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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400

Status: Final Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 3 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV

  • When:

    March 2, 2003 3:00 pm EST

  • Laps:

    267

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    401.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,291,856

Drivers to Watch

Bobby Labonte After recording back-to-back fifth-place finishes here in 1999 and 2000, stumbled to 29th in 2001 and 12th last season; "We're a better team than that, but we sure didn't prove it the last couple of years out there," he said. "I am excited about returning though. If the test we had is any indication, then we should be in the ballpark when we unload Friday morning."
Jeff Gordon Four-time Winston Cup champion won here in 2001; also finished third in 1999, giving him good results in odd-numbered years; in even-numbered years, his best finish is 17th; has finished 12th and 15th in the first two races of the season, leaving him 13th in the Winston Cup standings, 100 points behind Kurt Busch; won three races and three poles last year, when he totaled 13 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Calls Las Vegas "one of those tracks that I like, and we always run really well there. We have led the race there every year we've been there in the Bud car, so we're planning to continue that streak Sunday." Started season poorly with finishes of 36th and 33rd, placing him 38th in the Winston Cup standings; started 35th last year but cracked the top 10 by lap 123; late gamble with a two-tire pit stop eventually dropped him to 16th; led 42 laps in the rain-shortened 2000 race, marking the first time the Budweiser No. 8 Chevrolet was in front for a significant distance.
Kurt Busch The 24-year-old Las Vegas native finished second in Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway and climbed into first place in the Winston Cup standings; it is the first time he has held the No. 1 position; this is the second straight season he has started the season in the top five in the standings; ranked fourth in the NASCAR top 10 after two races a year ago; recorded seven consecutive finishes of sixth or better, a streak that began last fall at Martinsville; in two career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his best finish was 11th as a rookie in 2001; finished 20th last season.
Jeff Burton Burton has competed in all five races at Las Vegas and is the only driver to record two victories (1999, 2000); posted four top-10 finishes here, including ninth last season; his 12th-place finish in last week's Subway 400 moved him from 11th to seventh in the Winston Cup standings; has opened the season with two top-15 finishes.
Tony Stewart Will spend Friday watching his World of Outlaws team and driver Danny Laskoski at the Dirt Track outside Las Vegas; "There are seven or eight Outlaw races this year where we're going to be racing (Winston) Cup at the same place at the same time," he said. "I'll do my job with The Home Depot Chevrolet during the day, but at night I'll be with the Outlaw team;" defending Winston Cup champion finished second here in the rain-shortened 2000 race; last year, he started 15th and came in fifth.
Jimmie Johnson Comes to Las Vegas as one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR; is third in the Winston Cup standings, 33 points behind Kurt Busch; came in eighth at Rockingham for his second straight top-10 finish; pushed his earnings to $826,336; "We come off a good race at Rockingham and we're excited to get to Vegas with the new (Chevrolet) body to see how it's all going to shake out," he said. "We had a test there that went really well. The car responded as we wanted to things that were familiar."
Started all five Las Vegas races and has two top-five finishes, leading 39 laps; in his first appearance here in 1998, he came in fifth after starting 32nd; second-place finish here a year ago was his best of the season; started seventh here in 1999 but finished 17th.
Matt Kenseth Third-place finish in the Subway 400 propelled him from 19th to sixth in the Winston Cup standings; was eighth at the end of the 2002 season; has competed in three races at Las Vegas but has yet to score a top-10 finish; his best result was 14th in his first race in the desert in 2000 and again last year.
Kevin Harvick Bakersfield, California native grew up racing out west; 27-year-old enjoys Las Vegas, where he was married on February 28, 2001; spent a lot of time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while driving on the Winston West circuit; successful test session in the Busch car early in the year gave him a boost of confidence that he looks to carry into this weekend.
Top effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a third-place finish in the inaugural race in 1998; followed that with an eighth-place finish in 1999 but has not cracked the top 10 since.
At The Rock, recorded his 31st career Winston Cup win last weekend; it was the first victory for crew chief Brad Parrott; extended his streak to at least one win in 11 consecutive seasons, the longest among active drivers; climbed from 10th to second in the Winston Cup standings; one of four drivers to start the season with two top-10 finishes; has scored three straight top-10s here; "Las Vegas is one of the cities I always look forward to visiting," he said. "The track itself is a great track for racing. It has a real wide, flat surface and we'll probably see a lot of side-by-side racing;" Parrott helped Jeff Burton to a win from the pole in the 2002 Busch series race here.
Mark Martin Winner of the inaugural Las Vegas race in 1998; finished seventh in the Subway 400 to move from fifth to fourth in the Winston Cup standings; last week marked his seventh consecutive top-10 finish, extending a streak that began last fall in Martinsville; has been among the top 10 since Las Vegas last season, the longest streak among active drivers; finished last year second in the NASCAR standings; is the only driver to register five top-10 finishes in this race; placed third last year.
Bill Elliott Popular veteran is 36th in the Winston Cup standings after pit stop miscues at Daytona and Rockingham; in five races at Las Vegas, he has one top-five and three top-10s finishes; best start at the track was his first, when he went off fourth and finished ninth; top showing came in 2000 when he placed fourth after starting 35th; was competitive from the start last year, eventually finishing eighth.
Defending race winner claimed one of two victories last season here in the desert; "We probably had a 10th-place car and we changed some stuff up on it Sunday morning and made it a lot better," he said. "We just hit the right combination and it just drove perfect all day. We're taking the same car back this year;" is the only driver with two top-10 starts in 2003; also finished third in Las Vegas in 2001.
Returned to Rockingham, the site of his first career Winston Cup start, to score his third consecutive top-10 finish last week; drove the PPI Motorsports Pontiac to a fourth place at the Subway 400; has earned a top-10 finish in three of his last seven series starts dating to October; vaulted from 25th to eighth in the Winston Cup standings; it's the first time Craven has been in the top 10 in a year; has competed in all five races at Las Vegas but is seeking his first top-25 finish; was 31st last season.
This will be his sixth appearance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and his 683rd consecutive start; owns one pole (2000) and two 12th-place finishes (1998, 2000) here; is 10th in the Winston Cup standings; looking forward to Sunday in Las Vegas, where he said the "fun factor" is very high; "It's a fun race track to drive," he said. "Las Vegas is still a relatively new track for Winston Cup competition."