By Lori Vizza

5:00 pm - That'll do if for Day 1. Come back tomorrow for Stratosphere Pole Day as the Nationwide Series joins us for another day of racing action. Ticket gates, VIP suites and the Neon Garage open at 10 am and the Sprint Cup drivers are on track at 10:30 am. Qualifying for Sunday's Kobalt 400 starts at 3:35 pm. 

4:50 pm - The Good and the Bad - Kevin Harvick rode the wave of momentum off his win at Phoenix last weekend all the way to Las Vegas and set the pace during today's four-hour test session.

"I thought it went really well," said Harvick. “We struggled in the beginning just to get the feel. It took us a couple of hours to kind of get everything situated and get the balance of the car right. Then we felt pretty good about it after that. Changed a lot of stuff and did a lot of different things to the car. Felt like we made good head way in the end and hopefully we can progress on that tomorrow and make it even better.”

At the other end of the spectrum was Greg Biffle, who ended the session 34th fastest out of 48 drivers.

“It was a pretty tough day for us,” said Biffle. “We’re just not getting ahold of the race track. I just can’t explain why (Roush Racing’s) fastest car was 27th (Carl Edwards).”

4:00 pm - The red flag is out as today's test session comes to a close. Kevin Harvick was the fastest overall with a lap of 190.148 mph, not too far off the track qualifying record of 190.456 mph. Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon saved his best for lastwith a 189.540 mph lap. Bayne, Ryan Newman and Parick ended up 3rd through 5th.

3:40 pm - Kevin Harvick is the first driver to break the 189 mph barrier with 20 minutes to go in the session. Behind him it's Trevor Bayne, Patrick, Whitt and Bowyer. 

3:00 pm - Cole Whitt relinquished the top spot briefly to Danica Patrick and then Clint Bowyer but he reclaimed it with a 188.121 mph lap. Bowyer is second fastest and Danica hangs onto third. Rounding out the top five are Michael McDowell and Paul Menard with one hour to go.

2:20 pm - Back to green. Vickers was able to drive his car back to the garage and the Michael Waltrip Racing crew is still working on it.

2:16 pm - We have a break in the action after Brian Vickers makes contact with the wall and flattens the right side of the No 55 Toyota. 

2:15 pm - Daytona 500 winner and current points leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr met with the media prior to today's test session to discuss the importance of logging laps on a 1.5 mile speedway with the new rules package.

"I think everybody obviously wants to learn what they can about the rules and the changes in the ride height," said Earnhardt. "They're allowing some different things with bump stops as well and there are just a lot of different variables that we have yet to be able to get on the race track. I know a lot of other teams have tested a lot at Nashville and some places, but there are some teams like ourselves who haven't really put a lot of time into testing in the off-season due to the lack of reasonable facilities to test at. I think a lot of teams just really want to get out there and try everything they can and learn as much as they can at a race track that we actually compete. This stuff with translate to Charlotte, Texas and a lot of other places where we see similar loads on the left-front corner of the car."

When asked what makes racing in Vegas unique, Earnhardt replied, "The town itself, the mystique of Vegas and the history of this town and how it was built. How it survives. I think the track certainly adopted that personality and the way the garage is built. The way the fans have access to us throughout practice and they can really get on top of the car and see what we're doing, victory lane and how they do the driver's meeting here is unlike any other place where we all walk out on the red carpet into a sea of fans and sit there throughout the driver's meeting amongst all the fans."

2:00 pm - Halfway through this test session and Rookie of the Year contender Cole Whitt is atop the leader board and he's upped the ante by a couple miles an hour with a 186.156 mph lap. Behind him it's Brian Vickers (185.778 mph), Kyle Busch (184.995 mph), Clint Bowyer (184.976 mph) and Kurt Busch (184.837 mph).

1:00 pm - We're one hour into this this afternoon's test session and so far, 38 drivers have completed at least one lap around the speedway. Clint Bowyer leads the way at this point with a fast lap of 184.055 mph. Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr round out the top five.

Kasey Kahne, who set the LVMS Cup Series qualifying track record of 190.456 mph in 2011, is 11th on the speed chart at 181.953 mph.

12:00 pm - The track is open and Matt Kenseth, defending winner of the Kobalt Tools 400, is the first out in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Kenseth leads the series in laps led in Cup Series races at LVMS with 513. He has three victories, including back-to-back wins in 2003 and 2004, and 1 pole (2011) in 14 starts here.

"It's a special place for me because I won my first Cup race with JGR there last year," said Kenseth. It ws just a really cool win since it was (crew chief) Jason’s (Ratcliff) and my first win together. It really was the start of a great season for us."

For those who want to get to know him better, Kenseth will participate in a Q&A and autograph session this evening at the Suncoast. Wristbands for the vent will be handed out starting at 3 pm this afternoon and the door open for the event at 5:30 pm.

11:15 am - Get Ready for Smoke is the Bandit - Mobil 1, Tony Stewart and a few friends from the NASCAR garage have teamed up to reenact one of the greatest car chase films of all time, Smokey and the Bandit. The made for the web video series is titled Smoke and the Bandit with Mobil 1. The six-part series stars Stewart as the Bandit and features Darrell Waltrip (The Snowman), Ricky Craven (Big Enos), Hermie Sadler (Little Enos), Jeff Hammond (Buford T Justice) and Nicole Briscoe (Frog). Episodes will be released bi-weekly beginning today (March 6) at and Viewers can catch the complete series in a long form format with additional commentary from Stewart and his co-stars on March 25. Stewart, Waltrip and Stewart stopped by the LVMS media center to preview their epic adventure.

"We're talking about an Emmy, here," said Hammond. "Or a Golden Globe at least."

"We'll settle for nothing less," Stewart quipped. "I have always loved that move. I love the Trans Am. We had so much fun."

"I got to act silly and have fun and had my dog along with me," said Waltrip. "It doesn’t get any better than that. We got to be bootleggers, which I never got to do (in real life)."

10:30 am - Good morning from Las Vegas Motor Speedway where we're gearing up for four days of NASCAR action featuring the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. Today's schedule features four hours of Cup series testing starting at noon. The grandstands are open and admission is free so play hooky if you have to (we won't tell) and come on down! The drivers will have their first chance to try out the 2014 rules package on a 1.5-mile speedway, making this the ideal time to gather data for the remainder of the season. After the session beat feet to the Neon Garage for a question and answer session at 4:15 pm with Brian Vickers, David Ragan and Sin City's own Kurt Busch.