The NASCAR Cup Series completes a weekend of racing in the desert with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as they kick off the next round of the playoffs.

With no practice or qualifying runs this season, NASCAR has turned to a unique formula to determine which driver in the NASCAR Cup Series will sit on the pole.  After his eighth win of the season at Bristol last week, Kevin Harvick sits on the pole with home town driver Kyle Busch starting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the South Point 400:
Kevin Harvick – playoff driver
Kyle Busch– playoff driver
Chase Elliott– playoff driver
Aric Almirola– playoff driver
Joey Logano– playoff driver
Clint Bowyer– playoff driver
Austin Dillon– playoff driver
Alex Bowman– playoff driver
Kurt Busch– playoff driver
Denny Hamlin– playoff driver
Martin Truex Jr– playoff driver
Brad Keselowski– playoff driver
Erik Jones
Tyler Reddick
Ryan Blaney
Chris Buescher
Michael McDowell
Jimmie Johnson
Matt DiBenedetto
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Preece
Cole Custer
Bubba Wallace
Ty Dillon
John Hunter Nemechek
Christopher Bell
Ryan Newman
William Byron/
Daniel Suarez
Gray Gaulding
Corey LaJoie
Quin Houff
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Gase
Brennan Poole
Timmy Hill
JJ Yeley
Josh BIlicki
Chad Finchum

With the race starting late in the afternoon, air, track, and in car temperatures will easily rise above 100 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.  With a fuel load of around 60 laps, the drivers cannot complete any of the stages on a single fuel run.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution around lap 25.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front after a push from Chase Elliott.  After giving Harvick a push, Elliott pushes Harvick out of the way to take the lead.

The drivers are already getting three and four wide across the track.   NBC Sports broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr compared the start to a race at Tallagedga (the location of the next race).

Lap three, Chase Elliott leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap six, Chase Elliott has a quarter of a second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap eight, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch continue to round out the top five.

Lap 10, Chase Elliott now has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano.

Lap 12, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to nearly two seconds on Kyle Busch; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 14, Chase Elliott has a lead of over two seconds on Kyle Busch with Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.  Chad Finchum is the only driver one lap down.

Lap 18, Chase Elliott is dominating the race early with a lead of nearly three seconds on Kyle Busch.  There are 34 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 20, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to over three seconds on Kyle Busch.

Currently the wind is blowing around 15mph; however, the forecast calls for the winds to increase to as much as 25mph later on.  The winds could cause some issues for the drivers.

Lap 23, Chase Elliott has a lead of over three seconds on Kyle Busch; Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 25, Kyle Busch is three and a half seconds behind leader Chase Elliott.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR puts out the yellow flag for the competition caution.  The caution flag erases a lead of three and a half seconds for Chase Elliott.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and service.  Several of the drivers are reporting very loos conditions.  Kevin Harvick is reporting a tight condition.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 from the outside lane.  Drivers get three wide on the restart.  Denny Hamlin gets out in front of Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 32, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 33, Joey Logano takes second from Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin leads the race.

Lap 34, Denny Hamlin is in the lead; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick has to make an unscheduled pit stop with a tire issue.

Lap 37, Denny Hamlin has a lead of a third of a second on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 41, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 44, Denny Hamlin has a lead of nearly half a second on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 48, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 52, Denny Hamlin now has a one second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch is in third over two seconds back; Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 55, the drivers are getting spread out through the field with Denny Hamlin over a half second in front of Joey Logano; Kyle Busch is in third over three seconds back; Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick are nearly four seconds back.

After starting in the top 10, Kurt Busch has dropped to 15th place reporting that at the beginning of a run his car is “a hot mess” and “pogo sticking around” but said that it gets better as the run goes on.

Lap 60, Denny Hamlin has a lead over a second on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 63, Denny Hamlin has a lead of nearly two seconds over Joey Logano with third place driver Kyle Busch over four seconds back.

Lap 67, with 29 cars on the lead lap Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano with Kyle Busch over five seconds back in third; Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick round out the top five over six seconds behind.

Shadows have begun to move across the track as the sun moves toward setting.

Lap 71, Denny Hamlin now has a three second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch is six seconds back in third.

Chad Finchum is out of the race.

Timmy Hill is 45 laps down.

