Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

print article archives RSS

Update: Las Vegas

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Brad Keselowski picked up where he left off from last week. He led the final lap of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and will lead the field to green on Saturday with his first career pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kez does have two previous front row starts, however, and they both factor into this week’s handicap. Keselowski led the field to green in 2013 based on NASCAR’s rule book; he finished third that afternoon, which was the first time in five races on this track that he broke the top-25 mark. The next year, he started on the outside pole and won his first of two career Vegas races. Keselowski has a four-race streak of seventh-place finishes or better and should keep that alive.

Martin Truex Jr. qualified on the outside pole with a speed of 193.458 mph. Unfortunately, he will not have the full benefit of that strong effort in time trials. Truex was one of three drivers penalized for taking too much time to get through inspection before qualification.

He failed the templates multiple times and incurred a 15-minute penalty in Saturday’s first practice session.  Worse still, Truex did not get to pick his pit stall until almost all of the remaining competitors and that means he is not going to struggle to find the lead at the end of each caution period.

Truex posted the fastest single lap in final practice with a speed of 188.613.

The other two drivers penalized for inspection infractions were Kasey Kahne, who gives up the seventh-best pit selection, and Erik Jones who would have picked eighth.

As a rookie, Jones can ill-afford any setbacks, but he should still be able to challenge for a result in the teens. He was 12th-quick in final practice among 31 drivers who went that far.

Chase Elliott was impressive throughout the weekend, but he slipped when it mattered most. In Friday’s practice, he posted the ninth-fastest single lap, was solid in the first two rounds of qualification, but tried just a little too hard in the final round and starts 12th. That will not matter in race trim. He posted the fastest single lap in Saturday’s first session and backed that up with the quickest 10-lap average.

Elliott posted the second-fastest speed in final practice and was fifth-quick in that session.

Matt Kenseth posted the second-quickest 10-lap average in Saturday morning’s session. He was third-fastest in terms of single-lap speed and rolls off the grid fourth. That combination of speed and durability is a nice mix and should allow him to establish himself among the top 10 for most of the Kobalt 400.

Ryan Blaney posted the quickest 10-lap average in final practice. Like Truex, Kenseth, and Keselowski, he has a great balance of speed and durability. He qualified third for Sunday’s race and should have the second-best pit stall. Blaney scored a top-10 in this race last year and has at least a 50/50 chance of backing that up with another.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pancaked the No. 17 with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in final practice and that will force him into a backup car. He and teammate Trevor Bayne were considered dark horses to finish in the mid-teens, but Stenhouse has hurt his effort. He will be forced to give up his 29th-place position on the grid, while Bayne hangs onto the 20th spot. If a player is deciding between the No. 17 and 6, go with Bayne.

Clint Bowyer was noticeably disappointed following final practice. He landed 29th on the speed chart in that session after complaining of a tight condition. He is going to have to rely on the setups of his teammates in order to contend. Fortunately, he will have a little breathing room Sunday because he rolls off the grid 13th. 

 

Start

Driver

Qual Speed

Practice 1
Rank

Practice 2
Rank

Final Practice
Rank

Avg. Rank

             

4

Matt Kenseth

      193.389

5

3

4

4.0

5

Kyle Larson

      193.161

4

2

6

4.3

2

Martin Truex Jr.

