Kyle Busch, the all-time wins list leader in the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, was able to pick up his first victory of the 2020 Truck Series season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday night. He had the best truck all night long and while Busch didn’t start on the pole, it didn’t take him long to get out front and pull away from the field. He had to fight off some contenders including Sheldon Creed and Johnny Sauter, but Busch held on for his 57th career Truck Series victory.
“The restarts were crazy, you know,” Busch said to MRN Radio. “I don’t know why we couldn’t fire. We couldn’t take off there the last couple (restarts). That was not what I wanted to have in store for us, you can kind of get yourself in a bad spot sometimes. This Cessna Tundra was awesome tonight. I want to thank TRD, everyone at KBM, Rowdy Manufacturing, Rowdy Energy, Credible Bank, Black Leaf Clover, and Gander RV and Outdoors for supporting our series and the fans. Being able to win out here (in Las Vegas). Big thanks to Big Machine Vodka, I appreciate their support last couple of years.
“It’s fun, you know? Being able to win the last couple of years. Anytime you can win it’s great, but anytime you can in your own stuff with all these KBM boys, it means a lot to get Danny Stockman (Crew Chief) his first win.”
Qualifying was held earlier in the day for the Strat 200 and veteran Johnny Sauter qualified on the pole with Sheldon Creed on the outside pole. Race winner Busch was third. Prior to the race, several trucks went to the back due to infractions. Those were Matt Crafton, Angela Ruch, and Stefan Parsons who went to the back for unapproved adjustments while Cory Roper went to the back for an engine change.
Stage 1: Lap 1- Lap 30
It didn’t take long for the first caution to fly, as the caution came out on the second lap of the race. The No. 19 of Derek Kraus went for a spin in Turn 3. Surprisingly, that was the only caution in the first stage. Johnny Sauter led the first seven laps of the race, before Busch took the lead and the Stage 1 win.
Busch, Christian Eckes, Sauter, Tyler Ankrum, Austin Hill, Raphael Lessard, Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt, Ben Rhodes and Sheldon Creed completed the top-10 finishers for Stage 1.
After the pit stops, there were some penalties handed down to several drivers. Natalie Decker was penalized for fueling twice which caused her to get a one-lap penalty. Zane Smith and Spencer Davis were caught with an equipment violation. Stewart Friesen, Spencer Boyd, and Josh Reaume were penalized for improper fueling, while Austin Hill and Tate Fogleman had an uncontrolled tire.
Stage 2: Lap 38- Lap 60
For a short while, Busch’s teammate, Eckes, took the lead after Stage 2 was underway. But it didn’t take long for the Las Vegas native to take the lead away on Lap 45. There were no incidents during this stage, other than the No. 83 of Stefan Parsons who was on pit road late in the stage for a throttle issue.
The second stage was another flawless stage for Busch, as he picked up the stage win once more. Eckes, Chastain, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Rhodes, Moffitt, Lessard, Todd Gilliland, and Sauter rounded out the top-10 for the second stage.
Late in the stage, Busch reported a vibration with his truck but it appeared to get better as the run went on. Tyler Ankrum was also penalized for pitting outside the box and received a one-lap penalty.
Stage 3: Lap 67- Lap 134
The third stage featured a little more action and it wasn’t all that easy for Busch to pull away. With 61 to go, teammate Eckes cut a right-front tire down which sent him plowing into the wall. This brought out the caution to slow the pace. After the restart with 56 to go, Creed challenged Busch for the lead for multiple laps before Busch got the better of Creed.
The final caution of the night took place with 39 to go. Daytona winner Enfinger and Canadian Lessard were both involved in an incident on the backstretch. Both drivers would be out of the race early and wound up 30th and 31st respectively.
A final restart occurred with 35 to go and there were some intense moments for race leader Busch. Sheldon Creed got really loose off Turn 4 and almost took out Busch in the process. However, both drivers were able to save their trucks from major incidents.
From there, Busch had no issues and took home his sixth consecutive Truck Series victory dating back to 2018. But this win was extra special to Busch, as he was able to obtain Danny Stockman during the off-season.
“Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get him,” Busch added to MRN Radio. “I had to do a hell of a sell job on him and fortunately it all worked out. He knows he’s got a great organization here with Rudy (Fugle, Crew Chief) and myself, and (Mike) Hillman Jr being there as well. That adds to the portfolio with the strength of Stockman and hopefully being able to have some really good results. I know the other two (Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard) got caught up in some other stuff tonight. We got to straightened them boys out and kick them into shape and show them they should be right here, finishing one-two-three with us.”
Busch led 108 laps of the 134 en route to victory. There were five cautions for 25 laps and 15 lead changes among five different leaders.
- Kyle Busch, led 108 laps, won both stages
- Johnny Sauter, led seven laps
- Austin Hill
- Matt Crafton
- Ben Rhodes
- Zane Smith
- Todd Gilliland
- Tanner Gray
- Stewart Friesen
- Sheldon Creed
- Tyler Ankrum
- Spencer Davis
- Ty Majeski
- Ross Chastain
- Brennan Poole
- Brett Moffitt
- Austin Wayne Self
- Codie Rohrbaugh
- Tate Fogleman, one lap down
- Jordan Anderson, two laps down
- Natalie Decker, two laps down
- Derek Kraus, three laps down
- Christian Eckes, four laps down
- Angela Ruch, four laps down
- Spencer Boyd, five laps down
- Cory Roper, six laps down
- Josh Reaume, eight laps down
- Timmy Hill, OUT, Overheating
- Stefan Parsons, 22 laps down
- Raphael Lessard, OUT, Crash
- Grant Enfinger, OUT, Crash
- Josh Bilicki, OUT, Handling
Up Next: The next time the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series will be back on-track is Saturday March 14 at 1:30 p.m./ET live on Fox Sports 1.