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Fantasy NASCAR Pennzoil 400: Power Rankings

The first trip out west.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series SouthPoint 400 Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The rule I have implemented for myself are:

  1. I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season
  2. Due to #1 these are “Power Rankings” (in quotations), I’m looking for value here

My general format for my power rankings:

  • Top 2 picks will generally be the favorites, the ones who should be top 5 or top 10 finishes
  • #3 and #4 will be your riskier picks, could be top 5 or bottom 15
  • Pick #5 is the dark horse

Race Information

Race: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
Laps: 267
Date: February 24th
Venue: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
2018 Winner: Kevin Harvick (2:49:31)
Broadcast: Fox


Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Built as a road course with a drag strip in 1972. It was later purchased by Richie Clyne and morphed into the current track in 1996. The 1.5 mile asphalt oval has banking turns of 20 degrees with a front and backstretch of 9 degrees. The track itself has seen success in ratings and revenue brought in. So much so that it will be taking the race from New Hampshire in 2018.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Power Rankings

The Favorites

Joey Logano (1st selection this year) — Over the last five years at Las Vegas he “averages” a sixth place finish. This includes four top five finishes over that time. Joey had a great Daytona finishing 4th but struggled last week at Atlanta falling outside the top 20. This is my anchor for Vegas.

Martin Truex Jr. (1st selection this year) — He led for a few laps last week at Atlanta. He comes to Las Vegas where he has averaged a 5th place finish over the last three years. Brad Keselowski has a good record here too but I’m sticking with Truex as my pick for Vegas.

High Risk / High Reward

Paul Menard (1st selection this year) — In his two races this season he finished 29th at a wreck riddled Daytona and then rebounded to 14th last week at Atlanta. He He has top 20 finishes each race at Las Vegas the last five years including a 10th place finish last year.

Aric Almirola (2nd selection his year) — Just like Paul he struggled with all of the accidents in week one. Last week he came in strong with an 8th place finish. He comes to Vegas where he has improved from an average of 25th place in 2014 -2016 to 11th the last three years getting better each year. I think he is a top 10 finisher here.

The Dark Horse

Ryan Blaney (1st selection this year) — He might be racing among the top 3 in the circuit right now. He has faltered late in both races but up until that moment he was excelling. Now he comes to Vegas where he has averaged a ninth place finish over since he came into the league in 2016.

2019 Results

Favorite: Avg Finish 18th (46th Percent)

High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 15th (40th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 12th (30th Percent)