Congratulations to Kevin Harvick on picking up his first win of the season in dominating fashion at Atlanta this past weekend. Nobody really had anything for Kevin most of the day where he even had issues with a gun on pit road and went to the back of the pack and drove right to the front in less than half of a fuel run. Brad Keselowski was the only driver who looked like he might have a chance to overtake Kevin, but that only last for a little while and once Kevin got a new set of tires he took off and no one could stick with him.
This week the series heads out west to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the Pennzoil 400. This is another of the mile-and-a-half tracks like Atlanta and we will probably see most of the same names at the top of the leader board once again. It looks like the Ford’s are still quite a bit faster than the other makes at this point of the season, so we will probably look to load our rosters this way once again. It seems that the Chevrolet teams are still working on getting the speed and handling figured out on the new Camaro model they are running this season.
Brad Keselowski: I am going to say that Brad wins at Vegas this weekend. He was the closest to Kevin last week and he runs better here on a consistent basis winning twice in the last five races run here. With two wins, four top five and five top ten finishes in his last five starts at this track, Brad is the most consistent driver in the field at this track and he is going to have something for Kevin this week.
Martin Truex Jr.: Truex started at the rear last week and quickly moved up to the top ten in the first thirty laps before fading later in the race. I think this team comes to Las Vegas with an even better car than they had at Atlanta and competes all day long for the win here. We have to remember how good this team was all last season on this type of track and I think they are going to be just as good this year at those same tracks.
Kevin Harvick: They showed they are still going to be fast every week and are going to have great handling cars that are going to run towards the front every weekend. This team saw how important all those playoff bonus points were for Martin last year and they are going to shoot for those the rest of the season with the pressure of making the playoffs gone. They can take some chances with their strategy to try and win some stages and more races now.
Clint Bowyer: Clint had a great run at Atlanta last weekend and that is going to give the team a lot of confidence and a little momentum for the near future. It looks like the Stewart/Haas and Penske drivers are a cut above the rest of the field right now and they need to take advantage as the other teams are going to figure things out and get better as the year progresses. I think this team is going to make the playoffs this year.
Joey Logano: He looks so much better than he did the last two-thirds of last season. Joey always seems to run well at this track and has three top five and four top ten finishes here in his last five starts. The question for this team always seems to be if they can make the right adjustments to their car as the race progresses and the track changes. I want to watch them a little more before I decide how good they are going to be this year.
Kurt Busch: Kurt had another good run at Atlanta coming away with a top ten finish in that race and leading some laps early on. He really wants to win this race as Las Vegas is his hometown and he wants to win in front of his hometown crowd. Once again, all of the Stewart-Haas drivers are looking stout right now and they want to take advantage of it right now.
Ryan Blaney: The third of the Penske drivers, Ryan also had a great run at Atlanta last weekend. He has only run three races at this track and he came away with two top ten finishes. Now he is on an even better team and you should see him compete all day long this weekend and have himself in a position to possibly win this race. The question is has he learned to have a little more patience yet, so he doesn’t have to make risky moves on the track.
Kyle Busch: Kyle was the top Toyota finishing driver at Atlanta last weekend. I think he is going to be fast all year long, but I don’t know if they can be fast enough to beat the Ford’s at this stage of the season. Kyle really has to drive his butt off to have a chance to win a race right now, but he can do that. Last year he came so close so many times only to see Martin pass him and he just couldn’t catch back up. The Gibbs teams need to find a little more speed to make things easier on their drivers.
Chase Elliott: Chase fought hard last weekend, but just couldn’t keep up at the end of the race. This looks like the best of the Chevrolet teams right now running even more consistent than Jimmie Johnson. I really think the teams are going to figure out what they need to do to set up the new Camaro so it runs faster each and every week. It might take another month or so for them to make significant headway, but it is a long season. Chase has only run at this track twice and has one top five finish to show for his efforts.
Denny Hamlin: Denny looked pretty good last week and his team ran a special strategy to try and beat Kevin. When teams do something like this they are basically saying, their car isn’t good enough to beat the top cars at the track that week so they need to do something unorthodox and hope that lady luck is smiling down on them that day. Denny is a good enough driver to keep himself in a position to win races every week.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Brad Keselowski
- Kevin Harvick
Driver Group Game Group B
- Kurt Busch
- Ryan Blaney
- Clint Bowyer
- Aric Almirola
Driver Group Game Group C
- Alex Bowman
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Brad Keselowski
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Paul Menard
Stay Away From: Austin Dillon
Big 18: Brad Keselowski