Numbers of note: Las Vegas stats and storylines to know
Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been a staple on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule since its debut in 1998.
Twenty-eight Cup races at the mile-and-a-half “Diamond in the Desert” give plenty of data points for track history -- and the Xfinity Series has raced there since 1997.
There’s plenty of trends to dissect that might help figure out who will be contenders in this weekend’s Xfinity and Cup races, with statistics courtesy of Racing Insights.
-- The last time there was qualifying at Las Vegas was September 2019, when Clint Bowyer won the pole. Saturday’s qualifying session will mark 903 days between pole runs.
-- Only once in the last eight Las Vegas races was the first caution not a scheduled caution (three competition cautions, four stage-ending yellows). The lone exception came in March 2020, when Daniel Suarez’s car stalled on the track.
-- In three of the last four Las Vegas races, the eventual winner led before lap 30.
-- Kyle Larson (March) and Denny Hamlin (September) both led the most laps en route to their respective Vegas wins last year. They are the only drivers to led the most laps and win the event in the last seven Vegas races.
-- A Las Vegas winner has won that year’s championship seven times, most recently with Larson in 2021.
-- Two Las Vegas races were won with a last-lap pass, most recently in 2014 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel on the final lap and was passed for the win by Brad Keselowski.
-- Three Las Vegas races had an overtime finish, most recently in September 2020.
-- Stage 2 winners have gone on to win four of the last five races at 1.5-mile tracks.
-- Martin Truex Jr. has 12 wins on mile-and-a-half tracks but is winless on them in the last two years.
-- The final green-flag stretch was four laps or less in both races this season.
-- Larson won four of the last six races on the West Coast, the best stretch of wins on the West Coast since Jimmie Johnson won five of six in 2009-2010.
-- Alex Bowman has double the wins (four) of Chase Elliott (two) since Chase won the Championship in 2020.
-- Stewart-Haas Racing has four top 10s this season, the most of any organization. Last year marked SHR’s fewest top 10s in the last eight seasons (34).
-- First to 25th in points are separated by 55 points. Bowman, in 25th, could technically leave Las Vegas with the points lead.
-- Josh Berry became the only rookie driver to win an Xfinity race at Las Vegas last September while subbing for injured Michael Annett.
-- Chase Briscoe (swept 2020) and Kyle Busch (2016, March 2019) are the only repeat winners in the last 17 Las Vegas races.
-- Two drivers swept both stages at Las Vegas and won: Ross Chastain in September 2018 and Chase Briscoe in September 2020.
-- The final green-flag stretch was 13 laps or less in six of the last nine Vegas races.
-- However, the final run to the checkers last September was 76 laps, the second-longest final green-flag stretch ever at the track.
-- The first caution was on Lap 9 or sooner in six of the last 10 races at Las Vegas.
-- There were eight cautions at Las Vegas in March 2021, tied for the most in the last eight races there.
-- Brad Keselowski (2014) and Jeff Burton (2000) are the only drivers to sweep the NXS/Cup races in a Las Vegas weekend. Only Daniel Hemric is expected to run both races this weekend.
-- Only twice has the winner of the Las Vegas race gone on to win the NXS title (Ricky Stenhouse Jr, 2012; Tyler Reddick, September 2019).
-- Kyle Busch led 199 of 200 laps in his March 2016 win at Las Vegas, the most dominating win ever on a 1.5-mile track.
-- JR Motorsports’ first of 58 wins came at Las Vegas in 2008 when Mark Martin won.
-- Eight drivers finished top 10 in both Las Vegas races in 2021: Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Josh Berry, AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and Daniel Hemric.
-- Gragson, Cindric and Hemric also finished in the top five in each race.
-- Ty Gibbs won the last race on a 1.5-mile track at Kansas Speedway in October 2021. At 19 years and 19 days, Gibbs became the second-youngest driver to ever win multiple races on 1.5-mile tracks behind Chase Elliott.