Topping off a triple header weekend, the Monster Energy Cup Series begins playoff season with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After single car qualifying, Clint Bowyer wins the pole with a time of 30.180 seconds around the mile and a half track. Bowyer hasn’t won a pole since 2007.
The teams will be racing in the hottest part of the day; air temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees with in car temperatures at over 120 degrees.
Stages one and two of the race are 80 laps each with stage three lasting 107 laps for a total of 267 laps around the mile and a half track.
Stewart-Haas Racing team mates Clint Bowyer are on the front row with SHR drivers Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola on row two.
At race start the air temperature is 101 degrees, the hottest Monster Energy Cup race on record.
Clint Bowyer brings the field down the green flag start of the race with the drivers spreading out three and four wide across the track. Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez cross the start/finish line side by side. Daniel Suarez finally gets out in front for the lead.
Lap four, Daniel Suarez holds on to the lead.
Kyle Busch slaps the wall but the track stays green.
Lap seven, Danield Suarez has a lead of over half a second on Clint Bowyer with Aric Almirola in third.
Lap 10, Daniel Suarez has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on team mate Clint Bowyer. Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.
Lap 12 Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for fresh right side tires and repairs after hitting the wall. He is now two laps down.
Lap 20, Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race; he has a lead of over a second on Aric Almirola with Clint Bowyer in third.
Lap 25, Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race; Kyle Busch is in last place one lap down. Busch has shown that fresh tires are important.
Lap 30, Daniel Suarez lead is down to a quarter of a second on Aric Almirola.
Lap 32, Aric Almirola gets past Daniel Suarez to take the lead.
Lap 34, Joey Logano passes Aric Almirola to take the lead.
Lap 37, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Aric Almirola with 30 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 40, Chase Elliott begins the cycle of green flag pit stops.
Lap 43, leader Joey Logano makes his pit stop; giving the lead over to Jimmie Johnson.
Lap 44, Michael McDowell is the new leader.
Lap 47, the top four drivers have yet to make their green flag pit stops.
Lap 53, Michael McDowell has yet to make his pit stop and is leading the race with Joey Logano in seconds over eight seconds back. There are 24 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 57, Michael McDowell continues to lead with Joey Logano five seconds back.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr makes an unscheduled trip down pit road for adjustments after hitting the wall.
Lap 60, Michael McDowell makes his pit stop, giving the lead back to Joey Logano with Aric Almirola in second.
Lap 63, Arick Almirola gets really loose but keeps it off the wall and the track stays green. Kevin Harvick is now in second place.
Lap 65, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly five seconds on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 71, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of over five seconds on Kevin Harvick. Temperatures inside the car are reading 140 degrees.
Lap 74, after starting in 22nd place, Joey Logano now has a lead of over seven seconds on Kevin Harvick with 20 cars on the lead lap.
With a lead of over six seconds, Joey Logano wins stage one.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road with Joey Logano coming out in second.
Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with a three wide battle that put William Byron in the lead with Joey Logano battling for the lead.
Lap 88, Joey Logano takes the lead.
Erik Jones brings his car down pit road with a stuck throttle.
Lap 92, Joey Logano has a lead of less than half a second on William Byron.
Erik Jones takes his car to the garage for repairs.
Lap 98, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on William Byron with Chase Elliott in third. There are 24 cars on the lead lap with Erik Jones the only driver off the track.
Lap 103, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on William Byron.
Lap 106, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of over a second and a half on William Byron. At 21, Byron is the youngest driver in the playoffs.
Lap 109, Chase Elliott gets around team mate William Byron to take second with Joey Logano in the lead a second and a half in front. There are 21 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 113, Chase Elliott is closing the gap on leader Joey Logano, Logano has a lead of just over a second on Elliott.
Lap 120, Joey Logano’s lead over Chase Elliott is just one second as Elliott is very slowly closing the gap. There are 20 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 122, Kurt Busch brings his car down pit road to begin the nexy cycle of green flag pit stops.
Lap 124, leader Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop, giving the lead over to Chris Buescher.
Chris Buescher makes his pit stop, giving the lead back to Joey Logano with Chase Elliott in second, two seconds back.
Lap 133, Chase Elliott has cut into Joey Logano’s lead and is now less than a second behind.
After starting the race in the heat of the day, the race will end under the lights – a first for the race. On lap 139, the drivers are beginning to see a change in the track conditions.
