6:10 pm - That'll do it for Stratosphere Pole Day. We'll be back tomorrow for more practice and the Boyd Gaming 300.

6:05 pm - The new knockout qualifying format is drawing mixed reviews from competitors. The drivers' need to shut the engine off to cool the car down between laps as other drivers are running at full speed definitely increases the pucker factor, at least as far as many are concerned. Clint Bowyer estimated the differential in speed to be as much as 135 mph or more.

"That's the scariest thing I've ever done in a race car," said Brian Vickers, who set the fastest time during the first round and ninth on the starting grid. "If I hit someone with those speed discrepancies, that’s going to be really bad for everyone. Unquestionably, it’s more exciting for the fans. It’s fun, interesting, but there are some things that have to take place."

"I love this format but it needs some tweaks," said Bowyer, who starts Sunday’s race third. "The cool down procedure is dangerous. We’ve got to stop that. That’s the only part that’s an issue in my eyes. It’s normal to be scared out of your mind once a week. This having to be scared three or four times a weekend sucks. I was coming up to finish my lap in the first run and (Dale Earnhardt) Jr was behind somebody cooling down or whatever and right at the last minute he pulled out. I was coming down to get advantage of the apron like we do coming to the checkers, so to speak and he moved up right at that bad time and I about smoked him. I mean, that’s not the guy you want to hit at a 140 mph deficit. It’s gonna hurt me and it might hurt Dale, Jr. That would be bad for business."

"I’m sure like anything else in this sport, (the format) will evolve over time," Keselowski added. “Drivers and teams will push the limits of everything that happens until NASCAR has to step in and police it more so than they are right now, and I think that’s just a matter of time because that’s what we do.”

5:20 pm - Joey Logano recorded his 8th career pole and his first at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “It was obviously good," he said about his run. "(For Penske Racing) to have two consecutive poles at two completely different race tracks shows how hard the guys have been working. We’re here to win this year and this proves it.”

4:40 pm - For the second week in a row, Team Penske will start 1-2. Joey Logano won the pole with a new track record of 193.278 mph and Phoenix pole winner Brad Keselowski will line up next to his teammate with a lap of 193.099 mph. Clint Bowyer starts third while Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson round out the top 5.

4:24 pm - Joey Logano posts the fastest lap of the 2nd round of qualifying. He ran 192.905 mph. The remaining 11 drivers running for the pole are: Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Brian Vickers.

Kasey Kahne had a flat tire and missed the cut-off by 0.0002-second.

4:10 pm - The first round of qualifying is complete and all 24 drivers who will advance to the 2nd round broke the track record. Brian Vickers led the way with a 192.995 mph lap completed in 27.980 seconds.

Ryan Truex's car overheated and he missed the cut-off.

The drivers who failed to make this week's race are Blake Koch, Landon Cassill, Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek and JJ Yeley. 

3:35 pm - Time for Sprint Cup Series knock out qualifying for the Kobalt 400. For five of the 48 drivers here this weekend, the Las Vegas experience will come to an end after the first 25-minute session. Twenty-four drivers will transfer to the second round, which lasts 10 minutes and set positions 13 through 24. The top 12 drivers from the second round transfer to the third round and have five minutes to make a run for the pole.

3:25 pm - The Nationwide Series drivers have completed their practice session and no one was able to beat Ty Dillon's speed of 179.485 mph. Chase Elliott, son of 2015 Hall of Fame nominee Bill Elliott, was second fastest. Chris Buescher, Dale Earnhardt, Jr and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 5. The drivers will qualify for the Boyd Gaming 300 tomorrow at 9:40 am.

In a surprising turn of events, Kyle Busch crashed and had to go to a backup car. What happened? According to Goodyear, a punctured sidewall on the right front tire.

2:15 pm - We're 15 minutes into the second Nationwide Series practice session and the red flag is out for fluid on the track. Meanwhile, Kwasniewski's backup car is making its way through technical inspection. Ty Dillon is the early leader and the first series driver to break the 179 mph barrier

1:40 pm - Matt Crafton tops the speed chart after the first Nationwide Series Practice session with a lap of 177.637 mph. Rounding out the top five are Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.

