Las Vegas Preview

Story posted March 3, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Ethan Ellis

With a chapter of NASCAR history closed at Auto Club Speedway last weekend, NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas for a race that will offer a crucial preview for the playoffs.

With Las Vegas being the first race on the regular season NASCAR schedule that is also in the playoffs, teams and media will use this race as a basis for how drivers will look come playoff time.

Additionally, this third race of the season is the first 1.5-mile track race, a common track type on the NASCAR schedule. Having speed at this type of track is a must if teams want any shot at the playoffs or to make a run in them.

While Las Vegas does not always present the uncertainty of Daytona or the wide grooves of Auto Club, the track still has its own uniqueness in NASCAR. The track put on a great show last year that saw Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson battle down to the wire in a thrilling finish.

Historically, the Fords have been the manufacturer to beat here with 14 wins including the fall race here with Joey Logano. Speaking of Logano, look for him to be one of the drivers to beat come Sunday as he has three wins here.

Along with Logano, look out for Ross Chastain. Chastain led for over 60 laps and finished in the top three in both races last year. That Trackhouse team has momentum on their side and should be dangerous this Sunday.

When it comes to finding a dark horse for this race, look no further than Brad Keselowski. Keselowski has three wins at this track with Team Penske.

The driver of the No. 6 car also had a strong showing last week, finishing seventh. He’s an experienced driver who knows his way around this track and with a little bit of luck, he could find his way to another strong showing or even a win.

Another factor to look out for will be how the cautions fall. This is typically a clean race but can have chaotic restarts. If a caution is to fall late in the race, don’t expect it to be the last. The high banking allows for some close side-by-side racing and presents the opportunity for accidents.

Expect drivers to be aggressive on restarts and especially at the beginning of the race as they will have a lot of grip and will work to get two lines of racing worn in. The Xfinity and truck races beforehand will most certainly help with this.

The Pennzoil 400 kicks off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on FOX.

Ethan Ellis is a second-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email