Las Vegas Fantasy Racing Preview

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Four-time Las Vegas winner Jimmie Johnson has the most wins (5) at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to the start of the 2015 season and defending Las Vegas winner Kevin Harvick has led the most laps (652) in that 12-race span. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Driver AveragesDriver RatingsLoop DataPast Winners | Tire Notes | Testing Speeds 

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com's Jeff Wackerlin takes a look at some notes and statistics for Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Las Vegas
• Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards are the only drivers with multiple wins in the nine races on the current track configuration, with two each.
• Kevin Harvick won this event last year after leading 142 laps.
• Matt Kenseth has a 6.7 average finish in his three tracks starts with Joe Gibbs Racing, including a win in 2013.
• Brad Keselowski has posted a 3.7 average finish in his last three starts, including a win in 2014.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in all of the last five races.
• Joey Logano has posted an 8.7 average finish and combined to lead 91 laps in his three track starts with Team Penske.
• Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Las Vegas 
• Kyle Busch, the 2009 Las Vegas winner, has a 3.7 average finish in the three lower-downforce races, including a third-place run at Atlanta last weekend with the 2016 rules.
• Kurt Busch (6.7) and Denny Hamlin (7.3) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the three lower-downforce races dating back to last season.
• Martin Truex Jr. has posted an 8.8 average finish in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.
• Rookie Chase Elliott finished eighth last weekend in the first race of 2016 with the lower-downforce rules package. Also at Atlanta, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted his first top 10 at a 1.5-mile track since 2013.
• Paul Menard has the second-best average finish (8.0) in the last four races at Las Vegas.
• Brian Vickers is subbing for the injured Tony Stewart this weekend.
• Logano, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger and Greg Biffle each posted an average speed over 186 mph in best 10 consecutive lap averages in Thursday's first testing session. (Testing Speeds)

Note: Be sure to check back with MRN.com for practice speeds on Friday and Saturday.

Qualifying Facts

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Kasey Kahne - 3
Kyle Busch - 8.3
Pole -  1 times
Kyle Busch - 2
Joey Logano - 9.1
Top Five - 5 times 
Five drivers with one
Kurt Busch - 9.5
Top 10 - 8 times 
Greg Biffle - 10.6
Top 15 - 9 times
Kasey Kahne - 10.7
Worst - 25th, one time

* - Must be Entered in the Kobalt 400.  

Best Average Finish at Las Vegas

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3.0
Four Races 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5.8
Six Races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7.8
Eight Races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7.4
10 Races
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 9.7

* - The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Las Vegas Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2015, 11 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
*Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
1. Kyle Busch - 9.9
2. Kyle Busch
2. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson - 10.1
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Kevin Harvick - 10.9
4. Kyle Larson
4. Jimmie Johnson
4. Carl Edwards - 12.4
5. Greg Biffle
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Greg Biffle - 12.6
*Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 2180
1. Carl Edwards - 431
1. Jimmie Johnson - 111.9
2. Kevin Harvick - 2134
2. Kyle Busch - 395
2. Kyle Busch - 103.4
3. Kyle Busch - 2125
3. Jimmie Johnson - 382
3. Kevin Harvick - 98.8
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2124
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 377
4. Matt Kenseth - 97.6
5. Carl Edwards - 2072
5. Kevin Harvick - 368
5. Greg Biffle - 96.1

*Must be entered in the Kobalt 400.
*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop. *Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.


For a look at all the pre-race Loop Data for Las Vegas Click Here to view the Kobalt 400 Pre-Race Loop Data Book.

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Brad Keselowski
1. Martin Truex Jr.
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 4.3
2. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kevin Harvick
2. Kyle Busch - 7.0
3. Chase Elliott
3. Carl Edwards
3. Kurt Busch - 8.1
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Chase Elliott
4. Kevin Harvick - 8.4
5. Michael McDowell
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Jimmie Johnson - 8.5
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 515
1. Jamie McMurray - 391
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 115.5
2. Kurt Busch - 483
2. Kevin Harvick - 380
2. Kevin Harvick - 114.4
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 471
3. Brad Keselowski - 347
3. Kyle Busch - 106.9
4. Kevin Harvick - 471
4. Jimmie Johnson - 326
4. Matt Kenseth - 104.7
5. Jimmie Johnson - 468
5. Kurt Busch - 321
5. Denny Hamlin - 103.8

*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Early In a Run: *Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.


MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth
Pete Pistone: Kevin Harvick
Robbie Mays:  Kevin Harvick
John Singler: Carl Edwards

Driver Notes - Ordered by Top 20 in Average Finish in the Last Five Races (Multiple Starts) at Las Vegas

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver that's finished in the top 10 in each of the last five races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His 7.8 average finish leads all drivers since LVMS was reconfigured. Earnhardt also has posted a 10.3 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished second last weekend with the 2016 package. Since 2015, Earnhardt's average finish in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks is 12.2.

