Early Week Driver Rankings for Las Vegas


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the west coast for the next three weeks. The action begins with a trip to Sin City. All three series (MENCS, Xfinity and Trucks) will be on the track this week. The MENCS will compete in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

The MENCS will have a normal schedule this week. The first practice is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m. ET (FS1). Qualifying is Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1). There will be two practices Saturday. The first is at 11:30 a.m. ET (FS1) and the final practice is at 2:30 p.m. ET (FS1). I will post my Garage Talk Notes after final practice.

My early week pick for the pole is Ryan Blaney. Las Vegas is the best 1.5-mile track for Team Penske. Blaney owns a series-best 3.3 average starting position in the last three races at the track. He won the pole for this race last year and I think he will do it again Friday.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used the results from the 1.5-mile tracks from the playoffs last year, driver ranking at the 1.5-mile tracks, average finishing position at Las Vegas and driver ranking at Las Vegas. I also factored in some of the speeds for the test session at Las Vegas in January.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Las Vegas…


1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kyle Larson
4. Joey Logano
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Ryan Blaney
7. Kyle Busch
8. Chase Elliott
9. Aric Almirola
10. Erik Jones
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Kurt Busch
13. Clint Bowyer
14. Ryan Newman
15. Paul Menard
16. Daniel Suarez
17. Austin Dillon
18. Alex Bowman
19. Daniel Hemric
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21. Jimmie Johnson
22. Ryan Preece
23. Chris Buescher
24. William Byron
25. Matt DiBenedetto
26. Ty Dillon
27. Michael McDowell
28. Darrell Wallace Jr.
29. David Ragan
30. Matt Tift
31. Landon Cassill
32. Ross Chastain
33. Corey LaJoie
34. Joey Gase
35. B.J. McLeod
36. Cody Ware
37. Garrett Smithley


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday evening.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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