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NASCAR: Who to watch in the 2014 KOBALT 400 at LVMS

Matt Kenseth took home his third LVMS win in 2013
Matt Kenseth took home his third LVMS win in 2013
Getty Images for NASCAR: Todd Warshaw

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Sunday, March 9th running of the KOBALT 400, and all eyes are on Dale Earnhardt Jr. – not to find out when he’s going to win, but when he’s going to slow down.

“Junior” is one of the hottest drivers on the circuit through the first two races of the 2014 season, with a win at Daytona and a runner-up finish last weekend at Phoenix. He holds a six-point lead over Brad Keselowski, who has two third-place finishes to start the season. Neither driver, however, has a win at LVMS: Earnhardt Jr. has seven top 10 finishes in 14 races at the 1.5-mile track, while Keselowski has just one top 10 in five races.

The hottest driver at the track is Jimmie Johnson, who leads the all-time win list with four wins, the most recent coming in 2010 after winning three in a row from 2005 to 2007. Defending race winner Matt Kenseth is trying to tie things up with Johnson as he goes for his fourth win. Including those three wins, Kenseth has seven top 10 finishes in 14 starts, with an average finish of 11.6.

Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick has yet to get to victory lane at LVMS, coming closest with a runner-up finish in 2010. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate and co-owner Tony Stewart has one win and nine top 10 finishes in 15 races at Las Vegas, with his win coming in 2012; he finished 11th in the race last season.

The Busch brothers, Las Vegas natives, can never be counted out at any track, although Kyle holds the edge on older brother Kurt at this one. Kurt has just three top 10 finishes in 13 races at the track, while Kyle has one win and five top 10 finishes in 10 races. Both are looking to make up some ground in points, as Kurt sits 30th and Kyle sits 14th after two races.

Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series KOBALT 400 takes place Friday at 3:35 p.m. PT, with the race going green on Sunday at noon PT. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com.

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