WHERE HE STANDS: Bowyer improved from 10th place in the season standings after Daytona to a tie for fourth place with Denny Hamlin after Phoenix. The duo is 18 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, 10 points behind the second-place tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski, and are six points ahead of sixth-ranked Greg Biffle.
LAS VEGAS RECORD: 7 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-five, 3 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in 2009. Finished sixth in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: With a decent 11th place finish at Daytona, and an even stronger sixth place finish at Phoenix, Bowyer is off to one of the best starts of his Sprint Cup career. Next up is Las Vegas, where he's done marginally well at, but has yet to get a breakthrough win (even though he did finish second in 2009). Here's Bowyer's thoughts on Las Vegas: "We tested this 5-Hour ENERGY Toyota in Charlotte back in January and we were so fast right off the truck that I told the crew, 'We're good! Let's load it back up and call it a day.' We were fast as soon as we unloaded. I felt like we left off just where we did at the end of last season. Unfortunately, they don't always listen to me (laughs). They made us stay there and try new things and we just kept working on it. I'm hoping that the same thing happens this weekend: unload fast and just keep fine tuning to get better for the race."
LOOKING BACK: Bowyer drove a smart race at Phoenix, staying close to the leaders for most of the event and coming out of it with a strong sixth-place finish.
ETC.: Bowyer has completed 98.4 percent (1,860) of the 1,890 laps completed in his seven career starts at Las Vegas. His average start is 20.0 and average finish is 15.7. He has zero DNFs there.
11 DENNY HAMLIN, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Hamlin improved from 12th place in the standings after Daytona to a tie for fourth place with Clint Bowyer after Phoenix. The duo is 18 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, 10 points behind the second-place tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski, and are six points ahead of sixth-ranked Greg Biffle.
LAS VEGAS RECORD: 7 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-five, 4 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in 2007. Finished 20th in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: Hamlin has made it very clear with his finishes in the first two races that he once again intends to be a contender for the championship. Going to Las Vegas, he's had decent success there, but has never gotten a win. Plus, he's coming off his second-worst finish in Sin City at last year's race, so there's motivation to bounce back this Sunday with a top-10 or even a top-5 finish.
LOOKING BACK: Hamlin loves flat short tracks like Phoenix, so it's not surprising that he finished third there this past Sunday. Phoenix has become somewhat of an adopted home for him. Here are his thoughts on this past Sunday's race: "We overachieved, that's for sure. ... Didn't have a third-place car -- every run I was hanging on and playing defense with the guys behind me. It's frustrating because you can catch a guy, you just can't pass him. Once you get in his wake, there's just no getting around him. That's just something that's a byproduct of a new car that we really haven't developed all that much."
ETC.: Hamlin has completed 99.9 percent (1,889) of the 1,890 laps completed in his seven career starts at Las Vegas. His average start is 22.1 and average finish is 12.9. He has zero DNFs there.
16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Greg Biffle remained sixth in the standings, 24 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, six points behind the fourth place tie between Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer and is one point ahead of seventh-ranked Mark Martin.
LAS VEGAS RECORD: 9 career starts, 0 wins, 2 top-fives, 6 top-10s and 1 poles. Best career finish: third in 2008 and 2012. Finished third in this race last year.
LOOKING AHEAD: Biffle is looking to replicate his third-place finish at Las Vegas last season ... or better. Biffle is one of the best yet most underrated drivers on 1.5-mile tracks. Look for him to lead a Ford onslaught there. Here are his thoughts about Sunday's race: "I'm jacked up about heading to Vegas. One, I love to gamble, and two, I love that race track. We run really well there. It takes a lot of things to win at Vegas. Track position is key and you need to have the right pit stop at the end. We've been really close to winning in the Cup car before and hopefully this is it."
LOOKING BACK: Biffle had some struggles at Phoenix, resulting in a less than stellar 17th place finish.
ETC.: Biffle has completed 89.8 percent (2,176) of the 2,424 laps completed in his nine career starts at Las Vegas. His average start is an outstanding 9.0 and average finish is 13.4. He also has one DNF there.
55 MARK MARTIN, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Mark Martin dropped from a tie for third to seventh place in the standings after Phoenix. He is 25 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, one point behind sixth-ranked Greg Biffle and leads the three drivers tied in eighth place (Rickey Stenhouse Jr., Jeff Gordon and Aric Almirola) by five points.
LAS VEGAS RECORD: 15 career starts, 1 wins, 6 top-fives, 10 top-10s and 2 poles. Best career finish: first in 1998. Finished 18th in this race last year for the second time in a row.
LOOKING AHEAD: Martin was the first Cup driver to ever win a race at Las Vegas back in 1998. The banked 1.5-mile track has proven to be one of his more successful tracks, with 10 top-10 finishes in his 15 career starts there. However, he's struggled to 18th-place finishes the last two years there. Here's what Martin had to say about this Sunday's race: "We've had some success in Las Vegas, winning the very first race in 1998. Sure, we can do that again. We led 75 laps Sunday so we know we're capable of running well. We'll just need to put the whole race together. But we can do that."
LOOKING BACK: After finishing third in the season-opening Daytona 500, the 29th time he's been in the Great American Race, Martin had a disappointing 21st place finish at Phoenix.