Good weather, familiar tires in store for Las Vegas race

NASCAR Sprint Cup teams can smile for at least two reasons when they arrive at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this morning to begin practice for qualifying.

First, no rain is in the forecast.

Second, teams will be happy that the tires for Sunday’s UAW-Dodge 400 will be the same type they used in testing at the track a month ago.

A year ago when drivers arrived for the Las Vegas Cup race, they had to adjust to a harder tire than what Goodyear had supplied a month earlier. Some drivers said it was like driving on ice with the harder tire.

Goodyear also paid for four teams to visit the speedway in December for testing, and information obtained in those private sessions seems to have paid off.

• INDYCARS — Las Vegas resident Paul Tracy seems the odd man out since the Champ Car World Series has agreed to fold after the Long Beach Grand Prix in April.

The former series champion learned he will not have a job after that race because his Forsythe Championship Racing team announced Thursday it will not compete in the Indy Racing League when it becomes the country’s only open-wheel series in April.

“It kind of leaves me hung out,” Tracy told The Associated Press on Thursday. “I need to step back with my management and sort through my contract, which has a buyout.”

Tracy, 39, leads active Champ Car drivers with 31 wins. …

Venezuelan Milka Duno will run select IndyCar races this year for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, and Sara Fisher plans to run her own team beginning with the Indianapolis 500. They will join Danica Patrick as women competing in the series.

• DEATH VALLEY — Levi Kiefer held off Ronnie Williams on Saturday to win the IMCA Modified feature race at Death Valley Raceway in Amargosa Valley. Leland Hibdon, Dan Fitzgerald and Rick Durica rounded out the top five.

Other winners were: Erin Sharon (Micro Sprint), Bob Clark (360 Sprint), Justin Berger (Classic Coupe), Mark Nustad (Mod Mini), Justin Berger (Classic Coupe), Chad Broadhead (Mini Stock) and Dan Snowden (Super Stock).

The next race is scheduled for March 8

Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at jwolf@ or (702) 383-0247.

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