The third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the year took place at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran, started on the pole and led 55-circuits enroute to victory lane on Friday night. Other surprises upfront throughout the evening included Stewart Friesen, last week’s race winner Brett Moffitt, and second-place finisher Johnny Sauter.
“I bet you it was more entertaining in those last few laps with everything going on behind us – I saw a few moments in my mirror where I was glad that they were kind of side-by-side because it gave me a chance to inch away a little but, but as soon as they were single file they ran me right back down,” said Busch after the spectacular race that saw seven different leaders and 14 lead changes. “It’s tough to get away in these trucks because they punch such a big hole in the air and you get such a big run. It’s hard to be by yourself in this series, you are always towing somebody along and that’s what the 16 was doing a lot there in the middle part of the race through that long run, I could kind of get to him, but I could never work my way up to him to get around him. He always kept working the air a little bit. Good job to those guys, but I’m glad to be in victory lane with Brexton (son) here and the rest of our guys.”
Kyle Busch, leading six different times throughout the night at his home track, scored his 50th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. His win total across all three of NASCAR’s National Series currently stands at 184 as Busch looks to complete a weekend sweep. The 32-year old will run in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300 and Sunday’s Pennzoil 400.
Busch talked about the changes he and his crew had to make throughout the running after the race.
“It’s pretty awesome, just great team – everybody at Kyle Busch Motorsports and Rowdy Manufacturing, can’t say enough about this Cessna Toyota Tundra,” said the race winner. “Really, really fast and I felt like we were just struggling a little bit on the long run. (Mike) Hillman (Jr.) kept making changes on it all night long and he made it better each and every pit stop.”
Johnny Sauter edged out last weekend’s race winner Brett Moffitt for the runner-up spot. Sauter, driving the No. 21 Allegiant Air Ford with ThorSport Racing, finished sixth in stage one and later eighth in stage two. The Wisconsin native did not lead the field at all throughout the 134-lap event.
Sauter now holds three top five and three top 10 finishes along with a win going into a three-week hiatus.
Brett Moffitt rounded out the top-three finishers in the inaugural Stratosphere 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The young driver from Iowa led the field for 27 circuits and showed strength in the closing laps. However, while leading, Moffitt got into the side of Myatt Snider that caused the No. 16 Toyota to lose the lead to Kyle Busch. He then rebounded from the incident in the closing laps but came up short.
“When the 13 pulled out from the pits a couple laps down and side drafted us for the lead and it allowed Kyle (Busch) to close in I tried to go to the bottom of a lapped car and he turned down into us,” said Moffitt on the incident with Snider. “It’s just frustrating because when you’re out of the race you shouldn’t get in the way of the leaders. It was fun out there racing Kyle and we had a strong AISIN Group Toyota Tundra, just can’t thank TRD and all of our partners enough for getting us here. It’s just a bittersweet race.”
With the victory at Atlanta, Moffitt holds two top five and two top 10 finishes with Hattori Racing.
Stewart Friesen started second and showed dominance upfront all throughout the night. Friesen, leading 31 laps of the 201-mile event, finished fifth on the race leaderboard. The Canadian driver holds one top five and two top 10 finishes through three races thus far.
Justin Marks and John Hunter Nemechek had issues early on as they made contact. Shortly after the initial contact, Marks brought out the first yellow flag of the evening as he spun due to a cut tire in turn four. Later on during that same caution period, John Hunter Nemechek pitted for a soft tire. Marks, who started seventh, finished 11th while John Hunter Nemechek took home a 21st.
Matt Crafton qualified 12th in round two but started at the tail of the field for unapproved adjustments. He later developed an issue with a break line and a caliper rupture and took his No. 88 Ford to the garage. He was unable to return and went on to finish 29th.
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, March 24th. The Alpha Energy Solutions 250 will take place at 2:00 PM ET. on FOX Sports 1 and MRN.