NASCAR Sprint Cup Action in Las Vegas
By: Ashley van Dyke
Photos By Phil Cavali / The Hot Lap
The season start for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has had no shortage of headlines this year. The Monday night showing of the Daytona 500 brought in an unexpected viewership, displayed fierce competition amongst the drivers, and had strange challenges for the Daytona International Speedway and NASCAR staff. With a fire accident under caution, a two hour red flag hold-up riled up fans at the track and watching at home.
About this time every year, I get anxious for my first live fix of Sprint Cup action. I was amped up to make the trip out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 400 and to root on Danica as she went to battle in the Nationwide Series Sam’s Town 300. She ended up bringing home a 12th place finish.
|Ashley van Dyke on the grid with Carrot Top.|
It was interesting to see the McLaren trailer in the NASCAR garage. They provide the electronics support for the new EFI systems that are on all the race cars. Holley provides the EFI system and the series has changed the rules over from running carburetors to now using electronic fuel injection. It’s been quite a hot topic amongst the media but seems to be working out smoothly so far for all the teams.
|Dale Earnhardt laughing with his crew prior to the race.|
I was impressed with the fan turn out for this event weekend. It was great to see so many people on-site inside the garages and in the grandstands. I could sense that the teams were still a bit stressed from the long Daytona weekend. Delays in the NASCAR schedule cause big headaches and hiccups for all the teams and NASCAR officials.
Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award and was first to take the green flag for Sunday’s race. It was a heavily dominated Chevrolet pack in the front for most of the day. Tony Stewart took two tires during a pit stop under caution on Lap 204 and took a five car length lead over McMurray. Then, a caution for debris slowed the field for the fifth time on Lap 228. On the last pit stop, Stewart pulled in for fuel only.
|Danica Patrick with her Nationwide ride and crew chief.|