Sprint Cup Drivers in Las Vegas This Weekend

Kobalt 400 2016 Kurt Busch was too fast on pit row

Sprint Cup Drivers in Las Vegas This Weekend

In Friday's opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hamlin ran seven laps in the backup, posting the 13th-fastest speed (193.778 mph) of the session.

Richard Childress Racing crew chiefs Slugger Labbe (No. 3), Justin Alexander (No. 27) and Luke Lambert (No. 31), as well as crew chief Dave Winston (No. 95 Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing) were fined $15,000 and placed on probation through December 31 while also losing 10 championship owner and driver points. Martin Truex Jr., who finished runner-up at Las Vegas last March, goes for his third straight top 10 of the season. The four laps he didn't complete were at the 2009 race.

Tony Stewart still doesn't know when he'll be back in his auto to begin his final NASCAR season.

Even with two top 10 finishes to start off 2016 strong, Furniture Row Racing didn't seem to get the memo from what happened during qualifying at Daytona.

Ty Dillon and Brian Vickers are substituting for Stewart in the No. 14 vehicle while the driver/owner waits to return.

Keselowski won this race in 2014. "Vegas is really grippy with the tire being a little harder compound and you've got really good speed, but then in the race it gets sunny and can get loose and slick". Las Vegas is smooth and fast. Among active drivers at LVMS, he has the top average running position (11.7) and the second-best driver rating (103.4). In the last three races (he missed the 2015 event due to a suspension) his best finish was 20th in 2013. He has an average finish of 22.1 and an 80.8 driver rating. His stats are not great at Las Vegas with a best finish of 16th in 2013, but I think you throw those out the window and look at how he has improved in the Cup series overall.

From 1999 to 2001, the younger Busch brother earned more than 65 wins in Legends cars while racking up two track championships at the facility's Bullring, which existed for several years before the 1.5-mile ovalwas built. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88), Chevrolet, 193.444 miles per hour 21. He turned a fast lap of 196.328 miles per hour. The package used last Sunday at Atlanta is scheduled to be employed in every non-restrictor-plate race this season.

Drivers were pleased with Thursday's open test with both the new rules and Goodyear's tire choice. The 3,717 green flag passes on Sunday marked the second-highest total at Atlanta since the inception of loop data in 2005.

As for Vegas, the early call is to pretty much expect to see a general repeat of the same front-runners as Atlanta.

Eleven drivers have won at LVMS, led by Jimmie Johnson with four (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010).

Brad Keswlowski and Carl Edwards are 17/2. "There are one-off races like that, but there are not going to be one-off races in the Cup Series".

Kurt Busch is on a pole-winning hot streak as he has won the last two in a row. Nonetheless, Stewart has retained radio contact with the team throughout the races in Daytona and Atlanta. He placed sixth last week in Atlanta, his lone Xfinity race of 2016. "Second always stings the most".

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