The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series headed out west to the desert Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the third race of the season. A familiar face was on top of the scoring pylon at the end of the night. Busch earned his 50th Truck Series career win. It was the first time he competed in a truck since the 2001 season driving for Jack Roush.
Kyle Busch and Stewart Friesen set the front row in qualifying mid-afternoon on Friday. It was Busch’s 20th career pole in the series.
The race got out to a great start before an early caution on Lap 16 was brought out by Justin Marks in the No. 54, spinning off Turn 4. Friesen regained the lead and led for five laps until Noah Gragson took the lead on Lap 21 and went on to win the first stage which ended on lap 32. Spencer Davis, Busch, Friesen, Myatt Snider, Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffit, Cody Coughlin and Matt Crafton rounded out the top 10 positions in Stage 1.
The green flag came back out on lap 37 for Stage 2. Stage 2 saw no incidents but some exciting action taking place. Busch, Grant Enfinger and Friesen swapped the lead multiple times before Friesen ultimately took the lead on Lap 43 and held on to the top spot for the remainder of the stage to collect 10 Playoff points. Crafton, however, went to the garage on Lap 40 due to brake problems, which left him with a 29th place finish, leaving the two-time champion winless in 18 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway.
The final stage got back underway on lap 68 with Moffit in the lead. It didn’t take long for a caution to come out as three trucks were involved in an accident in Turn 2. The drivers involved included Justin Haley, Stage 1 winner Gragson and Snider. They finished 28th, 15th and 12th, respectively.
The race resumed on Lap 78 and was green until the final caution of the race which took place on Lap 120 for Michael Disdier spinning in Turn 4. Before the caution, the lead swapped four times before Busch regained the top spot after the restart on lap 120 and held on to win his 50th career truck series win.
Busch led six times for 55 of 134 laps. There were five cautions for 25 laps. This was Busch’s 50th career truck series win. He is now one win away from tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr.
He spoke about the significance of the victory.
“It means a lot,” Busch said. “We’ve had some great runs in the races that we’ve had at Kyle Busch Motorsports. We’ve raced and won all across the country, but I’ve just never been able to get back to Las Vegas to run a race.
“This one’s pretty cool to be able to win in my hometown and finish my list of Truck Series facilities that I’ve raced at and I’ve won at. I couldn’t be prouder to do it with this Cessna Beechcraft Toyota Tundra – just a phenomenal race truck.”
Johnny Sauter finished second, followed by Moffitt, Enfinger and Friesen to round out the top five. Sauter retains the lead in the series standings, 39 points ahead of Moffitt.
Next Up: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take a couple of weeks off before heading to the “Half-Mile Mayhem” of Martinsville Speedway on March 24.