The NASCAR Cup Series is ready for some high-speed action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Sunday, March 5 in the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio); the first race on a 1.5-mile track this season.
The construction to build the facility known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998. The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was an ARCA Menards Series West race won by Ken Schrader on November 2, 1996. The first NASCAR Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998. NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Jarrett won the pole for the event and Mark Martin won the race.
In total there have been 30 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile track has hosted one NASCAR Cup Series race per season from 1998 to 2017. Starting in 2018, Las Vegas has hosted two NASCAR Cup Series events per year.
A total of 19 different drivers have won a pole in the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Eight of the 19 NASCAR Cup Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway pole winners are active this weekend. Kasey Kahne leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with three (2004, 2007, 2012). Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in poles at Las Vegas with two (2008, 2009).
|Active Las Vegas Pole Winners||Poles||Seasons|
|Kyle Busch||2||2008, 2009|
A total of 17 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Eight of the 17 NASCAR Cup Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winners are active this weekend. Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010).
Brad Keselowski (2014, 2016, 2018) and Joey Logano (2019, 2020, 2022) leads all active drivers this weekend in wins at Las Vegas with three victories each.
|Active Las Vegas Race Winners||Wins||Seasons|
|Brad Keselowski||3||2018, 2016, 2014|
|Joey Logano||3||2022, 2020, 2019|
|Kevin Harvick||2||2018, 2015|
|Martin Truex Jr||2||2019, 2017|
Vegas is in the palm of Joey Logano’s hand
No driver has been as dominant in the last eight NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway than Team Penske’s Joey Logano. He is the only driver to win multiple races at the 1.5-mile track during that span hoisting three trophies (2019, 2020, 2022), including the most recent Playoff race last October. Now, the 32-year-old, Logano, is looking to become the fourth different driver to win consecutive races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, joining Jeff Burton (1999-2000), Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson (2005-2007).
Logano has made 19 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway posting one pole, three wins, seven top fives and 12 top 10s.
Worth noting, Logano is one of five reigning NASCAR Cup Series champions that have gone on to win at Las Vegas the following season of their title run: Matt Kenseth (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2010), Tony Stewart (2012), Kevin Harvick (2015), and Joey Logano (2019).
Five different winners in last five races at Vegas
Las Vegas loves winners, and this weekend 36 different drivers will compete for the NASCAR Cup Series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Las Vegas has produced five different winners in the last five Cup races – Kurt Busch (Sept. 2020), Kyle Larson (Mar. 2021), Denny Hamlin (Sept. 2021), Alex Bowman (Mar. 2022) and Joey Logano (Oct. 2022). Will we see a sixth different winner this weekend?
A total of 17 different drivers have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and eight of the 17 are active this weekend. The four previous Vegas victors that could keep the different winners streak alive on Sunday are veterans Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. Keselowski has three wins at Las Vegas (2014, 2016, 2018), Harvick (2015, 2018) and Truex Jr. (2017, 2019) each have two, and Kyle Busch, the Vegas native, is the only driver in series history to win from the pole at the track (2009).
Two drivers looking to end the different winners streak are Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Alex Bowman, the defending winner of the spring race at Las Vegas, and Team Penske’s Joey Logano, the defending winner of last season’s Las Vegas Playoff race. Bowman has made 11 series career starts at Las Vegas posting one win, two top fives and three top 10s. Logano has made 19 series starts at Las Vegas posting three wins, seven top fives and 12 top 10s.
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Spotlight: Gibbs hops out front – Just two races into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season and the battle for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors is already tight. Both rookies have managed to win a rookie of the race award, but it is Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs that has taken the rookie standings lead by 10 points over Legacy Motor Club’s Noah Gragson following his top-20 finish (16th) at Auto Club Speedway.
This season, the 20-year-old Gibbs, has put up a 25th-place finish at Daytona and a 16th at Fontana. The Charlotte, North Carolina native has earned a total of 38 points this season and is ranked 17th in the overall series driver standings.