      193.458

1

18

1

5.5

3

Ryan Blaney

      193.410

7

6

8

6.0

12

Chase Elliott

      191.042

9

1

2

6.0

7

Kasey Kahne

      193.133

6

5

7

6.3

1

Brad Keselowski

      193.680

2

21

5

7.3

9

Kyle Busch

      192.362

14

4

16

10.8

8

Erik Jones

      192.369

12

12

11

10.8

16

Jimmie Johnson

      192.267

3

16

13

12.0

11

Daniel Suarez

      191.966

15

13

9

12.0

19

Kevin Harvick

      191.700

8

9

15

12.8

10

Jamie McMurray

      192.362

11

14

19

13.5

18

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      192.068

21

17

3

14.8

6

Joey Logano

      193.140

18

24

14

15.5

17

Kurt Busch

      192.089

20

7

21

16.3

22

Austin Dillon

      191.029

23

10

10

16.3

21

Ryan Newman

      191.523

16

20

12

17.3

15

Denny Hamlin

      192.356

10

19

26

17.5

20

Trevor Bayne

      191.639

26

8

18

18.0

23

AJ Allmendinger

      190.638

13

22

22

20.0

13

Clint Bowyer

      192.623

19

23

29

21.0

14

Paul Menard

      192.431

17

29

28

22.0

29

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

      189.553

27

15

20

22.8

25

Chris Buescher

      190.570

30

11

27

23.3

24

Ty Dillon

      188.864

28

25

17

23.5

26

Michael McDowell

      190.402

24

27

24

25.3

30

Aric Almirola

      189.401

22

26

23

25.3

27

Landon Cassill

      190.208

25

28

25

26.3

28

Danica Patrick

      189.954

29

30

30

29.3

31

Matt DiBenedetto

      187.813

32

31

31

31.3

33

Cole Whitt

      185.752

34

33

32

33.0

34

Corey LaJoie

      185.554

31

34

35

33.5

32

David Ragan

      186.716

33

35

34

33.5

35

Gray Gaulding

      185.008

35

32

33

33.8

36

Jeffrey Earnhardt

      182.624

36

36

 

36.0

37

Reed Sorenson

      180.301

37

37

 

37.0

38

Derrike Cope

      177.468

38

38

 

38.0

39

Timmy Hill

      174.876

39

39

36

38.3

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

 

Avg

Practice 2

 

Final Practice

 

Rank

                 

 

Ryan Blaney

 

 

1

Ryan Blaney

  185.347

 

1.0

 

Brad Keselowski

 

 

2

Brad Keselowski

  184.938

 

2.0

1

Chase Elliott

      186.480

 

5

Chase Elliott

  184.732

 

3.0

 

Martin Truex Jr.

 

 

3

Martin Truex Jr.

  184.793

 

3.0

 

Kyle Larson

 

 

4

Kyle Larson

  184.773

 

4.0

3

Kevin Harvick

      185.952

 

7

Kevin Harvick

  184.556

 

5.0

6

Jimmie Johnson

      185.351

 

6

Jimmie Johnson

  184.631

 

6.0

4

Kasey Kahne

      185.801

 

9

Kasey Kahne

  183.924

 

6.5

2

Matt Kenseth

      186.095

 

13

Matt Kenseth

  183.497

 

7.5

 

Kyle Busch

 

 

8

Kyle Busch

  184.446

 

8.0

9

Ryan Newman

      184.610

 

10

Ryan Newman

  183.918

 

9.5

5

Jamie McMurray

      185.592

 

14

Jamie McMurray

  183.140

 

9.5

 

Joey Logano

 

 

11

Joey Logano

  183.790

 

11.0

8

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      184.937

 

15

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  182.589

 

11.5

7

Kurt Busch

      185.320

 

17

Kurt Busch

  182.325

 

12.0

 

Erik Jones

 

 

12

Erik Jones

  183.626

 

12.0

10

Austin Dillon

      183.629

 

18

Austin Dillon

  181.912

 

14.0

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

16

Clint Bowyer

  182.533

 

16.0

11

Landon Cassill

      180.114

 

27

Landon Cassill

  179.903

 

19.0

 

Denny Hamlin

 

 

19

Denny Hamlin

  181.786

 

19.0

12

Matt DiBenedetto

      179.860

 

28

Matt DiBenedetto

  179.228

 

20.0

 

Aric Almirola

 

 

20

Aric Almirola

  181.581

 

20.0

 

Danica Patrick

 

 

21

Danica Patrick

  181.505

 

21.0

 

Ty Dillon

 

 

22

Ty Dillon

  181.186

 

22.0

 

Chris Buescher

 

 

23

Chris Buescher

  180.767

 

23.0

 

Trevor Bayne

 

 

24

Trevor Bayne

  180.483

 

24.0

 

AJ Allmendinger

 

 

24

AJ Allmendinger

  180.483

 

24.0

 

Michael McDowell

 

 

26

Michael McDowell

  180.217

 

26.0

 

David Ragan

 

 

29

David Ragan

  177.772

 

29.0

 

Gray Gaulding

 

 

30

Gray Gaulding

  176.913

 

30.0

 

Timmy Hill

 

 

31

Timmy Hill

  168.210

 

31.0

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



Highest Searched Drivers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Short: Waiver Wire

    Short: Waiver Wire
  •  
    Short: Saves & Steals

    Short: Saves & Steals
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Boyer: Hot Hitters

    Boyer: Hot Hitters
  •  
    Short: Waiver Wire

    Short: Waiver Wire
  •  
    Short: Saves & Steals

    Short: Saves & Steals
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Short: Waiver Wire

    Short: Waiver Wire