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Statistical Advance: Analyzing the South Point 400

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Las Vegas
Jimmie Johnson…………………… 104.6
Kyle Busch…………………………. 103.7
Kevin Harvick……………………… 102.5
Joey Logano……………………….. 101.6
Brad Keselowski……………………. 96.1
Martin Truex Jr……………………… 95.7
Kyle Larson………………………….. 93.3
Chase Elliott…………………………. 91.3
Ryan Blaney…………………………. 90.2
Erik Jones……………………………. 87.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2019 races (16 total) among active drivers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Fast Facts: Race #1 (Las Vegas)

  • This is the second year the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has opened at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. New Hampshire was the first race of the Playoffs from 2004 – 2010, and Chicago was the first race from 2011 – 2017.
  • Of the 10 tracks on the Playoff schedule in 2018, the three tracks in the Round of 16 (Las Vegas, Richmond and the Charlotte Road Course) have all hosted the fewest Playoff races with just their second Playoff event happening this season.
  • Four times the winner of the opening race of the postseason has went on to win the title – 2004, 2011, 2012, and 2017:

o   In 2004 (inaugural MENCS Playoffs), Kurt Busch won the opening race of the Playoff at New Hampshire and went on to win the title.

o   In 2011 (race was delayed until Monday due to rain), Tony Stewart won his first race of the season at Chicago to open the Playoffs. Stewart went on to set the record for the most wins in a Playoff run with five victories and the title.

o   In 2012, Brad Keselowski won the Playoff race at Chicago and went on to win the title.

o   In 2017, Martin Truex Jr. won the Playoff race at Chicago and went on to win the title.

  • The worst finish in the opening race of the Playoffs by a driver that went on to win the title was Jimmie Johnson’s 39th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 2006 postseason.
  • The worst finish in the opening Playoff race at Chicago for a driver that went on to win the title was Jimmie Johnson’s 12th-place finish in 2016. Eventual champions and their finish at Chicago: 2015 Kyle Busch – ninth; 2014 Kevin Harvick – fifth; 2013 Jimmie Johnson – fifth; 2012 Brad Keselowski – first; 2011 Tony Stewart – first.   
  • The worst finish in the opening race of the Playoffs at Las Vegas by a driver that went on to win the title was Joey Logano’s third-place finish last season.
  • No non-Playoff driver has ever won the opening race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  • Since the inception of the elimination-style format of the Playoffs in 2014, the deepest seeded drivers entering the Playoffs to go on and win the title were Kevin Harvick, 2014 (seventh seed) and Joey Logano, 2018 (seventh seed); the remaining champions all started within the top five: Kyle Busch, 2015 (No. 1 seed); Jimmie Johnson, 2016 (fifth seed); Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 seed).

History

  • The construction to build the superspeedway known today as Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) began in 1995. Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired the property in 1998.
  • The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov. 2, 1996.
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held on March 1, 1998. Dale Jarrett won the pole for the event and Mark Martin won the race.
  • In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking.
  • In total there have been 23 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile track has hosted one race per season from 1998 to 2017; last season marked the first time Las Vegas hosted two Monster Energy Series events in a single season.

Starts

  • In total 159 different drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; 123 have competed in more than one.
  • Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 20 each.
  • A total of six drivers have made their Monster Energy Series career debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Stanton Barrett (1999), Kyle Busch (2004), Timmy Hill (2012), Jon Wood, Aric Almirola (2007) and Cole Custer (2018).
  • Joey Logano (12 starts) leads the Monster Energy Series in average starting position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 7.8.

