Kobalt Tools 400: Who And What To Look Out For

This weekend the Sprint Cup Series visits the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 400. Matt Kenseth will start from the pole, an extreme rarity for the driver who usually qualifies towards the middle or back of the pack eventually making his way to the front. Kenseth also was fastest during the first practice session of the weekend. Lining up behind him is his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, David Ragan, then Juan Montoya, and teammates Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle.

[media-credit id=41 align=”alignright” width=”293″][/media-credit]What do you  see here? All Roush Fenway Racing drivers were in the Top 5 in the first session of practice. The entire team will be tough to beat on Sunday. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon seem to be the favorites to win the race and they were were 12th and 19th quickest in the morning session, but don’t be fooled by the practice numbers. Gordon was 20th and 28th quickest during the practice sessions in Phoenix and yet he led the most laps and won the race to end the 66 race winless streak. Last year, Gordon led the most laps, but a bad call in the pits to go for two-tires on the last pit stop backfired when Johnson took four and he went on to win the race. Gordon faded to third as Kevin Harvick took second. Look out for Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing.

So, you know the practice results, so we shall compare that with how the drivers qualified for the race. Marcos Ambrose improved from being sixth quickest during practice to earn a front row seat with Kenseth for the pole. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Kyle Busch rounded out the Top 5. One person missing from this is David Ragan. Well, what happened? Ragan choked yet again and spun on his qualifying lap. He managed to keep it off the wall, but never completed the lap and will start from the rear. Great. When is this kid going to just calm down and focus? If he doesn’t get it together, I can say good-bye to Ragan at the end of the season.

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Now, to the drivers who really need a good finish…one of those is Jeff Burton. He qualified for the Chase last season and has had 2 DNF’s to start the new season with the new points system. Not good, but wait! He may have just lucked out. NASCAR began racing here in 1998 and the first 3 finishes for Burton here were 2nd, 1st, 1st. Burton has won here before and this may be the track where he can have a good finish. Depending on how many drivers drop out, Burton can gain a significant amount of points. Burton’s teammate Kevin Harvick, as stated earlier, was runner-up here last year.

Who are you guys picking for the race? I have Jeff Gordon. He is back in the DuPont Chevrolet for this race and he gained me a lot of fantasy points last week. In fact, I was last coming into Phoenix and left as the points leader after having a 1, 2, 3 weekend. I don’t expect to do it again this weekend, but I do want the lead to stay in tact. I want to hear from you guys. Leave your comments and picks in the box below and have an amazing weekend.

Email me at therhino.ryan@gmail.com, Facebook, or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/RyanOHaraNASCAR

Thank you guys!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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