Friday was an uneventful day for NASCAR racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing as rain ceased nearly all on-track activity including both series qualifying attempts. This means, that despite the new procedure implemented for 2013, teams will be put in order by last year’s owner points, making for an interesting starting grid.
On pole is last year’s owner point’s winner, the 18 car, which this week is piloted by Brian Vickers (number 20 on track). Vickers will love the ability to start on pole, and lead some laps on a fresh race track, where passing will be very difficult in the early part of the race.
Moving down the grid is when things begin to get more and more complex. The owners points mean that drivers such as Kyle Larson have inherited top twenty starting in the middle of the pack despite having little practice on mile and a half tracks.
Due to the owner point’s situation, the positions 30-35 feature two drivers in top-tier equipment looking to quickly move to the front. Both drivers are in their position on the grid only because of the rule that states that after the top 30 in points comes a race winning car from the year previous, regardless of driver. That means that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 32nd and Travis Pastrana will have a lot of work to do come Saturday, starting 31st.
After the race winning cars comes the past champions provisional, belonging this race to Jeff Green, the 2000 series champion. Missing the race due to the rain presumably is Chase Miller, Kevin Swindell, and Brendan Gaughan.
Gaughan is the driver hurt the most by qualifying being washed out. He is a previous winner at Las Vegas in the Camping World Truck Series, and his sponsor, South Point Hotels, would have loved to see him on the grid.
The grid is set without an official lap being turned. All teams will be frantically on track tomorrow from 11:00 A.M to 12:30 P.M, and when the green flag drops at 4:00 P.M EST, it should be a frantic race to the front on a track that will still be tough to pass on.
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