Las Vegas was full of unexpected twists and turns. Sandstorms, 50 MPH winds and some rain was enough to delay the Kobalt 400 for 25 minutes, but not enough to keepBrad Keselowski from snapping an almost year long winless streak dating back toFontana. Keselowski overcame a speeding penalty on lap 180 to battle back into the top five on lap 217 after a four car wreck caused a caution.
It was after the final caution when Kyle Busch bolted past Joey Logano, as he tried to sweep Las Vegas for the first time. Kyle had led all but one lap in the Boyd Gaming 300 in the Xfinity Series on Saturday, but had issues with his right front tire when Keselowski passed him and Logano with five laps to go. The win for Keselowski snapped a 34 race winless streak and makes him the third driver to enter the Chase along with Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
Kurt Busch held the pole and led for 32 laps until he was busted for speeding and never led since. After the penalty, the race mostly belonged to Logano and Johnson. Johnson was shooting for his fifth win at Las Vegas as he led the most laps with 76. Logano led with 72 finishing second and Johnson settled for third. Kyle took fourth andAustin Dillon overcame a bad pit stop and a speeding penalty to take fifth after going two laps down. Kurt came back from the speeding penalty, including being caught up in that pile up to finish ninth.
For most of the race, the day belonged to Team Penske. With the exception of Kyle,Joe Gibbs Racing ended up having a bad day. Matt Kenseth led for only 10 laps and looked to finally score at least a top five finish. Kenseth was unfortunately caught up in the four car pile up which included Chase Elliott, Carl Edwards and Kurt. Kyle’s weekend wasn’t that great to begin with when he started 23rd, but found his groove late until a bad vibration slowed him down at the very end.
What turned out to be a dominating start from JGR turned out to be anyone’s season so far. Three different drivers from three different teams are now in the Chase as we head to Phoenix. If anything wacky can happen in Vegas, it will most definitely stay there. But with how the last race ended at Phoenix during the Chase last season, could we see another deja vu?
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law