In Gibbs review mirror is his only rookie challenger this season, Noah Gragson, who is currently 22nd in the overall series driver standings with 28 points. The 24-year-old Las Vegas native has finished 24th at Daytona and 22nd at Fontana.
Both rookies made their series track debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October, with Gragson putting up the best finish of the two drivers (11th). Gibbs posted a 22nd-place finish.
Uncle Kracker headlines pre-race concert at Las Vegas – Uncle Kracker, the multiplatinum singer-songwriter, will headline the pre-race entertainment on Sunday, March 5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a pre-race concert on the frontstretch. The Michigan native will perform hits from each one of his albums. He is expected to take the stage at the speedway at approximately 11 a.m.
“There’s no better way to kick off this NASCAR party,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Uncle Kracker’s music appeals to race fans of all ages and demos, and we know everyone will be in for a good time.”
Long-time Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator to sing National Anthem at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Terry Fator, winner of season two of America’s Got Talent, will perform the national anthem before the start of the Pennzoil 400 race on Sunday March 5.
The Dallas-bred entertainer led a record-breaking 11-year run at The Mirage, where he performed in front of millions. Fator recently opened his new Las Vegas show, “Terry Fator: Who’s the Dummy Now?” at Liberty Loft inside New York-New York Hotel & Casino.
USAF Thunderbirds to kick off Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas – They’re back! The USAF Thunderbirds that is.
At the conclusion of the National Anthem, the Thunderbirds will punctuate the pre-race activities with a six-jet, Delta formation flyover, launching out of their home station, Nellis Air Force Base.
America’s “Ambassadors in Blue” are celebrating their 70th anniversary this year. The Thunderbirds’ F-16 Fighting Falcons are assigned to the Air Combat Command and the team includes 12 officers and 120 enlisted personnel who perform more than 70 aerobatic demonstrations at approximately 35 locations throughout the year.
Nevada Governor Lombardo named Honorary Pace-Car Driver at Las Vegas – Gov. Joe Lombardo will lead the state of Nevada for the next four years, and on March 5 he’ll lead the field to the green flag as the honorary pace-car driver for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Lombardo, previously Clark County’s sheriff before being elected governor, will pilot the Toyota Camry pace car in front of the 36-car field at the start of the 26th annual event.
“We’re honored to have Gov. Lombardo participate in this ceremonial role in our state’s pre-eminent sports event,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway president Chris Powell. “Gov. Lombardo has long shown great interest in major sports events in Nevada, and we’re proud to welcome him to the Pennzoil 400.”
Lombardo joins current Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams, former NFL standout Marshawn Lynch and NHRA star Antron Brown as distinguished figures to pace the field for NASCAR events in Las Vegas.
“Racing has long been a passion of mine, so I’m especially honored to drive the pace-car in the Pennzoil 400 this year,” Lombardo said. “I look forward to participating in this great Las Vegas sports tradition.”
Las Vegas native Bryce Harper named Grand Marshal for Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas native and two-time National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper has been named grand marshal for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 12-year veteran outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, a Las Vegas High School graduate, will deliver the command to start engines for the 26th annual NASCAR Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I’ve been a fan of NASCAR for quite some time now, so being asked to give the command, especially at my hometown track, just checks off another box on my to-do list as a fan,” Harper said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this awesome event.”
NASCAR celebrates Wendell Scott at Las Vegas – This weekend the cars in all three NASCAR national series will have an opportunity to carry a tribute decal to honor NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott on their B or C Posts.
Wendell Scott was inducted into the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Scott made his first start in NASCAR’s premier series on March 4, 1961 at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, S.C. He made 23 starts that season, posting five top-five finishes. On Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., Scott became the first African American to win a NASCAR premier series event. Scott won the 100-mile feature race after starting 15th.
Over the next 13 years, Scott would make 495 starts. In his distinguished career, Scott accumulated 20 top-five finishes including eight of them in the same season he won his first career race, 1964.