For NASCAR fans wary of another dominating season from Toyota after last year, Las Vegas continued a welcomed early season trend. So far this season, the manufacturers are a lot more competitive, with a Ford and a Chevy already with wins, and a Toyota in the top three in the points standings.
And, while Chevy is still looking for some consistency with their new Camaro ZL1, Ford seems to have it figured out early. In Las Vegas qualifying, Fords swept the top three positions. Ryan Blaney won the pole with a lap speed of 191.489 mph, with Kevin Harvick (190.248 mph) and Kurt Busch (190.067 mph) rounding out the top three via Autoweek.
Apart from the other drivers, Blaney was battling an especially windy day in Vegas, saying:
“I got blown off into turn one in the first round, but then in the next two rounds I didn’t really feel it. The last one, we didn’t get a big gust of wind, and I was able to put together a pretty decent lap.”
While qualifying doesn’t guarantee success during the race, starting up front matters more than ever in stage racing, where points will be awarded at the end of stage one after only 80 laps.