Race: Saturday, March 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV
Title Sponsor: Sam's Town
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 5:16pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN2, 4:00 pm/et
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters:Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch
ESPN Tech Garage: Tim Brewer
This Week - Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Times are local to the Track
Thursday, March 8th11:30 AM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, March 9th8:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
Saturday, March 10th7:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
NNS = Nationwide Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Times are local to the Track
Stenhouse, Jr. wins at Las Vegas: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 3rd career victory. He took the lead during the final pit stops of the day and pulled away at the end. #18-Mark Martin finished second, nearly 6 seconds back. #2-Elliott Sadler was 3rd, followed by #60-Trevor Bayne, #33-Brendan Gaughan, #88-Cole Whitt, #3-Austin Dillon, #31-Justin Allgaier, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #09-Kenny Wallace. There were 7 cautions for 32 laps and 8 lead changes among 8 leaders. The estimated attendance was 70,000. Complete results are on the Las Vegas race results page (pdf).(3-10-2012)
Las Vegas Race Fast Facts:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the 16th Annual Sam's Town 300, his third victory in 76 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. His last victory came at Iowa Speedway Aug. 6, 2011.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2012.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his first win on a track over a mile in length.
Mark Martin(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in seven races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his first top-10 finish in 2012.
Elliott Sadler (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
Cole Whitt (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 15 points over Austin Dillon #. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-10-2012)
Driver standings following Las Vegas:
1) #2-Elliott Sadler 131
2) #3-Austin Dillon* 116, -15
3) #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 114, -17
4) #60-Trevor Bayne 112, -19
5) #88-Cole Whitt* 109, -22
6) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 98, -33
7) #19-Tayler Malsam 90, -41
8) #43-Michael Annett 82, -49
9) #31-Justin Allgaier 76, -55
10) #41Blake Koch 66, -65
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(3-10-2012)
Owner Standings following Las Vegas are posted (pdf). Last year's top 30 in points will remain locked in for the first 5 races of 2012.(3-10-2012)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Las Vegas: (and their finish)
Caution 1: none, no one on track a lap or more down
Caution 2: #08-Fowler, 28th
Caution 3: none, no one on track a lap or more down
Caution 4: #14-McClure, 25th
Caution 5: #87-Nemechek, 20th
Caution 6: #30-Buescher, 14th
Caution 7: #44-Bliss, 15th
Sadler on pole at Las Vegas: #2-Elliott Sadler won the Coors Light Pole for the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.366mph. #38-Kasey Kahne will start second. The rest of the top 10: #3-Austin Dillon, #11-Brian Scott, #22-Brad Keselowski, #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #18-Mark Martin, #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Brendan Gaughan, and #81-Jason Bowles. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Las Vegas starting lineup page (pdf).(3-10-2012)
Las Vegas Qualifying Notes:
Elliott Sadler won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual Sam's Town 300 with a lap of 29.774 seconds, 181.366 mph.
This is his 12th pole in 167 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. His last pole came at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2012.
This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2012.
This is his first pole in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kasey Kahne(i) (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2012 and his fifth in six races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway .
Austin Dillon (third) posted his first top-10 start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . It is his third in three races this season.
Austin Dillon (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(3-10-2012)
Stenhouse, Jr. fastest in happy hour: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was quickest during happy hour for the Sam's Town 300 with a speed of 180.626mph. He was followed by: #3-Austin Dillon, #2-Elliott Sadler, #38-Kasey Kahne, #18-Mark Martin, #11-Brian Scott, #7-Danica Patrick, #33-Brendan Gaughan, #60-Trevor Bayne, and #44-Mike Bliss. #88-Cole Whitt hit the wall in turn 2 but the team will repair it. See complete results on the Las Vegas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(3-9-2012)
Sadler fastest in first practice: #2-Elliott Sadler was fastest during opening practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.545mph. #18-Mark Martin was second, followed by: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #88-Cole Whitt, #11-Brian Scott, #44-Mike Bliss, #30-James Buescher, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #54-Kyle Busch, and #3-Austin Dillon. #10-Jeff Green was the only driver that didn't practice. See complete results on the Las Vegas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(3-9-2012)
Entry List: UPDATE:There are 43 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
Tim Andrews will be in the #08 for Randy Hill Racing;
Jennifer Jo Cobb will drive her #10;
Mark Martin will drive the JGR #18;
The #20 team for Joe Gibbs is not entered;
The #27 driver is TBA;
Tim Schendel remains in the #52 for Jimmy Means.(3-5-2012)
UPDATE: Derrike Cope will replace J.J. Yeley in the #28.(3-8-2012)
UPDATE 2: Kyle Fowler will make his Series debut in the #08 for Randy Hill Racing.(3-8-2012)
UPDATE 3: J.J. Yeley will be back in the #27.(3-9-2012)
See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
NASCAR Nationwide Series at Las Vegas: The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for a 300-mile race and ESPN2 will have a live telecast on Saturday, March 10, at 5 p.m. ET. The race's green flag is at 5:16 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.(ESPN)(3-5-2012)
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side -- 550, Right-side -- 550
Nationwide: 6 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4524; Right-side -- D-4528
Left-side -- 87.4 in. (2,220 mm); Right-side -- 88.6 (2,250 mm)
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 34 psi; Left Rear -- 34 psi;
Right Front -- 62 psi; Right Rear -- 58 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 58 psi; Right Rear -- 54 psi
Notes:Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Las Vegas this weekend . . . this is the first time NASCAR teams will be running either of these two codes . . . this tire combination came out of a Goodyear test at Las Vegas on November 7 & 9, 2011 . . . participating in that test were A.J. Allmendinger and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Sam Hornish in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge, Joey Logano in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Paul Menard in the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet . . .compared to what was run at Las Vegas last year, this tire set-up features a slight construction change on both sides, while this right-side tire features a new tread compound to give the cars more grip . . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Sadler, Dillon Have Richard Childress Racing Out Front Early
Richard Childress Racing teammates Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon have been setting the standard early this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series sitting one-two in the driver standings. Ten points separate the teammates after Dillon finished fourth and Sadler captured his first win in seven starts at Phoenix International Raceway to put RCR on top.
