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NASCAR Truck: Kyle Busch dominates Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Cessna Toyota, celebrates during the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Busch dominated his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night, leading 108 of the 134 laps that made up the Strat 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race on his way to the win. It was his third-consecutive win of the first of two yearly Truck Series races at LVMS and his seventh-consecutive wins in series races he’s entered, dating back to 2018.

“We certainly work really, really hard,” Busch said. “It wasn’t like we unloaded and knew we had a great piece and that we were going to go out there and dominate like that. We work for it, these guys do. All the preparation at the shop comes a long way with Danny (Stockman, crew chief), with Rudy (Fugle, No. 18 crew chief), with Mike Hillman Jr. (No. 4 crew chief). It’s just been really cool to get the equipment going that we have now. Obviously, the talent that we have now. Our groups of guys, the core of them have been together now for a long time. It’s nice to keep some familiarity around KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) with the faces that are there and bring in some experience to help facilitate growing the 51 team too a top notch team.”

Johnny Sauter finished second, Austin Hill was third, and Sauter’s ThorSport Racing teammates — Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes — finished fourth and fifth to give ThorSport three spots inside the top-five of the finishing order.

Sauter started on the pole with Sheldon Creed alongside in second, and they both led laps before Busch took his first lead on lap 12. Soon after Busch took the lead, his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes moved into second and the KBM duo ran first and second throughout most of the first half of the race. Busch won both of the 30-lap stages in the first 60 laps, both with Eckes in second.

Eckes got out of the pits ahead of first during the caution at the end of the first stage to restart up front at the beginning of stage two, but on lap 45, Busch retook the top spot.

Eckes, though, loses positions on the restart at the beginning the the final 74-lap stage, and on lap 74, he wrecked and cut a tire. With Eckes out of contention, Creed took over as Busch’s closest competition.

Creed and Busch traded the lead back-and forth for a few laps after the caution for Eckes, but on lap 82, Busch retook command of the top spot. Creed, then, raced side-by-side with Busch for a few laps on a restart following a lap-90 caution for an incident involving another KBM driver, Raphael Lessard, and Grant Enfinger, the fourth ThorSport driver.

“The restarts were crazy. We just couldn’t fire, couldn’t take off the last couple,” Busch said. “That was not what I wanted to have in store for us. You can kind of get yourself in a bad spot sometimes in those situations. This Cessna Tundra was awesome tonight. Rowdy nation out here in Las Vegas, there’s nothing like having a homecoming and being able to win out here. I have to give a shout out to Big Machine Vodka, too. I appreciate their support the last couple years. It’s fun; you know, anytime you can win, it’s great. Anytime you can win in your own stuff with all these KBM boys, it means a lot. It’s cool to give Stockman his first win.”

Busch took his race-winning lead on lap 98 as Creed’s truck bobbled and lost several positions. Sauter moved into second, but with 20 laps remaining, Busch had built a lead of over three seconds; that lead was over five seconds by 13 to go. In the end, Busch’s margin of victory was nearly six seconds.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Zane Smith, Todd Gilliland, Tanner Gray, Stewart Friesen and Creed.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

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Posted by on February 22, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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