Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.

Martin Truex Jr. will start on the pole at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday in his No. 78 Toyota with Furniture Row Racing. Truex, earning his second pole of the season, posted a 38.592, 186.567 mph. in the final round to earn the top spot. The New Jersey native scored his 17th career Busch Pole Award on Friday.

In 17 career premier series starts at Auto Club Speedway, Truex captured one top five and five top 10 finishes at the two-mile oval. The reigning series champion goes into the race with an average finish of 19.2.

Truex’s only top five finish at the track came last season with a fourth-place finish.

Kyle Busch sat 0.027 seconds behind Truex to earn the runner-up spot. Busch, driving the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, posted a 38.619, 186.437 mph. in the last round.

Kyle Larson will round out the top three starters on Sunday. Larson posted a 38.683, 186.128 mph. to earn the spot. The California native scored the pole one year ago and ended the Sunday afternoon drive in victory lane.

Erik Jones and Austin Dillon will round out the top five starters.

Kevin Harvick paced rounds one and two in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. However, in the final round, Harvick sat 10th on the leaderboard by posting a 39.038, 184.436 mph. The driver from Bakersfield enters Fontana looking to score his fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in a row.

“We were just tight as we went through every round. We had the same thing in practice where the second round was just so much tighter than the first round,” said Harvick after qualifying. “We tried to adjust on it and we made it better entering the corner and through the middle of the corner, but as we got to the exit, right at that three-quarter mark, I just kept getting tighter and tighter, and then I got up the race track and got hung on the seam and got loose and kind of screwed it up.”

In 24 previous starts at Auto Club Speedway, Harvick holds six top five and 11 top 10 finishes including a win in 2011. The premier series veteran has an average finish of 15.0.

A total of 13 drivers did not post times in round one as they had issues going through inspection. The drivers that did not participate in round one included Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Timmy Hill, Ross Chastain and Cole Whitt.

Four teams elected to not post times in round two to save tires. Those included David Ragan, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Michael McDowell and Reed Sorenson.

The Auto Club 400 entry list featured 37 drivers. That meant there were no DNQs.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returned to action at Kern County Raceway for the Bakersfield 175. The 175-lap event, serving as the season opener for the West tour, featured action all throughout the 87.5-mile event. Kevin Harvick, a veteran racer in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, started the event on the pole.

Kevin Harvick led the first 132 laps of the event until a restart with 43 laps to go. That’s when eventual race winner Derek Kraus made contact with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran that forced both drivers up the track. Cole Rouse, after making it three wide for the lead prior to the incident, went to the lead as Harvick relegated back to around the ninth spot

Harvick, from Bakersfield himself, found himself running third at one point before being passed for the spot. The driver racing at his home track went on to finish fourth.

Derek Kraus passed Rouse for the lead with 17 laps to go and sailed to victory lane. Kraus, from the state of Wisconsin, scored his second career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory on Thursday at Kern County Raceway. He leaves the track with 10 career top five and 11 top 10 finishes through 15 starts.

Derek Thorn started 12th on the leaderboard and finished runner-up in the Bakersfield 175. Thorn, driving the No. 6 Sunrise Ford Ford, will leave the track with his 27th career top five and 32nd top 10 finish. The California native has one top five and three top 10 finishes at Kern Raceway.

Cole Rouse, leading 26 of the 175 circuits, rounded out the top three finishers. Rouse started second on the leaderboard and went on to capture his second consecutive third-place finish at the half-mile oval.

Ryan Partridge rounded out the top-five finishers.

Series standings:

POS

DRIVER

BEHIND

1

Derek Kraus

Leader

2

Derek Thorn

-5

3

Cole Rouse

-5

4

Kevin Harvick

-5

5

Ryan Partridge

-8

6

Trevor Huddleston

-9

7

Hailie Deegan

-10

8

Austin Herzog

-11

9

Rod Johnson Jr.

-12

10

Reid Lanpher

-13

The Bakersfield 175 will air Tuesday, March 20 at 11:00 p.m. ET. on NBCSN.


The next race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour will be at Tucson Speedway for a twin event on May 5. The NASCAR Home Tracks site will offer live coverage of the event.

The NASCAR penalty report released on Wednesday was chalked full of penalties stemming from ISM Raceway this past Saturday and Sunday. The penalties involved six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams along with two NASCAR XFINITY Series violations.

The biggest penalty handed down involved the No. 9 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team driven by Chase Elliott. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was fined $50,000 dollars. Josh Kirk, car chief of the No. 9 Chevrolet, will be suspended for the next two races in the series as a result of the L1 penalty.

