(Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Steve Holcomb and the USA-1 bobsled are just one heat away from the medals podium. Through three heats of the two-man bobsled competition, the sled, driven by Holcomb, a three-time Olympian, trailed the Russian and Swiss sleds but held a slight advantage over fourth-place Canada.

The United States has not won a medal in the two-man event since 1952. The final heat is scheduled to begin at Sanki Sliding center at 8:05 p.m. in Sochi (11:05 a.m. Eastern time).

Holcomb, 33, finished the third heat in 56.41 seconds, giving the sled a total time of 2 minutes 49:59 seconds. Russia-1, which again posted the top time in the third heat (56.08) enters the event’s final heat with a total time of 2:48.90, leading Switzerland-1 by 0.50 and USA-1 by 0.69.

Bobsled might the high-octane sport at the Winter Olympics. From America's recent dominance to the NASCAR know-how that enabled it, here are 10 things to know about bobsled at the 2014 Sochi Games. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)

With a total time of 2:49.68, Canada-1 is just 0.09 out of medal position. Holcomb had hoped to have a shot at silver entering Monday’s heats but lost 0.15 seconds to the Swiss.

The USA-2 sled, driven by Cory Butner, finished the third heat in 56.77 seconds for a total time of 2:50.33. And the USA-3 sled, piloted by Nick Cunningham finished in 56.98 for a total time of 2:50.78.

With Steven Langston pushing, Holcomb, who won gold in the four-man at the 2010 Games, steered the USA-1 sled to third place after a pair of runs Sunday.