Fresh Fit 500 Wrap-Up and Kobalt Tools 400 Preview

03/08/13 3:05 PM

NASCAR executives could not be happier with the way the season has started this year. Five-time Sprint cup champion Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 to start the year, and Carl Edwards put an end to a 70 race winless streak by winning the Subway Fresh Fit 500 this past Sunday. Jimmie Johnson challenged for the win last week, and finds himself atop the Sprint Cup points standings in the early season. Fan favorite Dale Junior is second in the points standings, tied with last season’s champion Brad Keselowski. If it seems like everything is as it should be in the 2013 season with the brand new Gen 6 cars, get ready for an exciting shakedown.

Going into last week’s Fresh Fit 500, driver after driver expressed the sentiment that Daytona and Phoenix would offer very little rush for the fans. And before that race even began, drivers, crew chiefs and owners were all pointing to this week’s Las Vegas Kobalt Tools 400 as the first race of the season that will produce some real NASCAR excitement. And the Vegas odds on potential winners for this week’s Sprint cup race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway mirror the early-season success of the drivers mentioned above. All four are listed as favorites to win this week.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is an intermediate track, offering the third distinct track style in the third week of the young Sprint Cup season. A 1.5 mile circuit with 20 degree banking in the turns, the desert track has been a favorite of Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, and with Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards all running well and having great histories here, there will probably be a lot of big names fighting for the win late. If Kyle Busch and the other Toyota drivers can figure out the engine problems they have been having, we could see a good old-fashioned paint-trading, pack-racing showdown in the desert this Sunday

Tony Stewart won this race last year, but hasn’t shown too much in the early goings in 2013. Danica Patrick captured the pole at Daytona to make history, and then was less than impressive last week in Phoenix. Speaking of Toyota drivers, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer both have done well so far this year, and find themselves in the fourth and fifth spots in the Sprint Cup standings. Greg Biffle is another driver who has been quietly good, and he currently sits at sixth place in Sprint Cup points. This is the first 1.5 mile track the drivers will run this year, and that shorter track may mean that qualifying position plays a large part in determining the victor.

Vegas odds on Kobalt Tools 400 drivers change frequently throughout the week, usually making moves after practices and qualifying. Check back frequently to see where your favorite driver ends up, as we provide access to the latest Vegas odds on NASCAR drivers as soon as the odds are posted, and every time they change. Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards have each won a race in this early NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Do they have what it takes to win this weekend? Or will the hot Dale Earnhardt Junior when his first race of the season and take over the Sprint Cup lead? Good luck picking the winning driver of the Kobalt Tools 400, and we will see you right back here next week for a post-race wrap-up and Food City 500 preview.

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