The NASCAR Cup Championship Playoffs round of 12 starts Sunday in Las Vegas when the South Point 400 runs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Three drivers are co-favorites at the Westgate, and not one of them is named Kevin Harvick.
- Joey Logano won two of the last three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but was ninth at last year’s South Point 400
- Brad Keselowski has the best average finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway of all active drivers
- Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion of the South Point 400, but struggled when NASCAR was here in February
Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and defending South Point 400 Champion Martin Truex Jr. are all listed at 5/1. Harvick, who is the overwhelming favorite to win the NASCAR Cup Championship, is next at 6/1.
Odds to Win South Point 400
|Martin Truex Jr.||5/1|
The Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt, who grew up in Las Vegas, have had little to no success at their hometown track. Kyle won there in 2009, and Kurt is 0-21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The stands will be empty on Sunday, but Kurt Busch said he would still like to win the event.
“I would love to win through the spirit of the camera and everything on NBC Sports, and I know the fans there will be watching and cheering on the Busch brothers,” Kurt Busch said.
Logano Sizzles in Vegas
Logano has to be happy about returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Ford driver won in February, as well as in 2019, but finished ninth in the South Point 400 last year.
Since 2013, Logano has the second-best record at Las Vegas, with an average finish of 5.4. What he might be best known for, however, is his scrap with Kyle Busch in 2017. The two got into a fight on pit row.
Logano upset Busch again last week at Bristol Motor Speedway when he wouldn’t let Busch get around him despite being lapped. That bad blood might spill over into Sunday.
Keselowski Loving Sin City
Logano’s Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, has the best average finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by a mile. He is at 3.6 since 2013, including three victories and no finish worse than seventh.
Keselowski is also coming off a playoff victory at Richmond two weeks ago, his fourth victory of the season.
Keselowski told reporters that winning the South Point 400 could be the most crucial victory to get in the NASCAR Cup Championship playoffs.
“I think it’s the second most important race to win outside of Phoenix throughout the whole season because these next two weeks are very difficult to prepare for, to your point,” Keselowski said. “We’d like to get a headstart on preparing for Kansas and Texas, and not have to worry about breakdowns or wrecks, but we’re putting a lot of emphasis on it is the easiest way I can put it.”
Truex Jr. Ready for Redemption
One driver who wants another crack at Las Vegas is Martin Truex Jr. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had a disappointing 20th-place finish in February. He is the defending champion of the South Point 400, however.
This is the sixth time Truex has made the Round of 12, but unlike previous times, he doesn’t enjoy a comfortable lead in the standings.
“I would say a little bit different than past years, especially the past few where we have had lots of bonus points and we really came into, especially this round, in really good shape, and now I think we are only plus 11,” Truex said. “That changes things, I guess, a little bit, but at the same time, we know what we need to do. I feel like Vegas is a good place for us to go and have a good race and hopefully, potentially go to victory lane.”