This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
As we leave behind in the rearview mirrors the carnage and beat up race cars that was the Daytona 500, the 2020 schedule has a new event for race No. 2 of the season. The NASCAR Cup Series will make its early season visit to Sin City this weekend for the Pennzoil 400 on the intermediate oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In recent seasons this has been the third race in the schedule, typically following Atlanta. However, NASCAR shook things up this year and now the Vegas race is second.
With this being the first race on an intermediate oval this season, we need to get our notebooks handy. This race will be a good example of what we can expect for many of the drivers on similar style ovals. Those who perform well at Las Vegas are set up to run well at upcoming facilities like Atlanta, Homestead and Texas. This style of track makes up a vast percentage (33 percent) of the ovals that the Cup Series races on, so this 400-mile event will be an early season barometer for what's to come. The drivers that succeed this week will be ones to watch in the coming weeks.
LVMS is the first of many intermediate ovals on the Cup Series schedule. While the banking and configuration varies a bit from the other cookie cutter tracks, Las Vegas should be a good indicator of what to expect for most of the drivers early in 2020 on these style