5:45 pm - That didn't last long. It's starting to rain again. The cars have gone back to the garage area and NASCAR has officially pulled the plug on today's activity. The Nationwide grid will be set according to the rulebook and instead of qualifying, the drivers will practice tomorrow morning starting at 8 am. The Cup Series teams will practice from 9:40 to 10:40 am and again from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.
We'll be back tomorrow for what promises to be better racing weather and a full day of action from America's Racing Showplace!
5:30 pm – We finally have cars on the track! A pace vehicle is going to lead the way for a few laps to allow the Nationwide cars to build up some heat and make sure the track is dry.
4:15 pm – Track drying efforts continue and the lights are now on. Track crew members are doing absolutely everything they can to give the Nationwide drivers some seat time this evening. Meanwhile, the radar shows threatening weather in the area. The race is on…just not the race we were expecting.
4:00 pm – With qualifying rained out, Brad Keselowski gets to cash in a 2012 title chip for a pole position start in Sunday’s Kobalt 400. “Obviously with the rain coming you are kind of getting a great deal there,” he said. “I am very grateful we had the test day yesterday. That is a big deal for us not having to go into Sunday blind.” Clint Bowyer starts next to Keselowski on the front row. Jimmie Johnson starts 3rd followed by Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle.
Positions 1 through 36 are based on 2012 owner points while positions 37th through 43rd are set according to 2013 owner points. Danica Patrick lines up 37th while her rookie title rival Ricky Stenhouse, Jr starts 7th thanks to Matt Kenseth’s 2012 efforts in the No. 17 Ford.
1:42 pm – All of today’s activity for the Cup Series teams has been cancelled. We’ll line up the field Sunday based on last year’s point standings, which gives defending champion Brad Keselowski the pole.
There’s still a chance the Nationwide Series teams will get some practice time this afternoon but the track is wet and there are no drying efforts taking place right now.
12:55 pm – The LVMS crew had just finished drying the track surface and it looked like we were going to see some action when the wind picked up and it started raining again. We’re still awaiting word from NASCAR about a revised schedule.
12:34 pm – Speedway Motorsports Inc announced its continued participation in the AARP’s Drive to End Hunger initiative. SMI’s food and beverage concessions operator Levy Restaurants will donate extra food items from this season’s Sprint Cup Series races to local food banks. This weekend’s beneficiary is Three Square Food Bank. SMI and Levy first started supporting this effort in May 2012 and have donated approximately 7,000 meals since then. “Working with Drive to End Hunger is an important way to help people in our communities across NASCAR nation,” said SMI president and chief operating officer Marcus Smith during a press conference at the speedway. “We’re excited to gear up for a whole season of helping people provide food for themselves and their families.”
12:08 pm – Danica Patrick admitted her wreck at Phoenix last week left her with a headache that night and a sore neck the following morning but there were no worries about a more serious injury. "I was able to say my name and where I was born," she said. "(Medical personnel) take your blood pressure. They do vitals and they ask how you’re feeling and I really felt fine. It’s understandable that my neck would be sore."
Things were a little more dangerous for Danica at the dirt track last night and she wasn’t even driving. "I feel like I have a concussion from last night,” she said. "I got hit by a rock at the dirt track and I took it to the ground. It hit me straight in the head. Good thing I had a hat on or I’m feeling like there would have been blood."
10:10 am - On track activity is on hold while we wait out the rain but the weather has not dampened the spirits of the lovely couple getting married on the first floor of the Media Center against the backdrop of a rainy fronstretch. Congratulations!
10:05 am - Austin Dillon is entered in the Cup race but for a change, he won’t be driving equipment prepared by Richard Childress Racing, the team run by his grandfather. Instead, he’ll be in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet with equipment from Hendrick Motorsports and sponsorship from Tag Heuer.
“I think it’s even weird to my grandfather,” said Austin. “I’m glad to sit it really good equipment. It’s different but Hendrick does a great job with their equipment. I wanna be known as a driver that can driving anything.”
Ty Dillon’s 21st birthday came just in time for him to enjoy the full Las Vegas experience. “The only difference is there’s not as much money in my pocket,” he joked. “I’ve had fun though. It’s been a lot of fun being out here and being 21 but I’m ready to go racing now. Hopefully, I’ve got all the losing out of the way.”
8:40 am - Welcome to Stratosphere Pole Day! The Nationwide Series teams have joined us at LVMS. They are scheduled to take the first practice session slot from 9-11:50 am. The Cup teams own the track from noon until 1:30 pm for their only practice session before qualifying. The Nationwide drivers are back on track from 1:40 pm-3:30 pm.
That’s the plan if the weather cooperates. Right now, the track is wet after early morning showers. With a chance of rain throughout the day, the schedule is likely to remain flexible.
The Cup teams start qualifying at 3:40 pm. Kasey Kahne holds the current LVMS record of 190.456 mph. He set the mark during qualifying for the 2012 race. He leads all drivers with three poles here.