Dustin off the Next Race: Shelby American GT 350 at Las Vegas

Dustin ParksAnalyst IFebruary 27, 2010

LAS VEGAS - MARCH 01:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby 427 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

Now that the California sun has set on NASCAR, the west coast run continues this coming Sunday. This time, it will be a quick move east as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Las Vegas.

Ah yes, the city of lights. A town that is known for its endless array of casinos, restaurants, show girls, and millions of neon lights. This is a track I enjoy watching, especially since they added more banking. It's given a lot more racing room and has made it more competitive.

I'm going to Las Vegas next month for a show at Sam Boyd Stadium, but I'd just as quickly go to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for NASCAR. It's that great of a racing town.

Without any further wait, let's dust off Sunday's Shelby American GT 350.


Kyle Busch— The hometown rowdy one is definitely at the top of the list for repeat winners. He literally has a stranglehold on the 1.5-mile tracks. Look at his records at Atlanta, Texas, Charlotte, Chicago, and Kansas. He's been incredible at all these tracks.

As last year's winner, he's looking for a repeat in front of his family. It was a battle last year with his brother that started out a relatively good season for Busch.

He's looking to get off to another fast start at this track. He certainly showed he can start well as he qualified fifth.

He's my pick, so look out for the Toyota with the candy on the hood.

Carl Edwards —Here's a man who now has even more motivation to win.

Edwards was the winner of this race in 2008, as he followed up his victory from California. Of course, his team got penalized after the race because of a filler cap being loose inside the car, but he still got the win.

Edwards is still looking for his first win in over a year, but I think now he's going to be racing for a new reason. As we all know, he was a nervous wreck at California as he was waiting for his wife to give birth. He was afraid she would deliver while he was in the car, and he didn't want that.

No need to worry anymore as his baby girl, Anne, was born this week. With his daughter now in his life, he may have restless nights, but he'll have a lot more to race for Sunday.

"Cousin Carl" starts 12th on Sunday, so look for the No. 99 Aflac/Kellogg's car to be out front.

Jimmie Johnson —How can you not include him?

Former winner at this race, a master of 1.5-mile ovals, and he's coming off a victory. This team has already got momentum, and that is a dangerous thing for everyone in Sprint Cup.

The last time Johnson got an early win was 2006, and it started his domination of title runs. This year could be no exception.

The No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevy is starting 20th, but he'll be out front rather quickly.



Jeff Gordon —Kinda strange for me putting Gordon in this category, especially at Las Vegas, but I'm putting him here because this track owes him.

It was back in 2008 when Gordon had his incredibly violent wreck at Las Vegas, prompting officials to add more SAFER barriers on the backstretch. But, at the same time, it started giving Gordon his back problems that hindered his performance that season.

He came back strong last year, and I think he's ready to put that accident behind him.

Not a bad way to start it either, he's qualified on the outside pole. The Pepsi Max/DuPont Chevrolet will for sure be a tough contender.

Kevin Harvick —He's the hottest driver right now in NASCAR. After a 2009 that was dismal and not worth remembering, he has come out strong at the beginning of 2010.

The current points leader has been on a roll, leading laps and running consistently in the top five. His crew has fed off that momentum, and have kept him out front as well.

I say that will continue come Sunday.


In a race that will be honoring Carrol Shelby and the brand new Shelby Mustang, there will be a lot of horsepower when the race goes green. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FOX, with the race to go green around 3:15 p.m.