This Week in Motorsports: February 17-23, 2020
· NCS/NXS/NGROTS: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Feb. 21-23
· NHRA: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (Chandler, Arizona) – Feb 23
· ARCA West: The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Feb. 20
PLANO, Texas (February 19, 2020) – The 2020 season continues with racing out West as NASCAR heads to Las Vegas and NHRA competes just outside of Phoenix this weekend.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS| NGROTS
Champ Comes Home… Two-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) champion Kyle Busch returns to his hometown track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this weekend. In 2019, Busch won five NCS races while holding command of the series point standings for more than half the season and advanced through multiple elimination rounds en route to his second career NCS title, and Toyota’s third. At Las Vegas, Busch has one win (2009), seven top-five finishes and 254 laps led.
Intermediate Track Leader… When it comes to intermediate track racing, Toyota Cup drivers have won nearly half of the 33 races at 1.5-mile tracks in the past three years with 16 combined wins. Of those wins, Martin Truex Jr. accounts for the most with 10 victories, including two at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2017 and September 2019). In 2017, Truex set a single-season series record when he won seven intermediate races. Since 2017, Denny Hamlin has registered four intermediate Cup wins while Busch has two. Hamlin is coming off his second consecutive Daytona 500 win on Monday.
Herbst Also Has Homecoming… Twenty-year-old Riley Herbst also returns home to Las Vegas in his first season driving full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) for Joe Gibbs Racing. He began racing karts at age five and progressed through the ranks. Herbst has one win in the ARCA Menards Series and was named the series’ 2017 rookie of the year. In 11 NXS starts, his career-best sixth-place finish came in his series debut at Iowa Speedway in 2018. At Daytona, Herbst claimed his first career pole position and has a third-place result in limited NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts. He comes from a racing family where both his father and grandfather have competed in off-road events, including multiple Baja 500 and Baja 1000 wins by his father.
Tundra Drivers Betting on Vegas… Tundra drivers have won nine Truck Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including four of the last five events. Busch, who is set to compete in the No. 51 Tundra on Friday night, brought his own Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra to victory lane in the last two spring races while Austin Hill won at the desert track to advance within the series’ Playoffs last fall. Last year, Hill won four times and finished fifth in driver standings.
NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car
Kalitta Looks for Second Straight Win to Open 2020 Season… After winning his third consecutive NHRA Winternationals earlier this month, Toyota Top fuel driver, Doug Kalitta, looks to make it two in a row at this weekend’s Arizona Nationals. If he wins this weekend’s event, he would become the second Top Fuel pilot to be victorious in the first two races of a season during the last 22 years. The 2019 series runner-up already has one Phoenix ‘Wally’, having previously won at the track in 2001.
DeJoria Returns to Site of First Funny Car Win… Alexis DeJoria earned her first Nitro Funny Car win at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in 2014, and looks to earn another first at the Phoenix track as she aims for her first victory since coming out of retirement. A win in Arizona would also mark Toyota’s 175 NHRA Nitro triumph. Despite a two-year hiatus, she drove her Camry Funny Car to the semifinals in her first race back in the season-opener at Pomona to debut the new DC Motorsports team.
Brown Eyes Fourth Phoenix Win… Antron Brown looks to earn his fourth Arizona Nationals title this weekend and, in the process, can narrow in on the track record of five wins. Brown has 50 career Top Fuel victories and is just two wins shy of Joe Amato for third-place all-time.
Regional Stock Car Racing – ARCA
BMR Seeking 100th Win… No race team has had as much impact on what is now called the ARCA Menards Series West than Bill McAnally Racing. In their series tenure they have collected 99 series victories and nine driver championships – a NASCAR regional touring record. Last year, the team won at the 0.375-mile Bullring at Las Vegas with Hailie Deegan. This year, five young drivers – all ranging from 15 to 20 years old – look to continue the team’s winning tradition, including Lawless Alan (20 years old), Holley Hollan (18), Jesse Love (15), Gio Scelzi (18) and Gracie Trotter (18).
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