Kyle Busch took the consolation prize of second place Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year's event, however, is about getting much more than a few hands of blackjack and the checkered flag. This year marks the first time in the sport's history that the speedway will host two races in a season. "(Although) I think the track is going to be a lot slower with the heat".
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 03: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, signs autographs for fans before qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"This stems back to a year ago when the mile and a half program got so much better at the end of the season", Harvick said after the race.
Everybody already knows this track from NASCAR's annual visits, but teams are paying particularly close attention this week.
"It's early, this is only race three - we aren't anxious yet", Busch said. The speedway has been chilly this week, with occasional 40 miles per hour winds buffeting cars and possibly changing drivers' tactics. It's good to score playoff points because we saw how important they were past year for the 78. when things are going good, you need to hammer it home.
ON THE POLE: Ryan Blaney earned his third career pole Friday, and his Team Penske Ford will start alongside Harvick on the front row.
Kurt Busch failed to win the Cup race in Vegas for the 17th time.
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 02: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, gets into his vehicle during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson intends to get his season back on track on his native West Coast.
The top 10 finishers in Las Vegas were Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Truex, Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Logano, Erik Jones, Paul Menard, and Aric Almirola.
Only Richard Petty, Kyle Busch and David Pearson have won more races across the three national circuits than Harvick, the 42-year-old Californian. Busch lost control and ran Elliott into the wall shortly after a restart early in the final stage. Fords also excelled last week in Atlanta, but the drivers and teams aren't prepared to say they've got all the answers yet. Teams used this trip to gather data and information for the return trip in September, although the temperature could easily be 50 degrees higher than the balmy 53 degrees at Sunday's race. "You feel it as you change direction". "It's just like anything else, just the same for everybody", Clint Bowyer said. I guess it affects the balance of the vehicle, where you pick up the headwind or where you lose it.