NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, site for the Saturday, March 8 running of the Boyd Gaming 300 for the Nationwide Series and the KOBALT 400 for the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, March 9. Las Vegas natives Kurt and Kyle Busch will be looking to improve on their seasons so far, as will Nationwide Series drivers Brendan Gaughan and Dylan Kwasniewski, also both from Vegas.
Kurt Busch, with just three top 10 finishes in 13 starts at LVMS, is making news on a different front this week with the announcement that he’ll be attempting “the double” in May: racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600 on Sunday, May 25th. Only three other drivers, including John Andretti and Robby Gordon, have attempted both races, and only one – Busch’s Cup Series team co-owner Tony Stewart – has completed all 1,100 miles in one day; Stewart finished sixth at Indy and third in the 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his second attempt at “the double” in 2001.
The elder Busch, who finished 21st at Daytona and 39th after engine issues at Phoenix, is hoping to pick up the pace this weekend, while his younger brother Kyle is fairing a little bit better: he finished 19th at Daytona and improved to ninth in Phoenix. The always-racing 28-year-old Busch brother does have two wins already this season: in the Camping World Truck Series at Daytona and the Nationwide Series at Phoenix. Kyle Busch does have one win at LVMS in 10 starts, starting from the pole and taking the checkered flag in 2009.
Gaughan, the former Georgetown Hoya whose father owns the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Vegas, has three previous Nationwide Series starts at LVMS, finishing a career-best fifth at the track in 2012. Kwasniewski, competing in his rookie season in the Nationwide Series, will be making his first start on the big track at LVMS, having already mastered the track’s 3/8-mile Bullring in Bandolero cars (he won in 88-percent of his starts in 2007).
Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth won last year’s race at Las Vegas; Kenseth’s three wins put him one back of all-time LVMS winner Jimmie Johnson, who has four wins on the 1.5-mile track for Hendrick Motorsports.
Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series KOBALT 400 takes place Friday, March 7 at 3:35 p.m. PT, with the race going green on Sunday, March 9 at noon PT. The Nationwide Series qualifies on Saturday, March 8 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 www.nascar.com.
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