Date: Sunday – March 11th, 2012
Time: 3 p.m. ET – Green Flag: 3:16 p.m. ET
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Distance: 267 Laps/400.5 Miles
Broadcast: TV – FOX
Radio – PRN (Performance Racing Network)/Sirius XM Ch. 90
High: 75°F – Low: 50°F
Start Time: 74°F
End of Race: 67°
Chance of Rain: 0%
Wind: From SSW at 15 mph
-Last year, Carl Edwards joined the group of Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton by capturing the 14th running of the Kobalt 400 for his 19th career win.
-This race has a history of multiple winners, as Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton and now Edwards have repeated as champions in Las Vegas. Johnson won three consecutive races (2005-07) and added a fourth title in 2010, while Kenseth (2003-04) and Burton (1999-2000) won back-to-back titles and Edwards won last season and in 2008.
-Las Vegas Motor Speedway has the distinction of being the first completely new superspeedway to be built in the southwest region of the United States in more than 20 years.
-Only six of the previous 14 races at LVMS have been won from a top-10 starting position, with the pole sitter winning just once (2009).
-Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon have raced in all 14 previous Las Vegas races. Labonte is the only driver of the four that is winless.
Next Up: Bristol Motor Speedway – Food City 500 (March 18th)
A List – Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth
B List – Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr.
C List – Trevor Bayne, Aric Almirola
Analysis: Reasons to go with Carl Edwards - Carl had the best average finish (2.6), was tied for the best average starting position (3.2) and ranked second in both average running position (6.4) and percentage of laps in the Top 15. Reasons to go with Matt Kenseth - Even though Edwards had the best average finish, Kenseth ranked second at 4.8. More impressive is that Kenseth, who is not known for being a great qualifier, tied for Edwards with the best starting position at 3.2.
2011 Carl Edwards, Ford, 135.508 m.p.h.
2010 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 141.450 m.p.h.
2009 Kyle Busch, Toyota, 119.513 m.p.h.
2008 Carl Edwards, Ford, 127.729 m.p.h.
2007 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 128.183 m.p.h.
2006 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 133.358 m.p.h.
2005 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 121.038 m.p.h.
2004 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 128.790 m.p.h.
2003 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 132.934 m.p.h.
2002 Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 136.747 m.p.h.
2001 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 136.377 m.p.h.
2000 Jeff Burton, Ford, 119.982 m.p.h.
1999 Jeff Burton, Ford, 137.537 m.p.h.
1998 Mark Martin, Ford, 146.554 m.p.h. (race record)
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald’s
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite
#5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/DeWalt
#10 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Freight
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Ford/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
#15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Toyota/5-Hour Energy
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/3M/Mequiar’s
#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Zest
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M’s
#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Dollar General
#21 Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN) Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
#22 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
#23 Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC) Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/DuPont 20 years
#26 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Ford/Morristown Driver’s Service
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Schrock
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
#30 David Stremme (South Bend, IN) Toyota/TBA
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Wheaties
#32 Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO) Ford/Federated Auto Parts
#33 Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/South Point Casino
#34 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/TBA
#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
#37 Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD) Ford/poynt.com
#38 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Clorox
#43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Ford/Richard Petty Fantasy Racin
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Kingsford/Bush’s Beans
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools
#49 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Toyota/America Israel Racing
#51 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/Tag Heuer Eyewear
#55 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Toyota/Aaron’s
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
#83 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Toyota/Burger King
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood Pellet
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
#93 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Toyota/Burger King
#98 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Ford/TBA
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Aflac