NASCAR heads to Vegas
March 10, 2013
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Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The NASCAR circuit stays on the West Coast as the teams travel north from Phoenix to Sin City for the Kobalt Tools 400. Tony Stewart is the defending champion of this race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval track completed in 1996. It was built with bankings measuring a hefty 20° on turns, and 9° banking on the frontstretch and backstretch, which both are exactly 3,330 feet (0.63 miles). The speedway is always rocking with a seating capacity exceeding 250,000 fans.
Drivers to Watch
Tony Stewart (8/1) - He knocked out a runner-up in Vegas in 2011, and followed that up with last year's victory. In 14 starts at this track, Stewart has nine top-10's, including six top-5's. His 8th-place finish at Phoenix last week shows that he's on the verge of winning soon, so it might as well be on Sunday.
Matt Kenseth (10/1) - Kenseth has performed very well at this track over the years. In his past 10 starts in Sin City, the No. 17 car has five top-5’s, including back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004. He always races well on intermediate tracks, including finishes of 1st (Kansas), 4th (Texas) in two of his past three starts on such tracks.
Jimmie Johnson (6/1) - He’s carted four victories in his past eight starts in Las Vegas, winning in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010. And Johnson almost had a fifth win last year, but finished as the runner-up to Tony Stewart.
Jeff Burton (200/1) - Burton represents the best longshot value on the board at 200-to-1. He has placed 15th or better in 12 of his 15 starts in Las Vegas, tallying top-10’s in eight of these races and an average finish of 10.9. This includes a runner-up in 1998 and back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000. And in more recent history, Burton finished fifth in 2008 and third in 2009 at this track.
Mark Martin (30/1) - Since he will sit out next week when Brian Vickers drives his car, Martin will go for broke and try to race near the front of the pack on Sunday. He's always run well in Vegas with 10 top-10's in 15 starts, including six top-5's and a win back in 1998. But Martin's pick can also be justified by the fact that he finished third at Daytona to open the 2013 season and won the pole last week in Phoenix.
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