Poles

  • A total of 16 different drivers have won a Busch Pole Award in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, eight are active this weekend.
  • Kasey Kahne leads the series in poles at Las Vegas with three poles (2004, 2007 and 2012).
  • Five drivers have multiple poles – Kasey Kahne (three), Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch (two each).
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett won the series’ inaugural pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a speed of 168.224 mph (32.773 secs.).
  • Kyle Busch is the only driver to win consecutive poles at LVMS from 2008-2009.
  • Youngest LVMS pole winner: Erik Jones (Sept. 16, 2018 – 22 years, 3 months, 17 days).
  • Oldest LVMS pole winner: Dale Jarrett (Mar. 4, 2001 – 44 years, 3 months, 6 days).
  • Only one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver has posted his first career pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Kasey Kahne (03/07/2004).  
  • In total five different manufacturers have won a pole at Las Vergas Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy Series; led by Ford (10), and followed by Chevrolet (four), Dodge (four), Toyota (three) and Pontiac (one).

Wins

  • A total of 13 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; six are active this weekend.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010).
  • Six drivers (all-time) have multiple Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Las Vegas: Jimmie Johnson (four), Matt Kenseth (three), Brad Keselowski (three), Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards (each have two).
  • Youngest LVMS winner: Kyle Busch (Mar. 01, 2009 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days).
  • Oldest LVMS winner: Sterling Marlin (Mar. 03, 2002 – 44 years, 7 months, 32 days).
  • Three drivers have won consecutive races at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton (1999, 2000); Matt Kenseth (2003, 2004) and Jimmie Johnson, who is the only driver to win three consecutive races (2005, 2006 and 2007).
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven victories, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five, Stewart-Haas Racing (four), Team Penske (three), Joe Gibbs Racing (two),  Chip Ganassi Racing and Furniture Row Racing (each have one).
  • Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy Series, he accomplished the feat on March 1, 2009.
  • Five of the 23 Las Vegas races (21.7%) have been won from the front row: Kyle Busch, 2009 (pole); Carl Edwards, 2008 (second starting position); Brad Keselowski, 2014 (second starting position); Martin Truex Jr., 2017 (second starting position); Kevin Harvick, 2018 (second starting position).
  • The second starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field producing more winners (four) than any other starting position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

MENCS Wins by Starting Positions at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
  • Eight of the 13 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have won at Las Vegas participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Mark Martin (1998; inaugural event) is the only driver to win at Las Vegas in his first appearance.
  • Ryan Newman leads the series among active drivers with the most starts at Las Vegas without visiting Victory Lane at 20 races; followed by Kurt Busch with 19.
  • Four manufacturers have visited Victory Lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, led by Ford (12), Chevrolet (seven), Toyota (three) and Dodge (one).
  • No Monster Energy Series drivers have won their first career race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  

Additional Finishing Positions

  • A total of 17 different Monster Energy Series drivers have finished runner-up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in runner-up finishes at Las Vegas with three.
  • Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson lead all active drivers in second-place finishes in the Monster Energy Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two each.  
  • A total of 39 different Monster Energy Series drivers have finished inside the top-five at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Kyle Busch leads the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with seven top fives.
  • A total of 59 different Monster Energy Series drivers have finished inside the top-10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin lead the series in top-10 finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 10 each.
  • Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in top-10 finishes at Las Vegas with nine each.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in average finishing position at Las Vegas with a 7.667.
  • Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy Series in average finish at LVMS with a 8.5.   

Female Competitors

  • Danica Patrick and Shawna Robinson are the only two female drivers to compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Track Specific Stats

  • Twice the Monster Energy Series race has resulted with a NASCAR Overtime finish at Las Vegas:
  • Only one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas has ended early due to weather:
  • Qualifying has only been cancelled once at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy Series in 2013. As a result, Brad Keselowski started from the first starting position.
  • The closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the March 12, 2006 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Matt Kenseth by a margin of 0.045 second.

NASCAR in Nevada

  • There has been a total of 72 NASCAR national series races among two tracks in the state of Nevada.
  • The first NASCAR national series race held in the state of Nevada was at Las Vegas Park Speedway on October 16, 1955. Las Vegas Park Speedway was a 1-mile dirt track, and the event was 200 laps. Norm Nelson won the race driving a Chrysler.

Nevada in NASCAR

  • A total of 28 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Nevada.
  • Five drivers with their home state recorded as Nevada have won at least one NASCAR national series race.

 — NASCAR —