Feb 28, 2014; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson during practice for the The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ice Picks Las Vegas – RP=M


The big-ticket draw this weekend at Las Vegas is 43 stock cars taking the green flag in what should be a wild west shootout.

I have to say the new NASCAR qualifying rules are absolutely crazy as the drivers try to time the right spot on the track to make that special run and when the dust settled today at Las Vegas a Penske owned stock car took the pole with his teammate right next to him in the front row for the second week in a row.

This is the most important race of this young season due to its length of a mile and a half which is the bread and butter of making The Chase. If you do well here most likely you will have a successful season heading into the rest of the mile and a half cookie cutter tracks.

Its important enough that five times a Las Vegas winner has gone on to win the Sprint Cup Championship with Jimmie Johnson leading all drivers with four wins, Matt Kenseth three wins and Carl Edwards has two. Which brings me to the two dominant teams with the most wins at Las Vegas, Roush Finway with seven wins followed by Hendricks Motor Sports with five.

Most winners come from inside the top ten and pole winners have gone on to win two out of the 16 races held at Las Vegas. Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at 9.5 and Carl Edwards at 9.6, the only two active drivers under 10.0.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart lead the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with two each if that helps you round out your salary cap teams.

The top five practice speeds are as follows:

#99-Edwards 191.980
#22-Logano 191.320
#48-Johnson 191.137
#17-Stenhousr, Jr. 190.873
#1-McMurray 190.705

I don’t see this race having many yellow flags as there has been only one green white checker since they began racing at Las Vegas. If anything it could turn into a fuel mileage race.

Here’s my picks for Las Vegas:

 

A List

Jimmie Johnson- is running Chassis No. 48-824 for Las Vegas. Johnson drove this car to a sixth-place result last October at Kansas Speedway.

Kevin Harvick- tested very well at Las Vegas and running a new Chassis 4-843

Kasey Kahne- is running a new chassis and has come close in the past.

 

B List

Carl Edwards- was quick in practice and with Jimmy Fenig as his crew chief gets my nod. His running a new chassis.

Joey Logano- has been money this early in the season and it should continue in Las Vegas. His running a new chassis.

Brad Keselowski- is also running a new chassis and is off to his best start of his young career, should be top ten.

Jamie McMurray- finishes well when he qualifies well and should give you good points.

 

C List

Austin Dillon- was the quickest among the rookies so he gets my nod, top 15 should be in order.

Refer to my Daytona picks for groupings, Good Luck!

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Tags: Jimmie Johnson Kevin Harvick Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR