2022 NASCAR Preview: Week 3 – Las Vegas

With whom does Lady Luck right with today?

We’ve made our way to Race #2 on NASCAR’s West Coast Swing, Week 3 on the overall schedule and a daytime romp in Sin City. The Pennzoil 400 is upon us, and we’re all in for a treat.

Here’s what to look for:

Christopher Bell was our quickest dude on Qualifying day, so he’ll start 1st. This is his first career Pole, and maybe a bit unexpected? You definitely conjure bigger names when you think of “Las Vegas” or even “Joe Gibbs Racing.” Whatever the case, #20 will start #1, seeking his 2nd career win today.

Kyle Larson is the favorite to Win today, probably because he won last week, a bunch of races last year, including this very event in 2021. He narrowly missed the Pole, and will roll off 2nd today. Larson wasn’t even really in the running last week, and then found a way to swoop in and lead the last bit of the race to capture the flag. How will his race look today? We find out soon.

Brad Keselowski has the best average finish over the last ten races (4.7), and looks to keep that going today. He’s moved to a new team (which he is part owner) which begs the question: is the success in him, or was that Penske power propelling him? We’ll find out today, tops in the Series at this place of active drivers.

Martin Truex Jr. is our next best driver through the last ten races (6.2), with eight Top 10s and two Wins. He’ll start 12th today, and has finished 4-6-4 in the last three Las Vegas events. Two of his teammates will start ahead of him, but the elder statesman Kyle Busch will bring up the rear today after backing it into the wall in Practice.

Penske Racing has a pile of bullets, and great aim at this track. Joey Logano (6.2) and Ryan Blaney (7.8) are 3rd and 4th, and if you throw in the fact that Austin Cindric is piloting Keselowski’s #2 from last year — which has had a lot of success — and the rookie is off to a rocket start, good bet today’s winner comes from this camp. Logano has cooled off a bit, but in that same span Blaney has notched five 5th place finishes.

If you could smell it in here right now, you would LOVE IT.

Chateaubriand (Photo: Lisa Kuhmann)

We’re eating Chateaubriand. Because we’re freakin’ fancy. We drink champagne with diamonds in the glass — by the case — the meaning of expensive taste. We’ve done some pricey dishes in honor of Las Vegas, and this was no exception! We’ve got a three pound cut, and what a feast before us. Between this and Lancellotti’s at Geneva on the Lake two weeks ago, our body won’t know what to do with normal food!

Coverage of the race starts on FOX at 3:30pm, green flag scheduled for 3:49pm.

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