7:15 p.m. -- Comments from Kevin Harvick, who won the Sam's Town 300:
(Tell us about your run.) It was good in the beginning and good in the end. We had a couple of hiccups (on pit road) today and we were able to overcome them because our car was so good. Everything just played out right there at the end. It seemed like we were able to maneuver through traffic better than anybody and our car was really good the middle of (turns) one and two and there at the end I knew, unless something crazy happened, that I could run eight or ten laps wide open and it seemed they were having to lift on the restarts. We were able to get out there and just kind of conserve in case we had another caution or a restart or whatever the case may be there towards the end of the race.
(Why are you so good at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?) This has just been a good place for us, even when it was flat, and ever since they added the banking, the cars have just been incredible to drive. It's just one of those places that fits our cars, our engines, our driving styles -- everything that we've done from the old track to the new track. Everything works for us here and it's always fun to do well ... we have a lot of fans out here and family that comes to the racetrack and friends and a lot of supporters that have come for a long time. It's always fun to win close to home.
(How did the track change after the rain delay before the race?) We really hadn't changed a whole lot since we've been here. We made very small adjustments through practice. When the race started, we were a little bit tight and we adjusted on tight for the whole day. If I had just listened to what (crew chief Ernie Cope) wanted to do on the first pit stop, we probably would have only had to adjust it once. The restarts were really what were good for us. We just had a good balance on our car all weekend and I felt really comfortable driving it as hard as I needed to drive it on the restarts to be wide open. I knew that was going to be good after qualifying today because the car was so solid and it was easy to drive and that's what you have to get to be comfortable here to make time.
6:53 p.m. -- Comments from Denny Hamlin, who finished second in the Sam's Town 300:
We were pretty good at the beginning. I felt like we had the best car at the beginning. We would run down Kyle (Busch) and he was really hard to pass at the very beginning. I would run him down and he made it kind of difficult to pass. Kevin (Harvick) would fade after about 20, 25 laps or so but he had a ton of speed up until that point and that's what really helped him out there at the end. He just had so much speed at the beginning of a run and we didn't have enough to get him.
Those four tires got us there at the end. We were coming there to (Harvick) at the end but don't be mistaken ... congratulations to all this Interstate Batteries team for putting a good car under me. That's for sure. We didn't have the best car all day -- I felt like we had the best car at the beginning of the race but we didn't have the track position to go with it. Once we had the track position it took off, but then those new tires got us there at the end.
6:40 p.m. -- Comments from Carl Edwards, who finished third in the Sam's Town 300:
A lot happened during the race. It seemed like every time we stopped, you can get two tires or four tires and somebody else was fast and somebody wasn't. At one point, I thought we had a really good shot at it and in the last run I just couldn't get to these guys (Denny Hamlin and his team) -- they did a really good job. Our team did a great job, Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) did a really good job back on the box and he called a really good race but third is what we came home with.
6:08 p.m. -- Sam's Town 300 fast facts:
5:45 p.m. -- Kevin Harvick overcame a bad pit stop early in the race and rallied to win today's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin was second, 1.361 seconds behind Harvick, and Carl Edwards was third. Brad Keselowski and Brian Vickers rounded out the top five.
5:09 p.m. -- The top 10 in the Sam's Town 300 after 150 of 200 laps: 1. Denny Hamlin; 2. Justin Allgaier; 3. Carl Edwards; 4. Trevor Bayne; 5. Kevin Harvick; 6. Kyle Busch; 7. Brad Keselowski; 8. Brian Vickers; 9. Colin Braun; 10. Paul Menard.
4:38 p.m. -- Danica Patrick, on the lap 85 accident with Michael McDowell that put Patrick out of the race:
"A car ahead of me was just going really slow and I caught him down the front straight. He was just going slow so I went to go underneath him as he drifted up to the wall and then he turned down in. I guess I probably should have seen all the tape on the left-rear bumper and said, 'I probably shouldn't be on the left-rear bumper.' But sure enough, he turned down and took us both out. What are you gonna do? It's a real bummer because I was really hooked up out there after we got tires on it and we were probably one of the quicker cars on the track because we had just stickered up and I felt good."
4:35 p.m. -- The top 10 in the Sam's Town 300 after 100 of 200 laps: 1. Kyle Busch; 2. Brian Vickers; 3. Denny Hamlin; 4. Carl Edwards; 5. Brad Keselowski; 6. Greg Biffle; 7. Justin Allgaier; 8. Kevin Harvick; 9. Steve Wallace; 10. Trevor Bayne.
3:55 p.m. -- The top 10 in the Sam's Town 300 after 50 of 200 laps: 1. Kevin Harvick; 2. Kyle Busch; 3. Denny Hamlin; 4. Brian Vickers; 5. Greg Biffle; 6. Justin Allgaier; 7. Brian Scott; 8. Brad Keselowski; 9. Michael Annett; 10. Steve Wallace.
3:05 p.m. -- The drivers have been given the command to start their engines for the Sam's Town 300. New UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck, grand marshal for the Sam's Town 300, did the honors.