Lap 140, Joey Logano’s lead is down to just half a second over Chase Elliott.
Lap 142, Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott battle for the second spot with Truex getting in front of Elliott and is only a quarter of a second behind Logano.
Lap 148, Joey Logano continues to lead the race but Martin Truex Jr continues to try and close the gap.
Lap 151, pole sitter Clint Bowyer is in danger of going one lap down. Logano gets around Bowyer to make 18 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 156, Joey Logano has just a quarter of a second lead on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 157, Martin Truex Jr comes from the outside to pass Joey Logano and take the lead of the race with 17 cars on the lead lap.
Martin Truex Jr wins stage two.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Treux Jr
As the sun begins to set on the desert, drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road with Joey Logano coming out second.
Trying to catch a tire, a crewman on Kyle Larson’s team falls on to pit road, causing a penalty for too many crew members over the wall. Larson will have to restart the race from the back of the field.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 168. Drivers get three wide as Martin Truex Jr and Joey Logano run side by side for the lead. Truex finally gets out in front for the lead.
Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano make it a three wide battle for second with Elliott taking the spot.
Lap 171, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano make it a three wide battle with Martin Truex Jr for the lead. Chase Elliott is the new leader.
Lap 175, Martin Truex Jr reports that he is very loose.
William Byron’s car has some smoke coming out of it from a possible tire rub after contact with Ryan Blaney.
Lap 177, Chase Elliott has a one second lead on Joey Logano.
The caution flag comes out on lap 180 for William Byron who spun out with a flat tire.
Drivers come down pit road for service. Taking only two tires, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney win the race off of pit road.
Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 186 and goes side by side with Ryan Blaney in a battle for the lead as drivers get four wide behind them. Kurt Busch has a smoking car.
Lap 187 Kevin Harvick blazes through to take the lead.
Lap 188, Kurt Busch was planning to bring his car down pit road with a flat tire but he hit the wall before he could get there and causes some significant damage to his car. Little brother Kyle benefited big time from the incident, he can now get back on the lead lap.
Joey Logano has some damage to his car.
Kurt Busch is the first driver out of the race.
Several of the drivers come down pit road for service.
Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 196. The drivers get three and four wide across the track. Kevin Harvick tkes the lead with Martin truex Jr in second.
Clint Bowyer is trying to get down pit road with a tire issue after making contact on the track.
Lap 201, Kevin Harvick has a one second lead on Martin Truex Jr with Ryan Blaney on third.
Lap 203, after being two laps down, Kyle Busch is back on the lead lap and in 13th place.
Lap 205, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 209, Kevin Harvick’s lead is now over two seconds on Mart Truex Jr. And Kyle Busch is now in the top 10.
Lap 212, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over three seconds on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 216, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are the two fastest cars on the track.
Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to nearly four seconds on Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch is now in seventh place.
Lap 220, Kevin Harvick’s lead is now four seconds in front of Martin Truex Jr.
Denny Hamlin is reporting some tire issues.
With 43 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr has cut into Kevin Harvick’s lead, Harvick is three seconds out in front. Kyle Busch is up to sixth place.
Lap 228, Ryan Newman begins the cycle of green flag pit stops. Kevin Harvick’s lead is down to under two seconds.
Lap 231, Kevin Harvick makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Chase Elliott.
Chase Elliott makes his pit stop, William Byron is the new leader.
Lap 235, William Byrom makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Kyle Larson who has yet to make his pit stop.
Lap 236, Kyle Larson makes his pit stop, Matt DiBenedetto is the new leader.
Matt KeBenedetto has made his pit stop and gives the lead over to Kevin Harvick, but Martin Truex Jr battles with Harvick and eventually gets around Harvick for the lead.
Seventeen laps to go, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over a second and a half on Kevin Harvick.
Kyle Busch is reporting some issues with the car and feels he may hit the wall again. He is down on speed after making contact with another car.
Twelve to go, Martin Truex Jr has a two second lead on Kevin Harvick.
Ten to go, Martin Truex Jr is in the lead with Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five. There are 21 cars on the lead lap.
Six to go, Martin Truex Jr leads the way with Kevin Harvick nearly three seconds behind.
Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag.
Martin Truex Jr wins his fifth race of the season…and a spot in the next round of the playoffs. This makes 14 wins for Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2019 season. The win continues the pattern of the winner of stage two also winning the race.
The unofficial results of the South Point 400:
Martin Treux Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr