NASCAR Cup Series drivers ready to roll the dice in Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, NV. – Wow what a week it has been!  The incredible mix of emotions that we all went through on Sunday and Monday in Daytona from the rain delay to the final lap crash it left us all feeling a little weary.

Ryan Newman and his girls leaving the hospital on Wednesday

Even though we were weary, we were all anxiously waiting on updates on Ryan Newman.  On Tuesday there was the update stating that Ryan was alert and talking with doctor’s, which was good news, but still left us all wondering just bad he was injured.  Then came Wednesday morning and we all saw the picture of Ryan and his girls standing in his hospital room and we were all amazed, then just a few hours later we saw even more amazing pictures and video of Ryan Newman walking out of the hospital, hand-in-hand, with his daughters.   I must tell you that I expected the next announcement to be that Ryan Newman was headed to Vegas to race on Sunday.  He won’t, he is going to take some time to recover.  Driving duties this weekend in Las Vegas will be handled by Ross Chastain.

Heading to Vegas, with the great news about Ryan Newman, allows the focus to be on the racing action for the Pennzoil 400. 

When looking at the most successful driver at Las Vegas you only look as far as Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team.  With 35th place finish at Daytona and a two-year winless streak you might want to ignore the seven-time champion.  However, Johnson has been a dominate force at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  He leads all drivers with four wins.  He also has six top five’s, nine top ten’s and a driver rating of 104.  So, this would be a great place for Johnson to break out of a slump, get rid of the winless streak and move on into the retirement tour with some momentum.

Brad Keselowski is a pretty close second to Johnson at Las Vegas.  In 13 starts he has been to victory lane three times and picked up seven top five’s, nine top tens with a driver rating of 95.5.  In the last two races at Vegas he finished second and third, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the No. 2 Ford picking up the win on Sunday. 

Even though Las Vegas it the hometown track for the Busch brothers, it hasn’t been so much of a hometown advantage.  Kyle has only one win and the best that Kurt has been able to do is compile two top five finishes.  Remember though, Kyle can pick up a win just about anywhere and would love to celebrate a win on Sunday.

All the action gets underway on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway right here on Fox 4.

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