Paul Menard has finished in the top 10 in three of the last four races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Menard's 12th-place run in this event last year was his best finish in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks. This weekend, Menard will debut a new car (chassis No. 526) in the Kobalt 400.

Martin Truex Jr. finished second in this race last year to give him an 8.0 average finish in two Las Vegas Motor Speedway starts with Furniture Row Racing. Truex has an 11.0 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished seventh last weekend with the 2016 package. Truex's Vegas finish in 2015 is one of eight top 10s in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks.

Matt Kenseth is a three-time Las Vegas winner, with his 2013 victory being the only one on the current track configuration. Kenseth has a 15.0 average finish in the three low-downforce races, and led 47 laps and finished 19th (penalty on pit road) last weekend with the 2016 package. Kenseth, who participated in the Vegas Goodyear Tire test in January, has an average finish of 12.6 in 11 starts in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.

Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Newman has a 19.0 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished 24th last weekend with the 2016 package.

Carl Edwards is a two-time Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner. He started 14th and finished 42nd last season in his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards owns a series-leading 3.3 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished fifth last weekend with the 2016 package. Also, Edwards has one win and an average finish of 10.5 in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.

Denny Hamlin finished fifth last season for his fifth top 10 in 10 starts at LVMS. He has a 7.3 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished 16th last weekend with the 2016 package. Hamlin's average finish is 14.8 (one win) in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season.

Kasey Kahne snapped a streak of two consecutive top 10s (led 114 laps in 2013) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 17th-place finish last season. Kahne finished 23rd last weekend with the new rules package and has a 20.7 average finish in the three low-downforce races.

Brian Vickers will be back behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet for the injured Tony Stewart. Vickers finished 15th last season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Michael Waltrip Racing and has an overall average finish there of 21.0 in nine starts.

Joey Logano has combined to lead 91 laps en route to top-10 finishes in his last two starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Logano has a 6.0 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished 12th last weekend with the 2016 package. In the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season, Logano has two wins and an 8.5 average finish.

Kyle Larson finished eighth last season in Vegas to give him an average finish of 13.5 in two starts. Larson finished 26th last weekend with the low-downforce package and has a 23.7 average finish in the three overall races dating back to last season.

Brad Keselowski has finished in the top 10 in his last three starts at Las Vegas including a win in 2014. Keselowski has a 5.7 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished ninth last weekend with the 2016 package. He also leads all drivers that have competed in all 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season with a 6.8 average finish. Keselowski also participated in the Goodyear Tire test at Vegas in January.

Jimmie Johnson is a four-time winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two of the victories coming on the current track configuration. Johnson has a 9.7 average finish in the three low-downforce races and won last weekend with the 2016 package. He leads all drivers with five wins in the 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season. Johnson also participated in the Goodyear Tire test at Vegas in January.

Jamie McMurray has a 16.9 average finish in the nine races since LVMS was reconfigured. He's recorded a 16.3 average finish in the three low-downforce races, including a 21st-place run with the 2016 package last weekend at Atlanta.

Kevin Harvick scored his first win at Las Vegas last season after leading 142 laps. Harvick has a 6.3 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished sixth (led 131 laps) last weekend with the 2016 package. Harvick's Vegas win is his only victory at a 1.5-mile track since last year, where he's posted an average finish of 7.9 and led a series-high 652 laps in that span.

Greg Biffle's last of six top 10s at Las Vegas Motor Speedway came in 2012. Biffle, who only has one top 10 in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks, has a 15.7 average finish in the three low-downforce races and finished 13th last weekend with the 2016 package.

Clint Bowyer has finished outside the top 20 in his last three starts in Vegas. He's also failed to finish in the top 10 in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks.

Austin Dillon has a 19.0 average finish in three starts at Las Vegas. In the three races with the low-downforce package, Dillon has a 19.3 average finish and placed 11th last weekend with the 2016 package.

Kyle Busch's win in 2009 is one of two top-10 finishes in his last six starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch, who missed last year's Vegas race due to injury, has the second-best average finish (3.7) in the three low-downforce races and finished third last weekend with the 2016 package. Busch also has two wins and an average finish of 6.8 in eight starts in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks.

AJ Allmendinger is coming off his first top 10 (sixth) in six starts at LVMS. His Vegas finish was the last of two top 10s in the last 12 races at 1.5-mile tracks.

Trevor Bayne finished 28th in his first Las Vegas Motor Speedway start with Roush Fenway Racing. His lone top 10 in five overall starts came with Wood Brothers Racing in 2012.

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