They were found to have violated section 20.14.2 (Rear Suspension I-4 Truck Trailing Arm Spacers/Pinion Angle Shims e. Notes: 6. Truck trailing arm spacer / pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.) Rule 12.5.2.6.2(c) applied to race finish as a post-race L1 infraction.

The other five penalties handed down in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage involved lug nuts not properly installed. Crew chiefs Mike Wheeler (No. 11), Jeremy Bullins (No. 12), Brian Pattie (No. 17), Todd Gordon (No. 22) and Cole Pearn (No. 78), have each been fined $10,000 dollars.

Two NASCAR XFINITY Series crew chiefs were also fined for not properly installed lug nuts. Eric Phillips, crew chief of the No. 18 team and Brian Wilson, crew chief of the No. 22 team, have been fined $5,000 dollars.

Two NASCAR members have been indefinitely suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. Those were Brandon Lee and Wayne Kanter.

Teams will have three business days to file an appeal request.

Kevin Harvick went to victory lane for the third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in a row at ISM Raceway on Sunday. Harvick, winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weekends ago and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week, led the TicketGuardian 500K for 38 of the 312 circuits.

The series veteran from California has three top five and three top 10 finishes in 2018. At ISM Raceway, formally known as Phoenix Raceway, Harvick now has nine victories at the one-mile track and leaves with an average finish of 9.5.

“To come here to a race track that is so good for us is a lot of fun and everyone was just determined this week and we just wanted to just go stomp them,” said Harvick after the win. “We didn't stomp them, but we won. That's all that really matters. Just proud of this team. Put a fire in our belly.”

The team battled their way to victory lane after a frustrating week going into the event. Car chief Robert Smith was suspended for the next two events while crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000 dollars for an L1 penalty. After the race at Las Vegas, NASCAR found a broken rear window support brace and a right-side rocker panel extension not meeting NASCAR specifications.

“I've been mad as all get out because this team does a great job,” Harvick later said regarding last week’s penalty. “This organization does a great job and we've got fast race cars. And to take that away from those guys just really pissed me off last week.”

Auto Club Speedway, the site of the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, is a track that sits in Harvick’s backyard. The Bakersfield native won at the two-mile oval in 2011 and has six top five and 11 top 10 finishes through 24 starts there.

Kyle Busch will leave ISM Raceway with the runner-up spot. Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Sweet Heat Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, led the most laps of any driver on Sunday and will leave the track with his second top five finish of the year.

“Our guys did a great job. We didn’t have a second-place car yesterday so Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a phenomenal job overnight of making some adjustments to this thing and getting it where we needed it in order to have a fast race car to keep up with the 4 (Kevin Harvick),” said Busch after the race.

Busch pitted from the lead at lap 260 in the final round of green flag pit stops. The jack dropped a little too soon while changing the left side tires and caused the No. 18 Toyota to spend additional seconds on pit road. They were able to quickly recover and rejoin the field.

“Through much of the race today I actually managed to out-race the 4 and beat him. There with the 11 (Denny Hamlin), when the 11 was holding up the 4, I had an opportunity to get to his outside and make a three-way battle for the lead and take the 4 before the 4 got clear of traffic,” Busch added. “Once the 4 gets clear of traffic and gets in his own air, it’s hard to beat that guy. I was trying to count on that happening again with the 9 (Chase Elliott), hoping that the 9 would hold him up just long enough for me to get there. I was rushing to get there and I feel like I burned my stuff up by doing that, but once the 4 got out front, he was in his own air and just picking off traffic. There was nothing I could do with that, he was too fast to beat. I felt like if we were in his shoes and it was the other way around, we probably would have been the same way.”

Chase Elliott rounded out the top three finishers in the Phoenix desert on Sunday. Elliott scored his first top five finish of the season along with his second top 10 after starting third.

Denny Hamlin and pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

Aric Almirola and the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford continued their success this weekend at ISM Raceway. Almirola, who came oh so close in the Daytona 500 nearly a month ago, took his Smithfield Ford to a seventh-place finish. The team had work at the beginning of the event after starting 22nd on the leaderboard.

“We just keep plugging away. Johnny and the guys made a lot of good adjustments on the car throughout the day,” said Almirola after the race. “We started off okay and then we started dialing ourselves out the first few stops. We got some track position there with that two-tire call and got our Smithfield Ford Fusion up front and it really liked the clean air. Our car got a lot better up there. I am proud of everybody. We just keep building on it. Top-10 ‘em to death. Just keep scoring points and doing what we do.”

