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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Kobalt Tools 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, March 10
SITE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1996) -- Las Vegas, Nev.
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 2,275 feet (Frontstretch); 1,572 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 142,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 16th
TELEVISION: FOX
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. ET
QUALIFYING TIME: Friday, March 8/6:40 p.m. ET
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Tony Stewart
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (finished 19)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kasey Kahne, 2012 (190.456 mph)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1998 (146.554 mph)
 
2012 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Tony Stewart76Clint Bowyer5
2Jimmie Johnson67Paul Menard26
3Greg Biffle98Jamie McMurray19
4Ryan Newman189Trevor Bayne25
5Carl Edwards2110Dale Earnhardt Jr.4
2012 Kobalt Tools 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 137.524 mph
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 54 mins., 44 secs.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.461 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 33 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 16 among 11 drivers
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (190.456 mph)
Past Kobalt Tools 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2012 -- Tony Stewart (7) -- Chevrolet -- 137.524 mph
2011 -- Carl Edwards (3) -- Ford -- 135.508 mph
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson (20) -- Chevrolet -- 141.450 mph
2009 -- Kyle Busch (1) -- Toyota -- 119.513 mph
2008 -- Carl Edwards (2) -- Ford -- 127.729 mph
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (23) -- Chevrolet -- 128.183 mph
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (3) -- Chevrolet -- 133.358 mph
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson (9) -- Chevrolet -- 121.038 mph
2004 -- Matt Kenseth (25) -- Ford -- 128.790 mph
2003 -- Matt Kenseth (17) -- Ford -- 132.934 mph
2002 -- Sterling Marlin () -- Dodge -- 136.747 mph
2001 -- Jeff Gordon (24) -- Chevrolet -- 136.377 mph
2000 -- Jeff Burton (11) -- Ford -- 119.982 mph
1999 -- Jeff Burton (19) -- Ford -- 137.537 mph
1998 -- Mark Martin (7) -- Ford -- 146.554 mph (race record)
 
NOTE: Formerly called Las Vegas 400 (1998-1999), Carsdirect.com 400 (2000),
UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 (2001-07), UAW-Dodge 400 (2008), Shelby 427
(2009), Shelby American (2010).
 
Past Kobalt Tools 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2012 -- Kasey Kahne -- 19
2011 -- Matt Kenseth -- 11
2010 -- Kurt Busch -- 35
2009 -- Kyle Busch -- 1
2008 -- Kyle Busch -- 11
2007 -- Kasey Kahne -- 35
2006 -- Greg Biffle -- 8
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 9
2004 -- Kasey Kahne -- 2
2003 -- Bobby Labonte -- 4
2002 -- Todd Bodine -- 29
2001 -- Dale Jarrett -- 2
2000 -- Ricky Rudd -- 12
1999 -- Bobby Labonte -- 5
1998 -- Dale Jarrett -- 40
Last Race Results
RACE: Subway Fresh Fit 500 (March 3)
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, Ariz.
MILES: 316
LAPS: 316
WINNER: Carl Edwards
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Denny Hamlin
FOURTH: Brad Keselowski
FIFTH: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
POLE WINNER: Mark Martin (finished 21)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hrs., 0 mins., 15 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 105.187 mph
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.024 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 43 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 12 among 9 drivers
LAP LEADERS: M. Martin 1-49; J. Montoya 50-56; G. Biffle 57-64; J. Montoya
65-69; G. Biffle 70-100; M. Martin 101-126; B. Keselowski
127-142; D. Ragan 143-145; C. Edwards 146-189; J. Johnson 190; D.
Reutimann 191; D. Earnhardt Jr. 192-238; C. Edwards 239-316.
Kobalt Tools 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
7Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Sany
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Stanley
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Office
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14 *Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/American Red Cross
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Zest
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Toyota/Dollar General
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Ford/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Schrock
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Rheem
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Swan Racing
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/Federated Auto Parts
33Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/TBA
35Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
36J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Accell Construction
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Axe Apollo
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Farmland
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kingsford
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
51Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Tag Heuer
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/Maddie's Place
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy Orange
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Leavine Family Racing
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Ambient Edge HVAC
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200420052006200720082009201020112012
Tony Stewart310217432672Won
Jimmie Johnson16WonWonWon2924Won162
Greg Biffle4068163710283
Ryan Newman27943814251854
Carl Edwards---14266Won1712Won5
Clint Bowyer------15362828156
Dale Earnhardt Jr3542271121016810
Kevin Harvick215112741221711
Jeff Gordon1545235633612
Joey Logano---------------1362316
Martin Truex Jr------2012153220617
Mark Martin53065104041818
Kasey Kahne23843561191419
Denny Hamlin------10392219720
Matt KensethWon824204351122
Kyle Busch4123911Won153823
Brad Keselowski---------------38262632
 
Mover of the Week
Casey Mears - started 43 and finished 14
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - finished 2
 
NOTES:
The Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the third race on the 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Construction of this racetrack, which is known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998.

This track, which is 1.5 miles in length, has 20 degrees of banking in all four of its turns as well as nine degrees of banking on the frontstretch and backstretch. In 2006, it was reconfigured to include progressive banking.

The first NASCAR race held at LVMS was a K&N Pro Series West event won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996. Mark Martin won the inaugural Sprint Cup race there on March 1, 1998. The Cup Series has competed at this track once each year since then.

There have been 15 Sprint Cup races held at Las Vegas. Four driver have competed in all of them: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.

Jimmie Johnson holds the record for most victories at Las Vegas with four. Johnson won three consecutive races there from 2005-07. His other victory at this track came in 2010.

Tony Stewart, Gordon and Martin have the most top-five finishes at Las Vegas with six each. Martin's 10 top-10 finishes is the best among all drivers who have competed there.

Kasey Kahne has the most poles at Las Vegas with three, including one last year. Kahne's first two poles there came in 2004 (his Cup rookie season) and 2007. He has yet to win a Sprint Cup event at this track.

One year ago, Stewart checked off Las Vegas as one of those tracks on the current Sprint Cup schedule where he had yet to win a race. Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway are the only tracks where he is winless. Kentucky hosted its first event in the series in 2011.

The closest margin of victory for a Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas occurred in 2006 when Johnson nipped Matt Kenseth to the finish line by just 0.045 seconds.

Two drivers who are competing in this weekend's race made their first career Cup starts at Las Vegas: Kyle Busch (2004) and Aric Almirola (2007).

Kahne is the only driver who claimed his first career pole in the series at Las Vegas (2004).

No active driver has scored his or her first Cup win at Las Vegas.

The next Sprint Cup Series event is the March 17 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski is the defending race winner.

03/05 12:21:56 ET

As of March 5, 2013, at 12:22 PM ET