Thursday, March 1, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas


By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s:
By Race and Track in the Last 5 Years
Brad Keselowski - 5
Joey Logano - 4
All with 3 - Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson

2017 Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Brad Keselowski
2016 Kurt Busch

The Likely Suspects: Las Vegas will be a great test for this new rules package. However, my take is that if a driver mastered a track in recent years, he'll be able to adjust just fine. So basically that means the Brad and Joey show is likely to be re-run. In addition to Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, I expect Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones to run well. Jimmie Johnson should be on that list, but he has been spinning out too much for me. 

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Brad Keselowski. My next choices are Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer. I will round out my team with Michael McDowell and Chris Buescher.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Kasey Kahne. Kahne has the 8th best record at Las Vegas with three top fives, seven top 10s and three poles. I think his performance on Sunday will come down to how well his #95 team can support him. Last week's second-look driver Trevor Bayne finished in a disappointing 35th place after experiencing mechanical issues on Lap 297 of the scheduled 325-lap race.

My Final Four: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Michael McDowell

Points to Ponder:
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven victories, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five, Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing (two each), Chip Ganassi Racing and Furniture Row Racing (each have one). 
  • Of the 12 series winners at LVMS, only five are active this weekend: Jimmie Johnson (4), Brad Keselowski (2), Martin Truex Jr. (1), Kyle Busch (1) and Kevin Harvick (1). 
  • Six of the 20 races (30%) have been won from a top-five starting position at Las Vegas.
  • Four manufacturers have visited Victory Lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at LVMS, led by Ford (nine), Chevrolet (seven), Toyota (three) and Dodge (one). 
  • Joey Logano leads the series in average finish at LVMS with a 10.0.   
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 2:59 a.m.,  ET on Friday, March 2, and pick your starters by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, March 4.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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