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Joe Gibbs Racing: 2014 KOBALT 400 weekend preview

Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff clicked for their first win at LVMS last season
Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff clicked for their first win at LVMS last season
Getty Images: Alex Trautwig

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series continue on out west, heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Boyd Gaming 300 Nationwide Series race on Saturday and the KOBALT 400 Cup Series race on Sunday. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth is the defending race winner at LVMS, and one more win at the track will tie him with Jimmie Johnson for the most all-time (four).

Kenseth, who will drive the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry on Sunday, has seven total top 10 finishes in 14 races at the 1.5-mile track, with an average finish of 11.6. Kenseth will also be driving the No. 20 GameStop/NYKO Toyota Camry on Saturday in the Nationwide Series race; he has three top 10 finishes in nine NNS races there, with his last start coming in 2007.

Kyle Busch, who won at LVMS back in 2009 for JGR, has five top 10 finishes in 10 starts; in 2013, he finished fourth. He’ll be driving the No. 18 M&Ms Peanut Toyota on Sunday, and on Saturday he’ll be in the familiar black No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the Nationwide Series race. LVMS is one of the few tracks on the NNS schedule where the Las Vegas native hasn’t captured the checkered flag; he has two top five finishes in 10 races.

Denny Hamlin, who will be in the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota on Sunday, has four top 10 finishes in eight starts at LVMS; his best finish was third back in his sophomore season of 2007. Last year, Hamlin finished 15th after starting sixth.

Nationwide Series regular Elliott Sadler will drive the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota on Saturday, hoping to improve on his fifth-place finish last season. Sadler has three top 10 finishes in seven starts at the Vegas track, with a top finish of third in 2012.

Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series KOBALT 400 takes place Friday, March 7th at 3:35 p.m. PT, with the race going green on Sunday, March 9th at noon PT. The Nationwide Series qualifies on Saturday, March 8th at 9:35 a.m. PT, followed by the green flag for the Boyd Gaming 300 at 1:15 p.m. PT. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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