|Kevin Harvick might have edge taken away by new rules package.|
There's also this trend: in each of the past two seasons, the driver who has won at Las Vegas has gone on to take the checkers at Kentucky, too. In Harvick's case, he didn't just win at Las Vegas, he dominated, leading 142 laps for his first Cup win in Vegas. If the trend holds true, he can cross Kentucky – where he's averaged an 11th-place finish in four starts with a career-best seventh last season – off his 'to-do' list.
The one variable that gets in the way of the trend this week is NASCAR mixing things up with a new rules package that features a shorter spoiler and splitter aimed at creating more passing. It's a one-race deal ... maybe. NASCAR will see how it goes during the race and decide the package's future after hearing from fans and drivers. When Kenseth and Keselowski did their Vegas/Kentucky doubles, they came in flying high on 1.5-mile tracks all under the same rules package.
The changes are going to have a massive effect on the race and almost erase the edge drivers like Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have had on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Everyone is starting from scratch, even though most teams have done some testing with this set-up over the past 18 months.
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