This week, NASCAR keeps their weekly traveling show out west, as they enjoy the lights and action of Sin City, Las Vegas Nevada. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a fast, 1.5 mile track with sweeping turns and multiple racing lines that make for exciting side-by-side action all afternoon long. Some of the standout features of this track include a very tricky entrance to pit road. In almost every event here, at least one of the top contenders has an issue coming onto pit road during green flag stops. Also, the track will lend itself to three and four wide racing down the front stretch. Even though, the Sprint Cup Series hosts their season-ending banquet in Vegas, the track itself is relatively new. The first trip out here for the Sprint Cup teams was back in 1998.
With this being the third race of the season, there isn’t much championship drama on the history books here. So to pick a topical race to flashback to, we have to note that this week marks the season debut of Jeff Burton. Jeff will be running a limited schedule, sharing the #66 with Michael Waltrip and Joe Nemecheck. All signs point to this being Burton’s final season in Sprint Cup competition.
Back in 1999, Bobby Labonte won the pole in the now defunct single-car qualifying. He shared the front row with Michael Waltrip. Labonte led the first 18 laps and then staged a fierce early race battle with Jeremy Mayfield. The two swapped the lead 4 times over the first 40 laps. As the race wore on, The Burton boys made their way to the front. Jeff and Ward spent the last half of the race swapping the lead between themselves. With 10 laps remaining, Jeff made the winning pass on his brother, and pulled away to a 1.074 second victory. The Burton boys combined to lead 182 of the 267 lap event. After the third race of the 1999 season, Mike Skinner, who has never won an official Cup race, led the points by 51 over Rusty Wallace and 52 over Bobby Labonte. With the win, Jeff Burton jumped to fourth in the standings, just 62 points out of the lead. Eventual 1999 champion, Dale Jarrett, was 11th, 118 points out of the lead, but obviously there was plenty of time to catch up. You can check out the box score by clicking here
Who will etch their name on this year’s trophy? We will all find out this weekend in the 2014 edition of the Kobalt Tools 400. Our coverage, courtesy of PRN, begins at 2 PM Sunday afternoon. Tune in to 100.3 FM, or visit www.korncountry.com to listen live.