Power Ranking after Las Vegas

The NASCAR season is now officially, officially, underway. Obviously, Daytona started the season, but the second race is circled on every team’s calendar as a ‘test’ race of sorts, where car performance can first be seen without the help of a 200+ mile per hour draft. Joey Logano picked up the victory in the Pennzoil 400, and the top-ten was full of unexpected success stories. That led to some large shakeups in this week’s power rankings, but a driver who hasn’t yet won now leads the pack.

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Joey Logano Repeats at Las Vegas and Wins Pennzoil 400

Joey Logano takes the Checkered Flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the defending winner from 2019.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 23: Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford takes the checkered/yellow flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 23, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After an exciting start to the 2020 season, the NASCAR Cup Series moves west for a string of races on the pacific coast. Starting with Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Pennzoil 400, this is the first test to gauge how competitive these teams and new drivers will be this year. With a big rookie class and some drivers on new teams, the time is now to perform. And Joey Logano did just that with a repeat win at Las Vegas in the Pennzoil 400.

Stage 1

Martin Truex Jr. paced the field to the Pennzoil 400 green flag as a caution immediately came out for Daniel Suarez. Suarez’s car had a mechanical issue and the field reset to restart the race. Joey Logano had a great jump and quickly moved into the lead. Kevin Harvick stayed with Logano and ended up taking the lead on lap 13. Harvick controlled most of the first stage of the race, but it was Chase Elliott with a lot of speed in the long run. Elliott passed Harvick for the lead with 13 laps remaining in the stage and never looked back. Chase Elliott wins the first stage.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Crew Chief Brian Pattie Parlay Strategic Call into Third-Place

Ricky Stenhouse Jr, led by crew chief Brian Pattie finishes third at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a lucky charm. His name is Brian Pattie.

In his capacity as crew chief on Stenhouse’s No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet, Pattie often opts for contrarian strategy. That certainly was the case in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as Stenhouse built on a strong Daytona Speedweeks with a strategic third-place finish in the second NASCAR Cup Series race of the season.

Brian Pattie repeatedly kept Stenhouse on the track during green-flag pit stop cycles, hoping for a timely caution. The gamble finally paid off when Chase Elliott hit the turn one wall on lap 220 because of a flat left rear tire.

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