This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Joey Logano battled teammate Brad Keselowski in the final laps of Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to win the second consecutive race for Penske Racing and the first of his title defense. The Ford-powered machines were fast from qualifying on Friday through the race on Sunday. Kevin Harvick started from pole and led the most laps in the race, but the Penske teammates were the ones able to make the right chassis adjustments to finish the distance out front.
NASCAR's full implementation of the new rules package was also a disappointment. The racing was not nearly as close as many were expecting, and the multisecond leads fans thought would be a thing of the past at tracks like Las Vegas were again the norm. Harvick dominated the opening segment, and the number of lead-lap cars from segment to segment was roughly the same as the races we've seen at the track in the past. The unknown of this new era of racing might be more of a known than fantasy players would have expected, which could mean throwing away past track statistics is not the way to go when choosing lineups. That means at Phoenix this week we should expect Kevin Harvick to be the favorite before the track opens for the first practice.
Joey Logano – The Penske Racing early-season strength continued in Las Vegas. The team spent its time in practice focusing on race setup, which paid dividends when Logano won the second stage