Jimmie Johnson time at Vegas?

In announcing his intent to do the double Tuesday, Busch said, "There's going to be a full-on workout regimen that I'm going to be full tilt with the next three months. It's hard to do 1,100 miles the same day. It's not just the physical side; it's the mental side, as well."

In other words, Busch will have his hands full between his new Sprint Cup ride at Stewart-Haas and the one-off IndyCar date with Andretti, never mind the learning curve he'll face in an open-wheel machine.

Busch's first season turning the wheel of the No. 41 has been forgettable thus far. After two events -- a 21st-place finish at Daytona (damage on pit road) and a 39th at Phoenix (blown motor) -- he's buried deep in the standings at 30th.

Compounding the concern is Busch's ho-hum history at LVMS, his hometown track: He has just one top-5 in 13 career starts. He'll start the Kobalt 400 from the 23rd position.

Now throw in the constant distraction of the looming NASCAR-Indy double. How will it play out? Not only this weekend but beyond?

Busch said Saturday that he's not worried, especially with the win-you're-in philosophy the new Chase format creates.

"We just need to get back in our own rhythm, settle in with our new team and develop this 41 car. We'll be fine," Busch said. "But if we get that one win, then it takes all the pressure off."

Will Smoke finally rise?

One of the big storylines heading into the season was Tony Stewart's return to the No. 14 Chevrolet after a six-month medical layoff. Stewart missed the final 15 races of the 2013 Cup campaign after suffering multiple fractures in his right leg in an August sprint car crash at an Iowa dirt track.

Unfortunately for the three-time Sprint Cup champion, a fuel-pressure issue relegated Stewart to a 35th-place finish in the opener at Daytona. And an ill-timed caution late at Phoenix turned what looked as if it would be a top-10 effort into a 16th-place finish.

Stewart, who is 20th in the Cup standings, hopes to beat the odds this weekend in Vegas. He'll start 24th on the grid Sunday.

"You know, there's really no key to it," said Stewart, who has a 5.3 average finish in his past four Vegas races, including a win in 2012. "It's just like anywhere else you go. You just have to have a well-balanced car. It seems like track position is really, really key there, but as long as you can get your car driving well and stay ahead of it -- it seems like, as the day changes, or the longer the day goes, the more the track changes and the more you have to stay up with it.

"You just can't make any mistakes there because you cannot afford to lose track position, and you have to be able to stay up with the changing track conditions as the day goes on."

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