Almirola goes into the fifth race of the season with two top 10 finishes.

Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Hendrick Motorsports team will leave ISM Raceway with their second top 15 finish of the year. Johnson, who finished 38th at Daytona, 27th at Atlanta and 12th last weekend at Las Vegas, will leave Phoenix sitting 14th. The California native started 17th on the starting grid.

The series will head a little further West for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET. on FOX and MRN.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series went qualifying on Friday for Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway. When all three rounds ended, Martin Truex Jr. came out on top to win his 16th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole. The reigning series champion posted a 26.288, 136.945 mph. in the final round.

“It was a good run. We worked really hard coming here, knowing what we’ve done here in the past. We’ve run well, but we never could quite get it just right to go for the pole,” said Truex after earning the pole. “I think we were fifth here last fall. We had a good game plan coming here and I had to adjust my driving a little bit and then adjusted the way they set the car up and it all played into our hands. Just really proud of everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Toyota and definitely a good starting spot.”

Truex enters the weekend with two top five and two top 10 finishes through three races in 2018. The series veteran from New Jersey has yet to win at the one-mile oval. Truex finished round one and two in sixth.

Kyle Larson sat second on the leaderboard in round three after posting a 26.346, 136.643 mph. The driver of the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet led round two of knockout qualifying. The California native finished seventh in round one.

“Our qualifying was good.  It was a little bit different compared to year’s past with us qualifying about an hour and a half earlier today, which was nice we didn’t have the sun in our face down the front stretch," said Larson. "But, the track was a lot slicker it seemed, especially that first round.  We had to adjust on our car a little bit and adjust your driving style more compared to normal, which was fun to do.  But, yeah, it would have been nice to get the pole. I think this is probably by far my best track when it comes to qualifying. I still don’t have a pole, but I’m trying to think… I don’t think I’ve ever qualified worse than eighth here my four previous seasons.  Like I said, it would have been nice to get the pole and get that done.  We will have a good car come Sunday and hopefully, be in Victory Lane where it really matters."

Larson enters the weekend looking to score his second top five finish of the season. Last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Larson started fifth and finished third. The young rising star sat 0.058 seconds behind Truex.

Chase Elliott sat third on the leaderboard in the final round at ISM Raceway. Elliott, driving the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet, posted a 26.446, 136.126 mph. in the final round of knockout qualifying. The young driver sat third in round one and second in round two.

Alex Bowman and Joey Logano rounded out the top five.

Jimmie Johnson led round one of qualifying and sat 16th in round two. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet did not advance into the final round and will start 16th on Sunday.

Johnson and the No. 48 team look to turn things around after a slow start. Johnson comes into ISM Raceway with a 12th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the season opener at Daytona, Johnson, a seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, finished 38th due to a crash. In the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Johnson finished 27th.

There was one red flag in round one for Jeffrey Earnhardt making contact with the outside wall. Earnhardt, driving the No. 00 VRX Simulators Chevrolet, had the front tires lock up while making his run. The driver for StarCom Racing was the only car to not post a time in round one and will start 37th on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick joined the media on Friday at ISM Raceway for the first time since his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team were hit with major penalties on Wednesday. The infractions were found following the weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where they concluded the day in victory lane after leading 214 of 267 laps.

The team will lose car chief Robert Smith for two races while crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000. The team violated sections 20.4.8.1 (Rear Window Support and Structure b. & c.) and 20.4.18 (Rocker Panel Extensions .b Note: Rear Window Support Braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times. The Right Side Rocker Panel Extension did not meet NASCAR rule specifications).

The playoff points earned at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will not count towards the playoffs.

Harvick believes that his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team still would had won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway despite the issue.

“Absolutely. Hands down. If you look at Atlanta, the car was there the week before. Same team, same window bracing, same roof, same side skirts, same everything. It was in the R&D center the week before. It has been there 49 times in three years. Technicalities. If you have to find a technicality that is that deep, that is the thing that is frustrating from a team standpoint and especially the explanation when you look at the window bracing and the way the window is attached to the car. You could call that penalty on any car in the field at some point. I have had window braces smashed in the front of my car, several times. They fail all the time in the front.

The conversation started during the race when numerous fans pointed out the odd issue. Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet, also mentioned the issue during the Pennzoil 400 on his team radio. It is unclear at what time NASCAR became aware of it during the race.

