Looking to bounce back after rough finishes last weekend at the Daytona 500, seasoned veterans Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have plenty of reasons to be optimistic as the NASCAR Cup Series heads out west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The dynamic Team Penske pairing have combined for four wins — three for Keselowski, one for Logano — and 12 top-five finishes in the last nine races at the track. In a remarkable show of consistency, the last time either driver ended up outside the top 10 at the checkered flag came all the way back in March of 2013 when Logano finished in 12th.
While Logano has the most recent Las Vegas victory within the organization after his impressive performance in the 2019 edition of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, Keselowski‘s 3.2 average finish over the last nine Sin City showdowns and nine consecutive finishes of seventh or better remains the class of the series. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford managed to be the runner-up finisher in Logano‘s win and third in last year‘s playoff-opening race won by Martin Truex Jr.
In spite of this long track record of success at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track, it is still too early to tell if the new organizational pairings will reap the same rewards. With the shuffling of crew chiefs for Keselowski and Logano, the comfort of the longstanding relationships the teams formed to win each of their Cup Series championships has faded and left both in search of an alleviating win.
Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Truex also been hot at the southern Nevada intermediate track, winning two of the last five. However, much like Keselowski and Logano, Truex‘s transition from long-time partner Cole Pearn to new crew chief James Small solidified the disbanding of the last three Vegas-winning combos.
|Event Date||Race Winner||Crew Chief|
|9/16/18||Brad Keselowski||Paul Wolfe|
|3/3/19||Joey Logano||Todd Gordon|
|9/15/19||Martin Truex Jr.||Cole Pearn|
The key to winning this upcoming 400-mile race may be found by the driver who spends the most time at the front of the pack. Four of the last six spring Las Vegas races have been won by the driver with the most laps led, and the Stage 2 winners have gone on to win the last five.
RELATED: Full Las Vegas schedule
With new team outlooks and much more to prove this season, expect the No. 2 and No. 22 Team Penske Fords to be right in the mix to compete for their first win of the new decade on Sunday.
Source: Racing Insights