“When you are affiliated with a team like Richard Childress Racing that has the simulation program that they have and Chevrolet gives you a ton of backing and a ton of wind tunnel time, a ton of information to make our cars competitive week in and week out, nothing gets lost in translation and it has been that little bit extra to take us over the top,” said Sadler.
After winning the series driver title with Clint Bowyer in 2008, Richard Childress Racing scaled back. The organization ran only for the driver championship in 2009 and then sporadically the following two seasons before resurfacing this year after an off-season merger with Kevin Harvick Inc. Needless to say, RCR is back in contention for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
Sadler heads to Las Vegas having made five previous starts, posting a series-best finish of seventh in 1999. His pre-race Driver Rating (97.2) is ranked ninth in the series and in his last two starts he has spent 99.8 percent of his laps completed in the top 15. Sadler’s Average Running Position (6.9) is ranked third in the series at Las Vegas. Dillon, now atop of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, will be making his series track debut at Las Vegas this weekend. Dillon has made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Las Vegas, including his win from the pole in 2010.
Childress is also fielding a third car this season, the No. 33 with drivers Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and, this week, Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan behind the wheel.
Patrick Back in Vegas To Roll The Dice
No one said competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series would be easy, and Danica Patrick is learning that first hand. Patrick’s start of her first full-time season has been slow, but she should be feeling lucky with Las Vegas the next stop on the schedule.
One year ago, Patrick made NASCAR history with a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That result was her career best and also was the highest finish ever by a female in NASCAR’s three national series.
Two weeks ago, Patrick sat on the Coors Light Pole for the season-opener at Daytona, but was the victim of an accident that involved her JR Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt. She ended up finishing 38th and left Daytona 26th in the standings.
Last week, following a drastic difference in venues, she finished 21st at Phoenix’s new 1-mile configuration, matching the effort she posted last fall. With that result, she gained five spots in the standings from 26th to 21st and is within 12 points of 10th.
Patrick heads to Vegas with a pre-race Driver Rating (73.8) ranked 19th in the series. Her Average Running Position at Las Vegas is 21.9 and in her last two starts she has averaged 20.0 Quality Passes.
Martin, Busch Epic Has Unique Twist in Las Vegas
When it comes to winning in the NNS, nobody does it better than Kyle Busch (51 wins) and Mark Martin (49 wins). The two drivers are one-two on the series all-time wins list, respectively, and each time these two compete head-to-head in the series, the competition level rises in intensity. This weekend promises to be more of the same, but with a unique twist.
Martin will be making his first-ever start for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 18 Toyota. The driver, who made the No. 18 car famous, Las Vegas native Busch, will be running in his own Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota. Thirty-eight of Busch’s 51 series wins came in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, including his last 36.
Now, it’s Martin’s turn in the flagship Gibbs car. Martin is no slouch at Las Vegas in the NNS. He has made six starts, posting two Coors Light poles (1998-99), four wins (1999, 2005, 2008, 2011), five top fives and six top 10s. Martin is just one win shy of 50 series victories.
Busch still seeks his first win at his home track in what will be his ninth try. He has posted a series career-best finish of second in 2007, his only top-five finish at Las Vegas. Busch’s pre-race Driver Rating (99.5) is ranked sixth in the series at the famed 1.5-mile speedway.
NASCAR Nationwide, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Johanna Long, 19, returns to race this week at Las Vegas after a solid series debut at Daytona, where she finished 21st. Long drives for Indiana-based and female-owned team ML Motorsports. & This is the first season since 1995 that double-duty NSCS drivers have not won the first two races of the year; Chad Little was the last full-time driver in the NNS to win the series’ first two events (1995). & Fourth-generation NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt will be making his Bristol debut in the No. 15 Sam’s Club Ford for Rick Ware Racing. It will also be the first time an Earnhardt has driven a Ford since 1983, when Dale Earnhardt drove the No. 15 Ford for Bud Moore. & Milestone Watch: Kenny Wallace will attempt to make his 525th NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend.
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)