The Hendrick teams looked very good last weekend at Homestead-Miami and continue to improve the speed and handling of their cars. Two years ago they couldn’t really compete and now they are looking to be every bit as good if not better than the competition. Let’s see if they can keep it up this coming weekend.
PENNZOIL 400 PRESENTED BY JIFFY LUBE
This week the series heads out west to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube. This is the second intermediate track in as many weeks with both tracks being fairly similar in configuration. That means we should look at the drivers who ran well last week and use them this week as they should be good once again.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin looked very good last weekend and has been one of the most consistent drivers on the intermediate tracks the past few seasons, so I’m picking him to win this week’s race. He won the fall race here two years ago and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts. There will definitely be some competition for him this week, so it won’t be a cake walk to get the win.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin won here back in the spring of 2018 and has finished first or second in six of the last twelve stages run at this track. He has also lead more laps than any other active driver over the last six races here. He came on late in the race last week and that should give them a good idea on how to setup the car for this week. He should be a contender once again.
Joey Logano: Joey won the last two spring races at this track. I’m not sure what to think about his performance last weekend and if that will carry over to this weekend. It’s kind of a toss up on whether or not to have him on your roster this weekend. I think we can wait and see if last week was a fluke or if this team has some work to do to become more competitive.
Brad Keselowski: In his last eleven starts at Las Vegas, Brad’s worst finish is thirteenth and that is the only time he has finished outside of the top ten in that stretch. In fact, he has three wins and seven top five finishes in those eleven races. He looked good early on in last week’s race before having to pit late. I think they should be fine once again this weekend.
Kyle Larson: Kyle is back and looked very good last weekend. I think this team will only get better as the year progresses and they should win some races. It’s a long season, so we can probably wait a little longer to make sure last weekend wasn’t a fluke. I’m guessing that all of the Hendrick teams are going to do well throughout the year though.
William Byron: Last week’s winner made it look easy as he won going away. Even when they dropped some spots in the pits he easily made it back to the front and stayed there with no one close at the end. This tells me that the Hendrick teams have found something and with a few years under their belts in this series they are working well with their individual teams and making the right decisions during the race.
Kyle Busch: Still not the finish this team expects or wants, but much better than last season. I think they will continue to build on what they did last week and eventually will be a contender on a weekly basis once again. This is Kyle’s hometown track and he hasn’t won here since the 2009 season, but he has finished in the top ten in four of his last six starts here. Once again we can probably hold off on having him in our lineup until they show us they have improved even more.
Alex Bowman: Another top ten for a Hendrick driver in last week’s race. Alex runs well on this type of track and should have a fast car once again this weekend. They probably learned a few things about their car and can learn more from some of their teammates about what they did to run a bit better than Alex last week. I see this team running well again.
Denny Hamlin: Denny was running with the leaders for most of the race until he once again got caught speeding in the pits. He really tries to push the envelope a little too much and too often entering and leaving the pits which puts him behind the eight ball. He needs to learn that he can take a bit of extra time getting into his pit stall because these penalties, especially late in the race, are killers.
Michael McDowell: Surprising me once again, Michael had another great run last weekend. He has now finished in the top ten in each race this season and that was done on three different types of tracks. If he can do it again this weekend more people will start taking notice. I’m not sure if this team can keep it up, but I’m pulling for them. Always nice to see one of the smaller teams do well on the track.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- William Byron
- Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game Group C
- Michael McDowell
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
- William Byron
- Denny Hamlin
Dark Horse: Michael McDowell
Stay Away From: Kyle Busch
Big 18: Martin Truex Jr.