1:10 pm - The Nationwide cars have been on the track for about 30 minutes and we're under red for a crash on the frontstretch. Vegas native Dylan Kwasniewski lost control of the No 31 Chevy and slammed the outside wall. That car is junk so the crew will have to pull the backup car off the hauler and start all over again.

12:35 pm - The Cup series practice session is in the books and Carl Edwards was the top dog - or in this case, duck - in the No 99 Aflac Ford with a 191.980 mph lap. Joey Logano wasn't far behind with a lap of 191.320 mph. Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top 5. All five drivers posted laps quicker than the current track qualifying record. Stenhouse's right rear fender kissed the outside wall with just a few minutes left in the session but the damage was cosmetic and his crew was able to get him back on track after a quick tape job.

12:05 pm - Upon Further Review - Martin Truex did not blow an engine. An oil pump fitting broke, which is what caused the plumes of smoke to billow from the car. The crew has taken care of that situation and according to the team's PR representative, they do not believe the engine was harmed. Truex is back on track showing 18th on the speed chart. 

11:05 am - The Cup Series final practice session before qualifying is underway and just five minutes into the session, we're under red for what appears to be a blown engine in Martin Truex, Jr's Chevy. 

10:45 am - Vegas a Racing Town? - Apparently, it's all in the eyes of the beholder. Oddly enough, Sin City native Kyle Busch says no while Jimmie Johnson, a Cali kid, says, absolutely.

"It's not necessarily a racing town at all, really," said Busch. I remember back in the '90s watching my dad racing Limited Late Models and Late Models and then we (Kyle and brother Kurt Busch) started racing dwarf cars in '92. Then we started moving around a little bit from Vegas to Pahrump to Mojave to Lake Havasu and places like that. It wasn't necessary that we ran in Las Vegas. It's always cool to see talent come from anywhere and Las Vegas has obviously built up three of those - Kurt, myself and Dylan (Kwasniewski) but also Brendan (Gaughan) as well. It's pretty cool to have four guys from this town, not necessarily a racing town whatsoever."

Johnson has a slightly different perspective.  "Vegas is fun, but it's really just in my mind a racing town," he said. "It's why I’ve been here so many times and I do have friends from the off road racing industry that are in town. I just saw Brendan Gaughan in the hallway, chatted with him. Growing up I would stay at his house and we would come out here to the go-kart track and race around.  I spent so much time here in my younger years racing from dirt bikes in the Henderson area. A lot of years the mini nationals were placed over there for the amateur dirt bike racers.  Literally across the street is where the start/finish and the main pit area for The Mint 400 was which I changed a lot of tires and worked in a pit for many years.  Also competed in a few of The Mint 400’s myself, Vegas has been great to me in racing."

10:30 am - Very Little Wiggle Room for Baby Kenseth - Matt Kenseth and his wife, Katie, are expecting their third child and the due date is three weeks from now when the circuit will be competing at Martinsville Speedway. When asked if he a backup plan (ie: a replacement driver on call) in case the baby comes during race weekend, Matt replied, "Not really. I just told her to have it on Monday." Let's just hope the baby heard that and complies with Daddy's orders. Lucky for Matt, Martinsville, VA is only about 110 miles from Mooresville, NC....just in case. 

10:00 am - Local Love? Naah! - Kyle Busch is a realist. Just because he grew up in Las Vegas, he doesn't expect to hear more cheers than usual during Sunday’s driver introductions. "This is a vacation destination for a lot of race fans, so there are a lot of out-of-towners that do come here," he said. "It’s not 100,000 people from Las Vegas that will be sitting in the grandstands. Plus, I’ll tell you this, when I was coming up through the ranks, I won a lot and probably won too much and didn’t make very many friends. So, I’m not sure I’d have many pulling for me anyways because I kicked their butt too much."

8:00 am - We're baaaack. It's Day 2 at the Speedway and we're gonna double the fun because the Nationwide teams are in the house. The Sprint Cup guys will be on the track at 11 am for 90 and then the Nationwide teams will have almost three hours to shake down their cars. We’ll wrap up the day with Cup qualifying at 3:35 pm.