While those objectives have been achieved, a byproduct is the consecutive visits to Auto Club Speedway, ISM Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway offer a good snapshot of who will likely emerge as championship contenders.
"I don't remember the last time I had as dominant auto as we've seen from (Harvick) the last couple weeks", Busch said after finishing a distant 2.906 seconds behind Harvick in Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Las Vegas native Kurt Busch qualified right behind Harvick at 190.067 miles per hour, while Martin Truex Jr. drove his Toyota into fourth.
The Furniture Row Racing driver will line up on the outside of Row 2 for the 267-lap, 400.5-mile race.
"To come out of the box as strong as we did in Vegas, it definitely made us feel good", Truex said.
"We've just got to go to work, try to fix it and get ourselves to that level".
The Boyd Gaming 300 takes place from Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 3, 2018. That track was also a 1.5-mile tri-oval.
While other tracks have downsized their NASCAR ambitions when faced with smaller crowds in recent years, Las Vegas has been eager to host a second race for several years, confident in its local fan base and the visiting fans who plan a vacation weekend around the March race.
Ryan Blaney has yet to win this race, but he has finished second and he had a pretty impressive set of races in 2017. "Goodyear said they would let us put a new inner liner in that tire so we could start the race on it and be fine". "Show me that on race No. 26 or 36".
According to the latest oddsmakers at YouWager, Kyle Larson is the slight favorite to win, as he has +155 odds to win. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer delivered Ford a sweep of the top three positions. He also finished in the top-five last week at Atlanta.
Drivers can expect a different track in September, which is when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams have raced at the track.
Harvick won in style last week in Atlanta, and the veteran needed all of two laps to get ahead of pole-sitter Ryan Blaney in Vegas. As we've seen many times this year already, the Fords are clearly the cars to beat regardless of the racetrack and that seems to be the case here once again this weekend in Las Vegas.
"They're hard to do, I can tell you that". And throughout his wins at both Atlanta and Las Vegas, Harvick led a combined 395 laps. "This was my first time with this body, and it performed well".