The top series in NASCAR head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a packed weekend of racing. The ARCA Menards Series West will kick off the festivities before the top three series head to the 1.5-mile oval for important playoff races. Here are the important details to know.
The ARCA Menards Series West race will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 11 p.m. ET. The rising drivers will head to the shorter Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and contend over 150 laps on the .375-mile paved oval. The race will only be available to subscribers of NBC Sports Gold TrackPass.
The Camping World Truck Series will kick off the Round of Eight on Friday, Sept. 24 (9 p.m. ET on FS1), with 134 laps on the main Las Vegas oval. Chandler Smith locked up his spot in the playoff round with a wild victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 16. Now he will try to stack even more points while contending with Sheldon Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, and the other drivers still eligible for the championship.
The Xfinity Series and Cup Series races will serve as the biggest draw of the weekend for different reasons. The race on Saturday, Sept. 25, will mark the beginning of the Xfinity Series playoffs while the Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 26, will kick off the Round of 12. Both races will air on NBC Sports Network and will take place under the lights, with the Xfinity Series race at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Cup Series race at 7 p.m. ET.
A Ford Driver Has the Most Success at Las Vegas in Recent Seasons
Heading toward the race weekend, Kyle Larson’s name will be at the forefront of discussions. He is fresh off his Sept. 18 win at Bristol Motor Speedway, his sixth of the 2021 season. He is also won the first race at Las Vegas. However, another driver will enter with the most success at the 1.5-mile oval in recent seasons.
Joey Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang, has made 16 starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his Cup Series career. He has posted 11 top-10 finishes and six top-fives. His list of starts also includes two wins. He captured the Pennzoil 400 in both 2019 and 2020.
According to information provided by NASCAR, Logano has scored the most points (219) out of any Cup Series driver in the past five races. His average finish of 8.4 is the best out of active drivers. As a testament to his consistency, Logano has only finished outside of the top 10 twice at Las Vegas since joining Team Penske in 2013. He finished 12th in his first season with the team and then 14th during the second 2020 race at the 1.5-mile oval.
Las Vegas Natives Will Aim for a Hometown Win
The race weekend will serve as a homecoming for four prominent drivers. Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch will head back to their hometown for the Cup Series race and will both fight for the checkered flag. Though Kurt will only have the opportunity to add another trophy to his collection after falling below the cutline at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kyle, on the other hand, remains eligible to move on to the Round of Eight with a strong performance at a track where he has one Cup win in 20 tries.
Over in the Xfinity Series, two drivers will try to win for the first time at their home track. Riley Herbst, the driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, has not won in his Xfinity Series career, but he reached the playoffs on points. Noah Gragson, on the other hand, won two races in the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet prior to the end of the regular season. He remains in a favorable position entering the first playoff race.
Herbst has made four starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his Xfinity Series career, finishing top-10 twice. He posted a pair of ninth-place finishes while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019 and 2020. Gragson has performed better during his career, finishing top-five in four of his five starts at the track. His best run was a second-place finish behind Chase Briscoe in the 2020 playoff race.