NASCAR heads to Vegas for the Pennzoil 400

Profile Picture: Brandon Coppinger

February 20th, 2020

After a wild Daytona 500 that put Ryan Newman in the hospital, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Nevada on Sunday for the Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It will be the first time the race has ever been run this early in the season.

Sin City is a place to win big, and NASCAR teams will be looking to do the same. If you’re looking to cash a winning ticket, look no further than Team Penske.

Odds to win the Pennzoil 400

Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Martin Truex Jr.
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney

Vegas is a home away from home for Keselowski 

Brad Keselowski has been a machine at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 13 races at Las Vegas, Keselowski has seven top five finishes and three wins.

He’s not known to be a lap leader at Las Vegas. His style at this track is a grinding, blue-collar approach. He has always been able to dial in his car late, and since 2013 Keselowski has finished no worse than seventh. In his last three races in Vegas, he’s finished no worse than third.

Expect Keselowski to be there at the end. If that’s not enough, Team Penske has the best average finish of any team at this track in the last four races. Their average finish is 5.83, with the next closest team, Wood Brothers Racing, at 12.00. 

Can Blaney bounce back after Daytona? 

This is a tough one, but you have to consider Ryan Blaney. He was clearly shaken up after the Daytona 500, because of Newman's wreck, and he lost the race by a bumper. But the Penske driver has been solid at Las Vegas. In seven races, Blaney has three top five finishes. He has finished fifth in three of the last four races at Las Vegas.

But how is Blaney mentally? Is he ready to get back in that car after last week? His crew chief, Todd Gordon, was Joey Logano’s crew chief at Las Vegas a year ago, when they won the race. Blaney’s No. 12 Penske Ford will be fast  Sunday, his stats show he has the goods to run at a high level, but can he overcome a mental hurdle? At +1800, I’m willing to find out.

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