LAS VEGAS – Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will line up inside the top 12 for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session was canceled due to persistent rainfall in the area.
NASCAR officials used the final 2012 owner standings to determine the starting lineup for the third race of the 2013 season. That means Johnson will start third, while Kahne will roll off the grid fourth. Gordon is 10th and Earnhardt will be 12th. In 2012, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time in organization history.
TUNE IN: Catch the race Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, FOX Deportes and MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Check local listings. Follow www.twitter.com/TeamHendrick for Hendrick Motorsports updates during the race.
HENDRICK AT LAS VEGAS: In 15 races (58 starts) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has five wins, 15 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s. Kahne earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first pole position at the track in the March 2012 Kobalt Tools 400. Johnson leads all drivers at the 1.5-mile oval with four victories, while Gordon ranks tied for first with six top-five finishes.
AMP ENERGY ORANGE: Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet SS will showcase an orange-and-black paint scheme this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to celebrate the return of AMP Energy Orange. AMP Energy Orange is now available on shelves in select markets and joins other popular AMP Energy flavors including Boost Original, Active Lemonade and Focus Mixed Berry. Visit Facebook.com/AMPEnergy for the latest updates on AMP Energy, or join the conversation with @AMPEnergy using the hashtag #OrangeIsBack.
STRONG START: In the first two Sprint Cup events of the 2013 season, Earnhardt has recorded back-to-back top-five finishes: a runner-up result at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and a fifth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway. The last time he opened the season with a 3.5 average finish or better was 2004 when he averaged a third-place result in the first two contests after winning the 2004 Daytona 500.
INTERMEDIATE POWER: When it comes to competing at 1.5-mile racetracks, Hendrick Motorsports headlines the win, top-five finish, top-10 and laps led categories. Johnson’s 14 wins are the most all-time by a driver at 1.5-mile tracks, while Gordon has the most top-five finishes (52) and top-10s (69). Johnson also is the all-time lap leader at 1.5-mile tracks with 3,441 laps led.
TESTING AT LAS VEGAS: On Thursday, the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates participated in a Cup test for the 2013 Chevrolet SS race cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt drove his No. 88 AMP Energy Orange Chevrolet SS to record a top-five speed during the first session, while Johnson was second-fastest in his No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS during the afternoon session.