Pennzoil 400 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The first race of two this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicked off with sunny skies and an almost full grandstand.

For the second weekend in a row, Kevin Harvick, in the #4 Stewart Haas Ford Fusion, proved to be the man to beat.  He easily dominated Stage One as the cars quickly fanned out after the drop of the green flag and basically fell into a single line formation. The somewhat evenly spaced field saw little action with the exception of a few fast movers who quickly advanced their position.  This included  Jimmie Johnson who had started at the rear of the field and made several clean passes as he attempted to his better his lackluster performance over the past 2 weeks. Meanwhile, Harvick, who had started in the second position beside pole-sitter Ryan Blaney, effortlessly drove to the stage victory as there were no cautions in the first 80 laps.

Stage Two also ran without incident.  Although the stage saw plenty of jostling for position among the frontrunners, particularly the 3 Penske Fords of Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, and the #18 Camry of Kyle Busch, ultimately Kevin Harvick was once again the dominant factor as he captured the bonus points at the end.

The final stage, consisting of 107 laps, seemed to pick up the energy when two cautions came out almost back to back, the first of which was for Jaime McMurray whose tire went down as he exited Turn 3. His #1 Chevrolet slammed the wall and sustained unrepairable damage. McMurray was then out of the race and went on to finish 36th out of 37 cars. The second caution happened 10 laps later when Kurt Busch in the #41 Ford became incredibly loose and abruptly shot right, directly in front of Chase Elliott in the #9 Napa Camaro.  Busch took Elliott into the wall and the extensive damage sustained to both vehicles was obvious. Both Elliott and Busch were out for the day, placing 34th and 35th respectively.

The rest of the third stage was flawless, allowing Harvick to dominate the entire race as he had done the week prior at Atlanta. Harvick captured his second win in a row and his 100th win in NASCAR’s top three series — 39 in Monster Energy Series, 47 in Xfinity Series and 14 in Camping World Truck Series.

The next race of the #NASCARGOESWEST sweep takes place at ISM Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. Get your tickets HERE!

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