2 p.m. -- The start of the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is being delayed while workers with jet dryers dry the track from the earlier rain shower.
Some quick facts about the Sam's Town 300:
1: 25 p.m. -- It took a helicopter ride for Mark Martin to truly appreciate what he had accomplished when he won the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1998.
Martin said he was so busy with the Victory Lane celebration and post-race media obligations that he didn't have a chance to revel in his triumph.
"I remember after we won the race and did everything, it was late when I finished up with all the media and all the stuff and it had gotten dark," Martin said. "I took off in the helicopter to go to the airport and as it raised up to where I could see down and get a perspective from overhead, it hit me as to what we had accomplished. Before then, it could have been the quarter-mile dirt track back home because you were just doing one thing after another.
"I didn't really realize the magnitude of what it was that we had accomplished until I saw it from up in the air and looking down on it. I remember that moment and thinking, ‘Wow, we just won this race in Las Vegas.'"
Martin, who will start eighth in Sunday's Shelby American, said he and the other drivers look forward to coming to Las Vegas each year.
"It's a real racy racetrack," he said. "It's fast, it's competitive, it's fun, you can pass here and it's a great venue for us. Fans like coming out here and so do the competitors. It's better than going to a racetrack that's out in the sticks, it's the opposite of that. This (city) is very, very strong on service. They're here to serve you and that is a pleasure.
"When you come to Las Vegas, it is a whole different feeling than when you go a lot of other places where you feel like you're a burden on folks. When we come here, the people are here and they want to know what they can do. That's what it's all about. That's what Vegas does. I enjoy it here."
1 p.m. -- Saturday's final practice for the Shelby American was cut a few minutes when light rain began to fall on parts of the track. Clint Bowyer led the final session with a speed of 183.530 and was followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (183.318) and Mark Martin (183.299). Jimmie Johnson and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top five.
Pole-sitter Kurt Busch was 16th fastest during Happy Hour, defending race winner Kyle Busch was 17th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 26th.
Driver introductions for today's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race are under way and the race is scheduled to take the green flag at approximately 1:30.
11:30 a.m. -- Kyle Busch, a Las Vegas native and the defending champion of the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, topped the speed chart after the first of two scheduled practice sessions today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch, who will start fifth on Sunday, led all drivers with a lap at 184.037 mph.
Greg Biffle, who qualified seventh, was second fastest at 183.855 mph and pole-sitter Kurt Busch was third at 183.486. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified fourth, was seventh fastest in the practice session.
11:25 a.m. -- Brendan Gaughan won eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races during his career, but he doesn't have to think twice when he is asked which was his most memorable. His victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his hometown track, in 2003 before a crowd estimated at 70,000 was the highlight of his truck series career.
As thrilling as that night was for Gaughan, he said it would pale in comparison to winning today's Sam's Town 300.
"Whatever that (win) felt like, I promise you this would be 10 times more," Gaughan, a Las Vegas native, said this morning. "It would be a lot of fun to come to Victory Lane tonight and I do believe we have a Camry that can do it."
As the eighth driver to make a qualifying run, Gaughan said he was pleased with his qualifying lap of 179.892 mph -- but then watched as driver after driver posted faster speeds and knocked him down to the 26th starting position.
"I feel great about the car," he said of his No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota. "This racecar today feels like it's going to be very good. We're a little on the snug side, which has me nervous, but it can really roll through a center hard. I'm excited for the race."
Gaughan said he is looking forward to racing on his hometown track.
"The track itself, we know everybody has heard about the bumps and this and that," he said. "It's a bumpy track but the place has character. This place is a fast racetrack and the parabolic banking makes it real fun. The only thing I don't like about the parabolic is it puts more people in my race line and I'd like them to get the hell out of it."
Gaughan finished seventh in last year's Sam's Town 300. He is 28th in Nationwide Series points after finishes of 30th at Daytona and 24th at California.
10:50 a.m. -- Brad Keselowski shattered the NASCAR Nationwide Series track record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during qualifying and won the pole for today's Sam's Town 300 with a lap of 185.427 mph. Keselowski bettered the previous record of 182.451 mph, set last year by Scott Speed.
Kevin Harvick will start on the outside of the front row after posting a lap of 185.027 mph. A total of 10 drivers broke the track record during qualifying. Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five starting positions for today's 200-lap race.
Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan will start 26th and Danica Patrick 38th in the 43-car field.
8:45 a.m. - Good morning from Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where NASCAR Nationwide Series teams are rolling their cars onto pit road in anticipation of qualifying for this afternoon's Sam's Town 300. Qualifying begins at 9 a.m. (PST) and the 200-lap race is scheduled to start at 1:30.
It's 50 degrees, the winds are calm and an expected morning drizzle so far has avoided the speedway - but the forecast calls for a 60-percent chance of rain today.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are scheduled to be on the track from 10:40 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and again from 11:45 a.m. until 12:50 p.m. to practice for Sunday's Shelby American.
Check back here often, as we'll be updating this blog throughout the day with news, results, driver interviews and weather reports.