“If we want to officiate it with fan pictures - if you want to officiate it with pictures during the race and call people to pit road and do those types of things, from a NASCAR standpoint I am fine with that,” Harvick later added. “As long as it is consistent. As you can see, from a lot of the pictures roaming around on the internet this week, it is not consistent.”

Harvick doesn’t believe his team would have been penalized had fans not noticed and posted pictures on social media.

“I don’t think so. That is a slippery slope. You see the repercussions of all the pictures and things that pop up from previous races that immediately show that is not something that has ever been taken before. Sometimes you just feel like you have maybe been proven a point. I think that is more the case than anything here. Like I said, I compare it to golf. It failed miserably when you look at Lexi Thompson and the outrage of the players and things that have happened the last couple years. The root of the problem is that my friends that don’t follow racing are very confused on a penalty that comes out on Wednesday. I listened to Sirius XM this week and Darrell Waltrip's explanation of how all this should go is dead on. That is the part we need to fix. If we have a fine, I am fine with that. I am going to go race the car, we will put the cars together and we will get over it and move on and the cars will run great and we will do all the things we want to do. As a sport, that is something that we have all been talking about. That was definitely something that the optical scanning station was definitely supposed to help alleviate. That is what we have been told. When there are things wrong, things fail, things happen, they still have to officiate the sport but when it comes out on Tuesday, to the casual fan it is very confusing.”

Harvick is also scratching his head wondering why car chief Robert Smith was suspended instead of crew chief Rodney Childers.

“Nick was car chief at the 47. We have a car chief that has done that before. That is the other confusing part about the penalty. If it is such a big deal, why is my crew chief still here? I don’t understand that. You have so many guys that do the same thing every week and Nick has been the car chief and is the guy that sets all the cars up in the shop. Rodney is a key player in that but the confusing part about it is you have this huge penalty but your crew chief doesn’t get suspended. A lot of confusion in my mind.”

The car was also found with an unapproved rocker panel on the right side of the car. The piece of the side skirt around the exit of the exhaust pipe was not made of aluminum. NASCAR or the team has not released what metal was used.  

It is still unclear whether or not they will appeal any of the L1 penalties.

NASCAR announced penalties following the weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday. Both infractions stemmed from post-race inspection and involved a pair of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams. There were no infractions found in the NASCAR Camping World Truck or XFINITY Series garages.

The most significant penalty was found in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing camp. Rodney Childers, crew chief of the No. 4 Ford with driver Kevin Harvick, has been fined $50,000. Robert Smith, car chief of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, has been suspended for the next two premier series races.

The team will lose 20 driver and owner points as a result of the L1 penalty for violating sections 20.4.8.1 (Rear Window Support and Structure b. and c.) and 20.4.18 (Rocker Panel Extensions .b Note: Rear Window Support Braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times. The Right Side Rocker Panel Extension did not meet NASCAR rule specifications, extension was not aluminum).

It is unclear whether or not they will appeal.

The other penalty in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series involved a lug nut violation. Todd Parrott, crew chief of the No. 55 Chevrolet with driver Joey Gase, has been fined $10,000.

Kevin Harvick shattered the field on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to score his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season. Harvick, who scored win No. 100 across all three of NASCAR’s National Series, dominated the field by leading 214 of the 267 laps in his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford.

“We have definitely had three good race cars with the Xfinity Car and the Cup car and we had a good race car at Daytona as well and got caught up in a wreck,” said Harvick after the race. “As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general it has been really good since I started here at SHR. They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are.”

The California native started the afternoon in second and went to win all three stages of the Pennzoil 400. The No. 4 team had a little hiccup on pit road later in the running that pushed the Stewart Haas Racing machine back a couple of spots. However, on lap 195, Harvick re-took the lead and led all but six of the remaining laps.

“Yeah, we had some trouble getting through traffic there. That was our worst run as far as where the car was,” Harvick continued. “I don’t know if it was just the car, tire set, handling, whatever it was. We were just stuck in traffic and needed to come make an adjustment. We got everything situated on pit road and got a good restart. It was definitely not as good in traffic but when it was out front, it was on time.”

With the victory last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick has two wins, two top five and two top 10 finishes through three races in 2018.

Kyle Busch spent some time leading the field at his home track on Sunday afternoon. However, when the 267-lap event ended later in the day, Busch sat second on the race leaderboard by 2.906 seconds. The Las Vegas native was one of the drivers that gained several spots on the final run despite having a vibration.

