The NASCAR Cup Series heads out west for a pit stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sunday’s running of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX/FOX Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Before the green flag drops, here is all the information you need to know leading up to the first 1.5-mile race of the 2020 NASCAR season.
Sunday’s Cup Series event marks the 25th race hosted by Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the series’ history after the track held a single race each year from 1998-2017 and two each since the 2018 season.
Source: Racing Insights
The 1.5-mile tri-oval located in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada, has an asphalt racing surface with 20 degrees of banking in each turn and nine degrees on the front and backstretch.
While the track first opened in 1996, the Cup Series held its inaugural race at the track in 1998 with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Mark Martin leading 82 of 267 laps and taking home the first-ever checkered flag in Sin City.
Stage 1 ends at Lap 80, Stage 2 ends at Lap 160 and the Final Stage is slated to end at Lap 267.
Cup Series cars will feature the same 1.5-mile racing package used in 2019, with aero ducts and a tapered-spacer engine generating a targeted 550 horsepower.
Each team will be allowed three sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for practice, one set for qualifying and nine sets for the race (eight new race sets, plus one transferred from practice or qualifying).
Las Vegas’ smooth asphalt track does not naturally wear tires. However, with tire wear being such an important factor for cooling and optimum performance, Goodyear has modified the tire to have increased wear on the racing surface.
“The track surface at Las Vegas is one that generates minimal tire wear so we have to design our tread compounds to account for that,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Excessive heat is the enemy of a race tire and tire performance. On track surfaces that don’t naturally promote wear, it’s important to design a tire that can wear quicker and dissipate that heat. This tire setup, specifically this right-side tire, utilizes a tread compound formulation which does that.”
— Martin Truex Jr. has won 12 races on 1.5-mile tracks since 2016, almost twice as many as the next closest driver.
— The Stage 2 winner at Las Vegas has won all five races in the stage-racing era.
— Four drivers have won 24 of the 33 races on 1.5 mile tracks since 2017: Martin Truex Jr. (10), Kevin Harvick (six); Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski (four each).
— The Las Vegas race in March of 2019 had an average green-flag stretch of 85 laps.
Source: Racing Insights
Tune in to live coverage from Las Vegas on FS1 and the FOX Sports App starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday — then switch over the FOX for the remainder of pre-race and in-race action. For complete radio coverage, listen in to PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on-air at 2:30 p.m.
For a more interactive experience, head over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR Mobile App to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner, and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).
2019 RACE WINNER
Joey Logano picked up the first Las Vegas win of his career in last year’s spring race, leading 86 laps — second only to Kevin Harvick’s 88 laps led. With this victory, Logano is the only driver under the age of 30 to win in the last 12 races at the track, including the 2019 fall race.
RELATED: Odds, lines for Las Vegas
ACTIVE LAS VEGAS WINNERS
Jimmie Johnson (four); Brad Keselowski (three); Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. (two each); Kyle Busch and Joey Logano (once each).