This week, the boys head over the Nevada desert to Sin City...LAS VEGAS NEVADA! Here's what you need to know for the Shelby 427.
TIME AND STUFF
Green Flag Drops at 3:30pm EST on FOX on Sunday
Qualifying for the race is on SPEED at 6:30pm EST on Friday, February 27th
See NASCAR.com for times for practice sessions
My pick to take the checkers in the Shelby 427 is three-time consecutive Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. He's hungry already, and I think this is his time! He's ranked in the top ten of active drivers at Vegas for the last ten races.
It's race three of the 2009 season and there are a lot of headlines going into this showdown in the desert, but before we get to that, here's a little "inside Info" on Jimmie Johnson's record at the track:
Top 5: 3
Top 10: 4
Laps Led: 210
Currently Jimmie sits outside of the top 12 in points at 19th, but it's not something to worry about. It's not like the Lowe's team isn't running well. It's more like luck isn't on Jimmie's side. Twice now, he has gotten himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Bad luck occurred most notably at Daytona, where the trouble between Brian Vickers and Dale Earnhardt Jr found the No. 48 during the rain-shortened Daytona 500 (won by Matt Kenseth). Of course, Johnson never has run well at the 2.5 mile super speedway. He has an average finish of 15th at Daytona, not great compared to his average finish of 9th at Las Vegas!
Look for Johnson to break out of the box at Vegas. He's my pick to win the whole deal, and for those of you who play Fantasy racing, I strongly recommend adding Johnson to your roster. Drivers like options and with the progressive banking, that's exactly what they get.
If you are not sold on adding Johnson to your roster, a good bet would be another Hendrick Motorsports driver, perhaps even Johnson's car owner Jeff Gordon...hmmm!
I wouldn't ride the Matt Kenseth train too much longer. His value is way too high now, and I think he's not worth it unless you are one of the few that had him on your roster at the start of the season.
Best of luck to team 48 this weekend!
HEADLINES OF THE RACE
Can Jeremy Mayfield continue to qualify and finish well in each race with a make shift team?
Will Matt Kenseth win three in a row?
Will Jeff Gordon finally see victory lane in a points-paying event?
Will A.J Allmendinger finish well again and continue his pursuit of a full time sponsor?
Will Fox kill off the lame Digger cartoon? (Don't worry, Digger. It's not you I hate).
Las Vegas, NV
Distance: 1.5 miles
External Website: www.lvms.com
Nicknamed the “Diamond in the Desert”, Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been called the most remarkable race complex in the world. The $200 million state-of-the-art facility has accommodations on its 1,600 acres for virtually every form of motorsports. Its Neon Garage provides unprecedented access to the race teams and drivers, unique concession areas, live entertainment, and the winner's circle.
Year Opened: 1996
Location Las Vegas, NV
First Cup Race: Las Vegas 400; March 1, 1998
Distance: 1.5 miles
Frontstretch: 2,275 feet
Backstretch: 1,572 feet
Degree of banking:
Turns 1-4: 20 degrees
Frontstretch: 9 degrees
Backstretch: 9 degrees
Race Distance: 400 miles
No. of Laps: 267
Seating Capacity: 142,000
Tickets: (800) 644-4444