“Our M&M’s Camry was really strong there the last 100 laps of the race. Early on, just having to start the race on our qualifiers (tires) was really bad for us and then we over tightened and over adjusted for the second run,” said Busch after the race. “From there we were making small tweaks to it to get it back. It was rolling fast the last 100 laps or so. A lot of those guys would go and short pit on the long side of it and I think that helped us too getting back up through those guys, too.

The No. 18 M&Ms Caramel Toyota led the field for 10 circuits and went on to score their first top five and second top 10 finish of the new season.

One of the drivers to watch coming into the day was Kyle Larson. After starting fifth, Larson stayed upfront to finish third in stage one and two and went on to score a third-place finish.

Martin Truex Jr. and pole sitter Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.

Paul Menard was the last car to finish on the lead lap in ninth. Menard and the Wood Brothers Racing team brought home their second top 10 finish of the season.

“Just a solid day for the Motorcraft Ford Fusion. A great weekend for us,” said Menard after the Pennzoil 400. “We unloaded fast on Friday and fell behind a bit on Saturday. We all got together last night and talked about what we needed to do and it worked out for us. A solid car all day.”

Jimmie Johnson will not leave with a top 10 finish but will leave Las Vegas with a 12th-place finish following a slow start. Johnson, in the season opening Daytona 500, finished 38th and brought home a 27th last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet started at the rear of the field because they failed pre-race inspection three times. Car-chief Jesse Saunders was ejected as a result.

Notable drivers Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott had DNF’s after tangling on the frontstretch at lap 184. Busch, from Las Vegas himself, finished 35th after starting in third. Georgia native Chase Elliott finished 36th after starting sixth on the leaderboard.

“I was running the low groove and it just stepped out on me. I wasn’t even trying to fill the whole or go 100%,” Busch said when describing the incident. “I had it at 90% and I knew Chase was going to be on my outside and it was just that quick. We were back there in the dirty air, but turn four, I always know it is slick and I wasn’t even pushing through there and it stepped out on me. Ruined his day, ruined my day. I hate it for all the Chase Elliott fans and the Kurt Busch fans and my hometown fans. I wasn’t even pushing hard. I knew we had one more stop and then we were going to go. It just stepped out on me. It is ridiculous.”

“Yeah, I think he just got loose in the bottom there and I was, unfortunately, the guy that was up top,” said Elliott. So, we were just trying to be solid today and make the most of what our NAPA Camaro had, and I thought we were doing a pretty good job of that; kind of like what we did last week in trying to get a little bit better. I was just kind of there at the wrong spot and the wrong situation and I’m headed home early.”

The caution period before the incident with Busch and Elliott was brought out by Jamie McMurray on the backstretch. McMurray took his No. 1 Chevrolet to the garage after losing a tire and finished 36th.

“I blew a right-front tire. I don’t really know what happened. Up to that point we were definitely better than we were at Atlanta,” said McMurray. “I thought we had a good car. It was hard to pass today.  The track really rubbered in and it seemed like the bottom was the preferred groove and when everybody was running the bottom it was pretty tough to pass, but we had a good car.”

The next race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take place at ISM Raceway. The Ticket Guardian 500 will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET. on FOX and MRN.

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.

Ryan Blaney scored the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400. Blaney, piloting the No. 12 Menards / Pennzoil Ford with Penske Racing, posted a 28.200, 191.489 mph. in the final round of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying. The 24-year old driver, with one top 10 finish in 2018, scored his third career premier series pole.

Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, will start second in the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford. Harvick, a native from California, posted a 28.384, 190.248 mph. in the final round. The series veteran holds one top five and one top 10 finish this season.

Rounding out the top three starters on Sunday will be Kurt Busch. Busch, a driver from Las Vegas, posted a 28.411, 190.067 mph. in the No. 41 Haas Ford.

Kyle Busch, a brother of Kurt Busch, missed the final round of knockout qualifying and will start 13th at his home track. The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota posted a 28.596, 188.838 mph.

Always favorite Jimmie Johnson will start 14th in the Lowe’s For Pros Chevrolet. Johnson comes into the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking to score his first top 10 finish of the season.

Johnson’s teammate William Byron will start 17th. Byron, the highest starting rookie on Sunday, posted a 28.668, 188.363 mph. in the AXALTA Chevrolet.

Cole Custer, making his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut, posted the 30th fastest time on Friday. Custer, driving the No. 51 Haas Automation Ford, posted a 29.035, 185.982 mph. in round one.

A total of 37 entries were featured on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry list. That means there were no DNQs.