The World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Friday night, marked the second race of the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs. After coming up short at Bristol the week prior, Brett Moffitt had hopes of bouncing back and potentially increasing his championship points lead over the rest of the playoff field.
However, Moffitt’s race was unfortunately forgettable for the most part, as the GMS Racing driver continued his winless streak, finishing 15th, after starting on the pole. Moffitt could only manage to lead one lap as Sheldon Creed passed his teammate on Lap 2. While the Las Vegas race looked like it was going to be dominated by Creed, he was eventually challenged by Austin Hill and the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra, when Hill made the pass on Creed with 39 laps to go.
Hill was unchallenged during the final remaining laps and held on to score his second victory of the 2020 Truck Series season and advance to the Round of 8. Fortunately for Hill, he won’t have to worry about Talladega Superspeedway this Saturday afternoon after already winning at Las Vegas. However, the other playoff drivers will be hoping they won’t get collected in the “Big One.”
While the main focus is on the playoff drivers for the rest of the season, we’ll also take a look at what we might have missed in Friday night’s race at Las Vegas
- Chandler Smith Sees Back to Back Top Five Finishes – The 2020 Truck Series season hasn’t been too kind to the highly regarded NASCAR prospect of Chandler Smith. Thus far, Smith has not had the luck he’s needed to finish inside the Top 10. He finished 22nd at Kentucky and 38th at Michigan due to a crash, 20th at Dover and 23rd at Gateway and Darlington. However, over the last three weeks, Smith has been picking up momentum since finishing 12th at Richmond. At Bristol, Smith finally cracked the top five for the first time since Phoenix of last fall. This past week at Vegas, the Georgian earned another fifth-place finish, resulting in back-to-back top-fives. Smith now has five Top 10 finishes in his Truck Series career.
- Ryan Truex Earns Best Finish of 2020 – Ryan Truex has only competed in five Truck Series races this year but the New Jersey native has made the most of those opportunities. Aside from his finishes of 27th at Kentucky and 19th at Michigan, Truex has finished inside the Top 15 three times this season. On Friday night at Vegas, Truex earned his best finish of the year finishing 12th to go with his most recent best finish of 13th coming at Atlanta and Texas.
- Dylan Lupton Returns – The Las Vegas race was sort of a “home sweet home” type of feeling for Dylan Lupton. Lupton made his first Truck Series start of the year last Friday night, competing in the No. 17 DGR-Crosley machine. Lupton’s last Truck Series start came last year at Phoenix, where he started 16th and finished 16th. He originally attempted Homestead but failed to qualify. However, Lupton was back in the series Friday night and had a respectable run by finishing 13th on the lead lap.
- Get Well Soon Natalie – Before the 134 lapper got underway, Niece Motorsports driver Natalie Decker was unable to compete due to medical reasons. It was later reported by NASCAR in an official race report that she was facing fatigue issues. As the race was over, the Wisconsin driver was eventually cleared by NASCAR and released from the infield medical center. Decker later commented on Twitter that she would have some testing done to figure out what is wrong with her. Whatever that may be, here’s wishing Decker a speedy recovery. Unfortunately for Decker, she was credited with a last-place finish.