NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2012 in Las Vegas

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As with every Las Vegas race, it’s the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams’ first chance to see what their program on these type of tracks has in store for them.

There was no official preseason testing and the first two races run at Daytona or Phoenix aren’t a good barometer to get a read on what will work here which requires lots of horsepower and great handling.

The teams also have to combat the unknown of the new electronic fuel injection which is a work in progress as crew chiefs try to figure out what to do with all the great data now at their fingertips that they never had before.

Whoever gets the jump on their program this week will have an early head start at winning the championship because it’s this type of track that matters most in the overall equation. Do well in Las Vegas and the quality information gained here will carry over into at least 12 other races.

The perfect example of Las Vegas being a prelude to success is last season where Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart finished 1-2, a race that Stewart gave away in the pits during his final stop. Fast forward to November in Homestead and it was the same two finishing 1-2 for the Championship, except it was Stewart finishing on top to win his third title.

We can take it step further with five other Cup Championships that got their campaign started by winning in Las Vegas. Three of Jimmie Johnson’s four Vegas wins resulted in titles. Matt Kenseth had only one win in 2003, Las Vegas, but did so consistently well on the similar tracks for the remainder of the season that he had accumulated enough points to win it all.

Jeff Gordon also managed to parlay his only Vegas win into a Championship in 2001, the final of his four trophies.

So before departing Las Vegas, take what you saw over the weekend and make a wager on a driver or two to win the Cup Championship.

The betting equation should include a good Saturday practice that translated into a great run in Sunday’s race. Just going by what has transpired in the previous 14 Las Vegas races, you’ll have a 36% chance of winning by simply betting on whoever wins the race Sunday.

Here’s a look at the current odds to win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship for the LVH Super Book:

2012 Sprint Cup Championship
Jimmie Johnson 5-1
Carl Edwards 5-1
Kyle Busch 7-1
Matt Kenseth 10-1
Jeff Gordon 8-1
Kasey Kahne 15-1
Tony Stewart 12-1
Kevin Harvick 6-1
Denny Hamlin 8-1
Greg Biffle 18-1
Brad Keselowski 15-1
Clint Bowyer 60-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25-1
Ryan Newman 60-1
Kurt Busch 200-1
Martin Truex Jr 60-1
Jeff Burton 60-1
Joey Logano 60-1
Juan Montoya 100-1
Jamie Mcmurray 100-1
Aj Allmendinger 60-1
Paul Menard 100-1
Marcos Ambrose 100-1
Field 60

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