Six laps remain in stage one, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Three laps to go in stage one, Denny Hamlin holds on to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch is over six seconds back.

Denny Hamlin wins stage one by two and a half seconds for his ninth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Clint Bowyer

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.  Some drivers are still reporting loose conditions in their cars.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the outside lane with Joey Logano alongside on the inside.  Kyle Busch edges out Logano for the lead but Logano takes the lead after a push from Chase Elliott.

Lap 88, Denny Hamlin comes from the inside to make it three wide and takes the lead.

Joey Logano’s car is smoking with a tire rub.

Lap 90,Denny Hamlin leads the race with Chase Elliott in second and Alex Bowman in third.

Lap 91, Joey Logano brings his car down pit road for fresh tires and to repair the damage.

Lap 92, Chase Elliott passes Denny Hamlin to take the lead.

Lap 93, the top five are Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon.

Kyle Busch is reporting some issues with the rear of his car.

Lap 97, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin with Alex Bowman over a second back in third.

Despite some damage to his car, Kyle Busch holds on to fourth place.

Lap 100, Chase Elliott holds on to a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon round out the top five with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 105, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to a second on Denny Hamlin; Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.  There are 28 cars on the lead lap with Chad Finchum as the only driver out of the race.

Lap 111, Denny Hamlin has cut into the gap to leader Chase Elliott to just over half a second; Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 115, Austin Dillon has retaken fifth place from Martin Truex Jr with Chase Elliott leading the race by over half a second.

Lap 118, Martin Truex Jr brings his car down pit road for fresh tires and fuel as the green flag pit stops begin.

Second place driver Denny Hamlin is on pit road.  Kyle Busch also comes down pit road.

Kyle Busch’s team had an air gun issue which caused a slow stop for the team.

Leader Chase Elliott makes his pit stop and give the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney makes his stop and gives the lead over to Matt DiBenedetto.

Brad Keselowski has the lead.

Keselowski makes his pit stop and gives the lead over the William Byron.

Jimmie Johnson was caught speeding on pit road.

Kurt Busch overshot his pit stall and had to back it up causing a slow stop.

Lap 127, the top five are William Byron, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, Corey LaJoie, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 129, William Byron has a lead of nearly seven and a half seconds on Chris Buescher. 

The top four drivers have yet to make a pit stop – William Byron, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, and Corey La Joie.

Lap 136, William Byron makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Chris Buescher.

Lap 138, Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, and Corey LaJoie have yet to make their pit stops.  There are 16 cars on the lead lap.  Kyle Busch is in 13th place after his slow pit stop due to the air gun issue.

Lap 140, Chris Buescher has a lead of over 12 seconds on Ryan Newman.

Chase Elliott passes Ryan Newman to take second place.

Ryan Newman makes his pit stop.

Lap 144, Chase Elliott has closed the gap on leader Chris Buescher to eleven seconds.

Lap 145, Chris Buescher finally makes his pit stop; giving the lead over to Chase Elliott.

The top five are Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Austin Dillon.  Kyle Busch is back in 12th place.

Lap 150, Chase Elliott has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.  Kyle Busch has moved into the top 10 in eighth place.

There are 21 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 153, Chase Elliott’s lead over Denny Hamlin is down to half a second; Alex Bowman is three seconds back in third place.

Lap 155, Denny Hamlin is closing in on leader Chase Elliott and looking to challenge for the lead as the drivers encounter slower traffic.

Chase Elliott wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Clint Bowyer
William Byron

Tyler Reddick brings his car down pit road with a flat tire.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road; followed by Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 167 with Denny Hamlin getting out in front after a push from Chase Elliott.

Alex Bowman gets around Denny Hamlin to take the lead for his first laps at leading a race in Las Vegas.

Lap 169, the top five are Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap 171, Denny Hamlin continues to challenge leader Alex Bowman.

Lap 172, Denny Hamlin gets around Alex Bowman to take the lead.

Tyler Reddick is out of the race.

Lap 175, Denny Hamlin has a near half second lead on Alex Bowman; Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 180, Denny Hamlin has the lead but Chase Elliott is coming on and ready to challenge for the lead; Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 186, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a half second lead on Chase Elliott with Alex Bowman a second back in third.

Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano are both a lap down.

The caution flag comes out on lap 190 for debris on the track.  Jimmie Johnson is the “lucky dog”.  With 77 laps remaining in the race, the drivers cannot complete the race if they make a pit stop for fuel.

Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, and Corey La Joie took the wave around on the green flag restart and are in need of a pit stop.  The caution flag keeps them from losing a lap.

Many of the drivers come down pit road for service including the leaders.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road with Martin Truex Jr coming out second.

Austin Dillon was charged with a safety violation on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 197 with the drivers getting four wide in a battle.  Denny Hamlin gets out in front for the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.

The track will continue to cool off with the entire track in the shadows.

With 67 laps to go, Alex Bowman battles Matt DiBenedetto for second place with Bowman taking the spot.

Denny Hamlin leads the race with Alex Bowman in second; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr battles Matt DiBenedetto for third.

Sixty to go, Denny Hamlin has a third of a second lead on Alex Bowman; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Chase Elliott has gotten around Ryan Blaney to take fifth place.

With 56 laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin is in the lead; Alex Bowman, Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Austin Dillon reports that he has no power steering and water coming out of the car.  NBC Sports broadcasters report that the belts have come off of the engine in Dillon’s car.

Timmy Hill is off the track.  Austin Dillon is on pit road with the teams trying to assess and repair the engine issues.

There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

With 49 laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second and a half over Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, Matt DiBenedetto, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Four of the drivers in the top 10 are drivers who are not in the playoffs.

Lap 223, now eight laps down, Austin Dillon returns to the track in 33rd place.

Forty one to go, Denny Hamlin has a one second lead on Alex Bowman; Martin Truex Jr, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five with 26 cars on the lead lap. 

As the sun begins to set, the lights are on at the track.

Thirty six to go, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.

Thirty four to go, leader Denny Hamlin makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Matt DiBenedetto.

Matt DiBenedetto makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Kurt Busch.

The caution flag comes out with 32 laps to go for Jimmie Johnson’s flat tire.  The incident is leaving debris all over the track.

With the drivers in the middle of green flag pit stops, the caution flag could mix things up all through the field.

Drivers who have yet to make a pit stop come down pit road for service.

After the wave arounds, Matt DiBenedetto will bring the field down for the green flag restart with Kurt Busch alongside on the front row.  There are only 25 laps remaining in the race.  Drivers are getting four wide across the track in the field.

Matt DiBenedetto and Kurt Busch battle it out for the lead with Busch taking the top spot.

Kurt Busch leads the race; Matt DiBenedetto, Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Twenty to go, with 24 cars on the lead lap, Kurt Busch has a tenth of a second lead on Matt DiBenedetto; Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ryan Newman round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out with just 19 laps to go when John Hunter Nemechek spins out and hits the wall with a flat tire.  Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr make contact trying to avoid Nemechek.  Stenhouse got into the wall and is on pit road getting repairs.

Top 10 stay out but from eleventh on back the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

The sun has gone down and there are only 12 laps remaining in the race with Kurt Busch bringing the field down for the green flag restart.  Kurt Busch jumps out in front for the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second; drivers get three wide through the field.

The top five are Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, and Ryan Blaney.

Ten to go, Kurt Busch holds on to the lead but Matt DiBenedetto is challenging for the lead with Alex Bowman right behind them.

Christopher Bell gets into the wall but the track stays green.

Eight to go, Kurt Busch holds on to the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

William Byron spins out with a flat tire bringing out the caution flag.  Corey LaJoie also has a smoking car.

There are only six laps remaining in the race.

Reports are that Clint Bowyer’s car is running a bit hot.

The race goes into overtime.

In a green/white/checker start, Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart jumps out in front for the lead.  Drivers are spreading out and pushing each other all through the field.

Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto battle it out for second.

Kurt Busch wins at home for his first Las Vegas win.  Little brother Kyle drives up beside Kurt to help celebrate.

Kurt Busch is the first driver to move on to the next round of the playoffs with his win.

The unofficial results of the South Point 400:
Kurt Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Erik Jones
Chris Buescher
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Clint Bowyer
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Ryan Newman
Cole Custer
Aric Almirola
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Preece
John Hunter Nemechek
Michael McDowell
Chase Elliott
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Christopher Bell
William Byron
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Bubba Wallace
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Gray Gaulding
Austin Dillon
JJ Yeley
Quin Houff
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
Timmy Hill
Tyler Reddick
Chad Finchum