus, he is the only driver in series history to win back-to-back championships (2013, 2014).
Crafton has made 25 series starts at Las Vegas and put up 11 top fives and 16 top 10s. Vegas is the last 1.5-mile track left on the schedule he has yet to win at.