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Kobalt 400 Predictions

Race: Kobalt 400 Predictions to Win
Date: Sunday March 8, 2015
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Time: 3:30 pm ET

by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper,

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And here we go again! Jimmie Johnson took the win at Atlanta this past Sunday, edging out Kevin Harvick. This is the second weekend in a row for Harvick to make the runner-up position. Dale Jr. finished a hard fought 3rd, while Daytona 500 winner, Joey Logano finished a respectable fourth. On one of her better tracks, Danica Patrick managed a 16th place run. She will be looking for a better finish this weekend as we head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This track is a cookie cutter D-shaped 1.5 mile oval. It has crazy banking and varying from 18 to 20 degrees with a good amount of frontstretch for the drivers to get up some serious speed. The frontstretch is 2275 feet while the backstretch is 1572 feet. With those stats, it's easy to see how drivers can take off and drive away from the rest of the field. This is a place that drivers like Kyle Busch favor, as long as they can get to the head of the pack. It's easy to get lapped here but not so easy to get a lap back unless you're the Lucky Dog. With the drivers coming from the fast track of Atlanta, you better believe they aren't letting off the throttle coming into this big intermediate track.

An interesting storyline playing out this year that will likely affect a good amount of drivers this weekend is the new electronic penalty system that NASCAR implemented. Gone are the days of the NASCAR official telling a team that they are just outside the pit box. Gone are the days when drivers could maybe slide through those 3 and a half pit boxes to get to theirs. This is the technology era. NASCAR uses a complex series of cameras and monitors to assess everything from the pit road speeds to the amount of pit stalls drivers cross to get to their box. This will inevitably play a role in the race. It seems like a lot of penalties are occurring. Honestly, the more likely situation is that the drivers and teams are now getting caught where they were sliding by before. That being said, drivers are going to have to minds their p's and q;s this weekend on pit road to ensure no penalties. Too much time can be lost over a penalty at this track. Penalty-free pit stops are the name of the game and definitely a huge factor in this race.

With that to think about, these teams are going to be doing their best to be on the top of their game and get their drivers to the front of the pack. Ones to watch are clearly Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Kevin Harvick. Those guys are at their best right now. Harvick is thirsty for a win after 2 second place finishes. Johnson has momentum coming off last weekend. Logano is just "bad fast" as Darrell Waltrip would say. There are quite a few other solid picks, but here are your potential winners for Sunday's race:

My Pick to Win: Jimmie Johnson
Middle of the Road Pick: Martin Truex Jr.
Dark Horse Prediction: Ryan Blaney

Truex is hot this year so far. He finished 8th at Daytona and 6th at Atlanta. He's got a lot to prove and should continue his quest this weekend at Vegas. As for the Dark Horse this week, Blaney is a solid pick because of the Wood Brother's affiliation with Penske. Both Keselowski and Logano are excellent mentors to have hanging around. Other notables to watch could potentially be Keselowski. He thrives on the 1.5 mile tracks. The same goes with Dale Jr. He's having a great start to the year. He's showing a lot more aggressiveness, and should really be up front throughout the duration of the race. The points should shake up quite a bit once again after Las Vegas. Let's take a look at the standings after Atlanta.

Here are your current top 12 after last week's race:

1. Joey Logano
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Casey Mears
7. Kasey Kahne
8. AJ Allmendinger
9. Aric Almirola
10. Clint Bowyer
11. David Gilliland
12. Sam Hornish Jr.

As bad as it is to say, you will most certainly see some of these guys drop out relatively quickly in the next few weeks. Gilliland, Mears, and Almirola are almost certainly not going to stay in the top 12. There are some notable names missing right now due to wrecks or other extenuating circumstances. Of course, Kyle Busch is out indefinitely due to the accident he suffered during the Xfinity race at Daytona. Several drivers are trying to race to keep his car getting at least owners' points. Jeff Gordon has suffered from wrecks in both of the opening races. Matt Kenseth has also had a good run of bad luck. Let's see if that luck turns around as we head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway! Bet driver vs. driver matchups, driver to win and all at discounted odds at the web's best NASCAR sportsbook: 5Dimes!

Kobalt Tools 400 Betting Odds

Kevin Harvick #4 19/4
Jimmie Johnson #48 5/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 7/1
Joey Logano #22 15/2
Brad Keselowski #2 8/1
Jeff Gordon #24 8/1
Matt Kenseth #20 8/1
Carl Edwards #19 10/1
Kasey Kahne #5 10/1
Denny Hamlin #11 14/1
Kyle Larson #42 25/1
Clint Bowyer #15 33/1
Ryan Newman #31 33/1
Tony Stewart #14 33/1
David Ragan #18 40/1
Jamie McMurray #1 40/1
Martin Truex Jr. #78 40/1
Brian Vickers #55 50/1
Greg Biffle #16 50/1
Paul Menard #27 50/1
Regan Smith #41 75/1
Austin Dillon #3 100/1
A.J. Allmendinger #47 200/1
Aric Almirola #43 200/1
Danica Patrick #10 200/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 200/1
Ryan Blaney #21 200/1
Sam Hornish Jr. #9 200/1
Trevor Bayne #6 200/1
Brett Moffitt #34 300/1
Justin Allgaier #51 300/1
Brendan Gaughan #62 500/1
Casey Mears #13 500/1
Landon Cassill #40 500/1
Reed Sorenson #29 500/1
Alex Bowman #7 1000/1
Brian Scott #33 1000/1
Cole Whitt #35 1000/1
David Gilliland #38 1000/1
J.J Yeley #23 1000/1
Jeb Burton #26 1000/1
Josh Wise #98 1000/1
Matt Dibenedetto #83 1000/1
Michael Annett #46 1000/1
Michael McDowell #95 1000/1
Mike Bliss #32 1000/1
Mike Wallace #66 1000/1
Travis Kvapil #44 1000/1

Free Picks

Virginia Vroom's Picks - Most people think Danica Patrick is auto racing's most popular female. We have something to say about that! She can flat out pick'em!


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