Friday, March 5
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile tri-oval
Race: 3 of 22
Event: Bucked Up 200 (134 laps, 201 miles)
Friday, March 5
Race: 9 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1)
Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Toter Ford F-150
- Deegan makes her third start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season in the No. 1 Toter Ford F-150 on Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS).
- Deegan has two starts at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, located just outside the paved oval. In 2018, she started on the pole position and finished runner-up in the 102-lap event. In 2019, the California native started eighth and led the final lap en route to earn her first of two K&N Pro Series West victories that season.
- LVMS is the first 1.5-mile track of the season for the NCWTS. The mile-and-a-half tracks are the bread-and-butter of the series schedule and Deegan has one previous Truck Series start on an intermediate track. In October of last year at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Deegan made her first career NCWTS start and finished 16th.
- Two weeks ago at the Daytona Road Course, Deegan was in position to finish in the top-10 when contact on the last restart with another truck caused a tire to go down and relegated her to a 28th-place finish.
- Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has 23 wins in the NCWTS, including two at Las Vegas – Todd Bodine in September 2005 and Kyle Busch in March 2018.
How much has your relationship with Ford helped you on the track?
“I’m so thankful for Ford and the resources they’ve given me. As a rookie driver in the Truck Series, I don’t have a lot knowledge on how these trucks handle. I can do the best I can with watching film and things like that, but when it comes to getting time in the Ford Simulator, that has been a critical part of my development, without that, I would be nowhere near where I am now.”
We hear a lot about the simulator, how realistic is it?
“It’s crazy how realistic the simulator is. I go there with my engineer and crew chief and we put our race setups in there and it gives us the ability to test a lot of different things since we can’t go to actual tracks to test. Having the simulator as a resource is a huge opportunity for me.”
Any hobbies outside of racing?
“Really, racing is my life so I keep busy with that. I have a YouTube channel and run my merchandise line and that takes up a lot of my time. I spend a lot of time at the shop to build relationships with the crew guys and getting to know them. I’m trying to further my career development and not get distracted with a bunch of other things.”
For her vlog, Deegan chronicled her trip to the second Truck Series race of the season at the Daytona Road Course. Click the image to view the episode.
Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150
- Statistically, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) has been one of the best tracks on the circuit for Gray with an average finish of 5.5 in his two career starts there with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
- In 2020, the west coast driver earned his first career top-10 in the second race of the season at LVMS by finishing eighth. He followed that up in the fall return to the 1.5-mile tri-oval by advancing from his 12th-place starting position to finish third.
- Dating back to 2000, crew chief Shane Wilson has been atop the pit box for 24 races at LVMS across the three NASCAR national series’ and the K&N Pro Series West. In those events he has five top-fives and 13 top-10s including two wins with Brendan Gaughan: October 13, 2001 in the K&N Pro Series West and September 27, 2003 in the Truck Series.
Gray on Las Vegas:
Two of your best finishes last season came at Las Vegas. Does that give you a renewed sense of confidence after a rough couple weeks in Daytona?
“No doubt. For whatever reason, Las Vegas has been one of the tracks that I have run really good at so far. We have had a rough stretch of luck to start the season, so it’s refreshing to be headed to a track where I feel like we can turn our luck around and get a good finish.”
David Gilliland, No. 17 DGR Ford F-150
- Gilliland has 15 career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but has only one prior NCWTS start there in 2005, finishing 22nd for Billy Ballew Motorsports. His career best finish at the 1.5-mile race track is a 14th-place effort in the Cup Series in 2009.
- LVMS is Gilliland’s second NCWTS start of the season in the No. 17 F-150. He competed in the season-opening event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and finished 14th.
- The No.17 entry was driven by Las Vegas native Riley Herbst two weeks ago the Daytona Road Course which resulted in a fifth-place finish.