Rowdy Reigns In Another Sin City Beatdown

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Rowdy Reigns
Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Toyota Racing photo)

LAS VEGAS – Call it a happy homecoming for Sin City native Kyle Busch.

For the second straight night in his hometown, Busch celebrated in victory lane, this time dominating the Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his seventh win in as many starts in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series dating back to 2018.

Friday night’s Truck Series beatdown – the 57th win of Busch’s career in his 151st start – came just 24 hours after a late model score at the three-eighths-mile Bullring short track across the street.

Where Busch said he “had to work” for the late model win, his Truck Series victory was no contest.

The all-time series wins leader led seven times for a race-high 108 of the 134 laps turned, fending off a determined Sheldon Creed during a short battle in the final stage and pulling away down the stretch.

Busch cruised to the checkered flag 5.958 seconds clear of 2016 Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter.

While he may have made it look easy, Busch noted that getting up to speed was his Achilles heel Friday.

Kyle Busch (51) races Johnny Sauter Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Toyota Racing photo)

“I don’t know why, but we just couldn’t fire off on the restarts,” noted Busch in victory lane. “We just didn’t have any speed on those, but once we got about 10 laps in (to a run), we just started to check out from everybody. This Cessna Tundra was awesome. It had really good long-run speed and the guys did a fantastic job all night. It’s the first win for (Danny) Stockman with KBM, too, so that’s really cool.

“All my guys work their butts off. When we unloaded, we weren’t really all that close, and we worked on it a lot with this new tire and got it a lot better,” Busch added. “I feel like we showed that on the long runs. Overall, it’s pretty cool to come home and have a homecoming win like this in the Truck Series.”

After winning both 30-lap stages to start the night, Busch led off the gun following a lap-78 restart thanks to a huge shove from Creed, who then went to work at trying to unseat Busch from the lead.

For nearly four straight laps, Creed and Busch ran side by side, inches apart as the two side-drafted one another trying to gain any sort of an advantage and trading the lead at the start/finish line each time.

Finally, on the 82nd rotation, Creed got loose off turn four and faded back to sixth while Busch stormed out to a lead it looked like he’d never relinquish again under green-flag conditions.

However, a crash between Busch’s young rookie – Raphael Lessard – and Daytona winner Grant Enfinger with 45 to go set up the final restart of the night and gave Creed one final chance at Busch.

Creed capitalized on it, reclaiming the point on laps 96 and 97, but Busch soared past on the 98th round with an outside sweep to take full command of the race for good.

Busch led the final 37 laps uncontested for his third-straight spring Truck Series win at Las Vegas.

Sauter, Austin Hill, Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes filled out the top five, with ThorSport Racing claiming three of the first five finishing positions in a strong showing for the Sandusky, Ohio-based organization.

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

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season continues March 14 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.

To view complete race results, advance to the next page.