Race: Pennzoil 400
Date: Sunday, March 6th, 3:30 PM
Venue: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
2021 Winner: Kyle Larson (2:52:07)
Broadcast: Fox (Mike Joy, Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick)
Course: 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 distance and oval mimics Kansas Speedway in terms of similar tracks on the circuit. 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.
1 Kyle Larson (1st pick this year). After years of no success here, Kyle had one of the more dominant wins I’ve seen in a while last year here. Larson is picking up where he left off (winning last season) with a win last week at California.
2 Joey Logano (2nd pick this year). Joey finished 9th here last year and that was his worst finish here in five years. He had back-to-back wins here in 2019 and 2020. He opened this season with a tough 21st place finish at Daytona before rebounding to finish 5th last week.
High Risk/High Reward
3) Austin DIllon (1st pick this year). Austin was right up there racing down the final stretch last week in California. He did well at Vegas last year (12th) but also at commensurate tracks like Atlanta and Kansas where he finished 6th, 10th, and 12th during the regular season last year.
4) Chase Briscoe (1st pick this year). As a rookie, Chase finished 21st at Vegas last year. He wasn’t particularly great at Atlanta and Kansas too. This year, something seems different. He was solid at Talladega and up until the final few laps, he was among the top 5 at California last week. It could be the new vehicles or could be a year of experience under his belt.
5) Alex Bowman (2nd pick this year). Alex struggled at Vegas last year, finishing 27th. He then went on to finish 3rd, 18th, and 4th at Atlanta and Kansas. Prior to last year he was always a top 20 finisher at Vegas. Bowman has yet to finish better than 20th this season. Bowman has stated he can’t drive as loose with the new car and is learning to adapt to the new style.
Fun Fact: This race was won by either Matt Kenseth or Jimmie Johnson each year from 2003-2007.
Favorites: Average finish 22nd (56th percentile)
High Risk/Reward: Average finish 6th place (16th percentile)
Dark Horse: Average finish 15th place (38th percentile)