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Driver Recommendations for the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas

Posted by chadmusselman on February 26, 2009

The boys are staying west as they visit Sin City. The race in Vegas this year has 27 extra miles added to it (actually its 27.5 miles) to fit the title sponsor’s car. Will the extra 18 laps make a difference in the outcome? Probably not, but I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.

This week’s recommendations:

Chaser: Denny Hamlin
It seems that Denny runs good at every track on the circuit, but in his three races in Las Vegas he’s been exceptional with a 7.3 average finish and a top 10 finish every time. He doesn’t have a win yet in Vegas, but that could change this weekend.

Alternate chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie’s average finish (9.3) isn’t quite as good as Denny’s, but its way up there. Winning three of the last four races on the track has helped boost that average as well. In seven career races Jimmie has the three wins, and four top 10 finishes. He performed well in California, and should be strong again this weekend.

Mark Martin
Some people had big expectations for Mark coming into the 2009 season. He did well with a partial schedule in 2008, and now running a full-time schedule for Rick Hendrick. How could he not contend for the title, right? Well, the season hasn’t started out well for Mark, but that could turn around in Las Vegas. In the last three races here he’s finished in the top 10, and in eleven career races at the track he has one win, five top 5s, and nine top 10s with an average finish of 11.1. If ever there was a time for a bounce back race to get into the hunt, this is it.

Kasey Kahne
Kasey has been up and down in Las Vegas. In the even years (’04, ’06, & ’08) he’s finished 2nd, 4th, & 6th. In the odd years (’05 & ’07) he’s finished 38th & 35th. Kasey had a good run last week, and I think he’ll start to create some momentum and finish in the top 10 in Las Vegas bucking his trend of bad runs in the odd numbered years.

Dark Horse: Casey Mears
I’m not a Casey Mears fan, as he seems to disappoint me every time I pick him as the dark horse, but hopefully that won’t be the case this week. In six career races he does have three top 10 finishes. Outside of 2007 when he finished 40th and didn’t finish the race, his worst finish is 15th; not too bad. This weekend Casey should be able to compete for another top 15 finish while hanging around the top 20 most of the race.

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