Kobalt 400


(Image courtesy to ticketmaster.com)

A windy day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway drivers and crews had deal with not just the wind, but rain, and also sand storms.  The Kobalt 400 was delayed to start Sunday due to a stray shower that hit right before the start of the race. 

Once the race got underway pole sitter 41- Kurt Busch raced out to an early lead.  41- Busch would lead the first 32 laps until the competition caution came out to check tire ware.  Under caution drivers came down for pit stops and the leader 41- Kurt Busch would come out 2nd behind Daytona 500 winner 11- Denny Hamlin who took 2 tires on the first pit stop of the day for all the drivers.  41- Busch however was caught speeding in the pits relegating 41- Busch to the tail end of the longest line

Restart lap 36 11- Denny Hamlin was able to hold the lead for 10 laps on 2 tires before being passed for lead by 22- Joey Logano who was on 4 tires.  22- Logano would lead until the first round of green flag pit stops that when teammate 2- Brad Keselowski would take the lead for the first time on lap 86.  While leading 2- Keselowski radioed his crew about a vibration fortunately the caution came out on lap 99 for debris on the track and would also bring the cars back to the pits for tires, fuel, and adjustments.

Out of the pits 48- Jimmie Johnson was able to grab the lead. On the restart lap 105 48- Johnson would lead until we got to another round of green flag pit stops.  The lead would be traded by 48- Johnson who pitted from lead who have it to 22- Logano who would pit giving the lead to 2- Keselowski who would pit and give the lead back to 48- Johnson.  48- Johnson would lead until lap 176 when 22- Logano passed 48- Johnson on the high side off turn 2.  The caution came out for the 3rd time on the day 2nd for debris on lap 179

Caution pit stops on lap 180 22- Logano went into the pits and would hold serve keeping the lead on and off pit road.  Restart lap 186 22- Logano still led the race until lap 199 when 42- Kyle Larson got loose and into the wall in turn 2 bringing out the 4th caution of the day.

20- Matt Kenseth got race lead by taking 2 tires on the pit stop at lap 200 and 20- Kenseth would restart as the leader but 48- Johnson would pass 20- Kenseth after 6 laps out front.  Lap 216 caution flag flies for the 4th time involving 7- Regan Smith and 42- Kyle Larson who both spun in turn 4

Some leaders elected to come to pit road however 22- Logano and 2- Keselowski stayed out for track position.  On the restart at lap 224 18- Kyle Busch who dominated the Xfinity Series race on Saturday powered by the Penske Racing teammates to take the lead the very next lap 20- Kenseth got loose and 24- Chase Elliott couldn’t miss him and slammed into the rear of 20- Kenseth both drivers would walk away.

Final restart lap 233 18- Kyle Busch jump out front and led both of the Penske teammates who were battling for 2nd 22- Logano had it 2- Keselowski wanted it.  Once 2- Keselowski cleared teammate 22- Logano he set his sites on the leader.  With 6 laps to go 2- Keselowski passed 18- Busch and went on to get the win in the Kobalt 400.

Top 10
1.    2- Brad Keselowski
2.  22- Joey Logano
3.  48- Jimmie Johnson
4.  18- Kyle Busch
5.    3- Austin Dillon
6.  21- Ryan Blaney
7.    4- Kevin Harvick
8.  88- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9.  41- Kurt Busch
10.  5- Kasey Kahne

Avg speed of the race: 138.17 mph
6 Cautions for 36 laps
21 lead changes among 11 drivers
Race took 2:53:55 to complete

Next Race: Good Sam 500 @ Pheonix

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