Thursday, March 8, 2012

Watching the wheels in Vegas

The Sprint Cup series heads to the city of Lost Wages (OK, most people call it Las Vegas, but let's be real here) and the city likes to brag that what happens there stays there. What has happened a lot at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is Roush Racing cars have had a ton of success. In 65 starts at Las Vegas, Roush cars have seven wins, 17 top-five and 34 top-10 finishes and have led more than 1,200 laps. Also, the Roushkateers have finished in the top 10 in each of the 14 Sprint Cup races at the track and have finished in the top five 12 times.
So, yes, you'll see a bit of theme in these upcoming picks for the 3 p.m. Sunday race to be shown on FOX.

Matt Kenseth - Roush selection No. 1 has a chance to get off to a great start after winning at Daytona. Winning two of the first three is a real possibility here. He's already got two wins at this track.
Carl Edwards - Roush selection No. 2. He's also got two wins here and has a series high 486 green flag passes at Las Vegas.

Kyle Busch - He does have one win here. This is also his hometown, so you know, it's one of those cases where you just have to pick him.

Jimmie Johnson - Mr. Five-Timer's got four wins here and you know this team is on a mission to eventually get back into the top 10 in points. The No. 48 is 35 points away from that top 10 spot going into Sunday. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him take a big chunk out of that gap.

Mark Martin - So, the former Roush driver is a little old at 53, but he's proven he can still drive. He's also got a quality car in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55. And he's also won here once and has six top five finishes. And really, wouldn't it be nice to see him hit Victory Lane at least one more time?

Shoulda, woulda, coulda, but didn't pick: It probably makes all the sense in the world to pick Greg Biffle. He's contended to win the first two races and he's a Roush driver coming to Las Vegas. He hasn't won there yet, but there's a first time for everything.

Here's a review of last week's picks at Phoenix and how they finished.
Kasey Kahne - 34th. Early mechanical issues doomed his day. He did finish, but was 28 laps down at the end.
Carl Edwards - 17th. He challenged to be in the top 10 a couple of times, but was not a serious contender all day.
Tony Stewart - 22nd. Seemed to be primed for at least a top 10 finish, and maybe top 5. But when he shut off engine to save gas it wouldn't start back up right away. He was two laps down by the time they got the car started again.
Jimmie Johnson - 4th. Looked like he might run away with the win early, leading 55 laps. Had a tire issue that cost him key places midway through.
Kyle Busch - 6th. He did lead 52 laps, but wasn't in contention to win at the end.
The overall grade is a C again.
Here's a look at my stats after two races and 10 picks.

O wins
2 top fives
2 top 10s

Maybe Vegas will bring some better luck
Until next time

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