The new configuration at Las Vegas did indeed provide some challenges as expected in the third Nextel Cup race of the season. It seemed like not crashing into a wall was something of an accomplishment for many drivers. But in the end, the result remained the same.
Jimmie Johnson won his third consecutive race at Las Vegas, despite all the talk about the changes at the track. What mattered most is that Johnson clearly had the best car on the track on Sunday, and that overcame any challenges he might face with the increased banking, faster speeds and smaller fuel cells. Johnson even roared back from a pit road infraction to reclaim the lead and the victory.
Johnson is clearly back in championship form, and Hendrick Motorsports dominated the day when there was so much talk about Roush Racing owning Las Vegas in the past. Jeff Gordon overcame the noted adversity of the new track in impressive fashion, as he didn't have a car quite as dominant as Johnson, yet he finished a strong second. Gordon is now in second place in the Nextel Cup standings, and that might as well be first with Mark Martin still leaning towards not running a full schedule.