Category Archives: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick enjoys another dominant victory in Las Vegas

Kevin Harvick enjoys another dominant victory in Las Vegas

 March 4, 2018

 By Reid Spencer

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – If you thought last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta was an aberration on old asphalt, think again.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Four F-16s perform the fly-over for the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 Kevin Harvick was every bit as dominant on the newer asphalt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racking up impressive numbers in winning Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, the third event of the season.

 In winning his second straight race and his second at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick finished 2.906 seconds ahead of runner-up and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. Third-place finisher Kyle Larson was more than 13 seconds back. Paul Menard in ninth-place was the last driver on the lead lap.

 Harvick won for the 39th time in the Monster Energy Series and the 100th time over all three of NASCAR’s national touring series combined. He is tied with Tim Flock and Matt Kenseth for 19th on the all-time Cup victory list and third among active drivers.

 The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford also took the series lead by three points over second-place Joey Logano and four over third-place Ryan Blaney, who started from the pole on Sunday and led one lap—the first.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kevin Harvick leads Martin Truex Jr. through the tri-oval during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 “As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general, it has been really good since I started here at SHR,” said Harvick, a Bakersfield, California, native. “They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are. It’s great to win on the West Coast for me.”

 Harvick led 214 of 267 laps, most ever by a Las Vegas winner. His fastest lap was more than .4 seconds better than the quickest circuit posted by anyone else. Harvick won the first two stages of the race with relative ease, picking up two Playoff points in the process.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kyle Larson makes a pitstop during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 With all that, the outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion after Harvick lost three spots on pit road under caution at the end of Stage 2. He restarted fourth on Lap 167, fell back to fifth and didn’t regain fourth-place until he passed Chase Elliott on Lap 172.

 “We had some trouble getting through traffic there,” Harvick said. “That was our worst run, as far as where the car was. I don’t know if it was just the car, tire set, handling, whatever it was. We were just stuck in traffic and needed to come make an adjustment.”

 After two more cautions—the first for Jamie McMurray’s brush with

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Chase Elliott attempts to get his car around the track after being involved in a wreck with Kurt Busch during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

the backstretch wall on Lap 176, the second for a hard crash off Turn 4 that eliminated Kurt Busch and Elliott on Lap 183—Harvick lined up beside eventual seventh-place finisher Logano for a restart on Lap 195 and rocketed into the lead through the first corner.

 At that point, it was game over. Kyle Busch led laps 225-230 after Harvick made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 225, but that was Busch’s last glimpse of the lead. Harvick reclaimed first place after Busch came to pit road on Lap 230 and stayed there the rest of the way.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kevin Harvick celebrates in a shower of confetti after winning the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 “There was no catching that 4,” Kyle Busch said. “They were on rails today… Certainly would have liked to have been able to run down the 4 or catch the 4 and put on a race, but they were just so far out there and so far the class of the field all day long, I don’t think anybody was really keeping up with them.” 

 Notes: Cole Custer finished 25th, three laps down in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut… Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in 21st, also three laps down… Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. started fourth and finished fourth. Blaney completed the top five.

 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, March 4, 2018

 

               1. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.

               2. (13) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.

               3. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.

               4. (4) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.

               5. (1) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.

               6. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.

               7. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.

               8. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.

               9. (12) Paul Menard, Ford, 267.

               10. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.

               11. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 266.

               12. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266.

               13. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266.

               14. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 265.

               15. (28) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 265.

               16. (20) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 265.

               17. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 265.

               18. (11) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 265.

               19. (21) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264.

               20. (24) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264.

               21. (26) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Chevrolet, 264.

               22. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 264.

               23. (23) David Ragan, Ford, 264.

               24. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 264.

               25. (30) Cole Custer(i), Ford, 264.

               26. (18) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 263.

               27. (17) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 263.

               28. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 262.

               29. (33) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 262.

               30. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 262.

               31. (36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 255.

               32. (37) * Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 253.

               33. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, Engine, 195.

               34. (6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, Accident, 183.

               35. (3) Kurt Busch, Ford, Accident, 183.

               36. (22) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 176.

               37. (15) Michael McDowell, Ford, Engine, 100.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  141.756 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 49 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.906 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   R. Blaney 1; K. Harvick 2-38; M. McDowell 39-49; K. Harvick 50-121; Kyle Busch 122-125; K. Harvick 126-163; J. Logano 164-176; M. Truex Jr. 177-182; J. Logano 183-194; K. Harvick 195-224; Kyle Busch 225-230; K. Harvick 231-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick 5 times for 214 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 25 laps; M. McDowell 1 time for 11 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 10 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 6 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,78,42,12,22,2,41,9,18,21

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,12,42,22,18,2,78,41,9,21

 

Kyle Larson holds off dirt rival Christopher Bell for Las Vegas win

March 3, 2018

 By Reid Spencer

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Kyle Larson pulled away from pole winner Christopher Bell after a restart with seven laps left and took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300, winning for the first time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 3 2018: Kyle Larson jumps into the lead on the green flag of the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 Larson beat Bell to the finish line by .881 seconds. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet led 142 of the 200 laps and overcame a pit road snafu that dropped him to eighth for a restart on Lap 139 after a caution for Austin Cindric’s crash in Turn 2.

 The victory was Larson’s first of the season and the ninth of his career.

 “It was an awesome day,” Larson said in Victory Lane. “This car was so fast. It was really fast last year, but you really never know, and this was my first time racing with this new (flange-fit) body, and it performed well.”

 Nor did it take him long to recover after the slow pit stop on Lap 135 that set him back.

 “Normally my guys are some of the best on pit road,” Larson said. “They said the left-rear (tire) just wouldn’t come out (of the wheel well). I had been fighting a tight issue all day and then finally we got our car to turn better.

 “It allowed me to get to the lead fairly easily, and then I was saving fuel in case the race stayed green.”

Larson and Bell are frequent rivals in dirt-track racing, and Bell had the upper hand in last November’s Turkey Night Classic and January’s Chili Bowl, the marquee midget race of the season. Bell was happy to see the friendly rivalry extend to pavement.

 “That was really cool, and there will be a lot more of that,” promised Bell, who outdueled Larson at the end of Stage 1 but fell short after the final restart. “We were close, running second to Kyle – if I’m going to run second to anyone, I guess I would rather it be him. 

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 3 2018: Ryan Blaney rolls into turn 1 during the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

“Special day, we were able to win a stage and get a Playoff point. We need to keep racking those up and get some race wins here.”

 Justin Allgaier ran third in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler.

 But the show at the beginning and at the end was Larson vs. Bell.

 “It’s always fun to get to race Bell,” Larson said. “He seems to beat me all the time in the dirt stuff, and he edged me out there in qualifying. We were pretty equal there… It was cool to race, though.

 “That first stage kind of felt like we were dirt-track racing there, swapping lanes and stuff. I was trying to take the air off him, and he got by, and yeah, it was fun… Anytime I get to race in the Xfinity Series, I’m sure we’ll be up front, battling each other.”

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 3 2018: Kyle Busch drives down pit road after serving a penalty late in the race during the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

 Trying for a weekend sweep after winning Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, Kyle Busch fought an ill-handling Toyota throughout the race and finished 14th after his fueler drew a penalty for handling a tire during a green-flag stop on Lap 166.

 Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Las Vegas native Spencer Gallagher completed the top 10. Reddick and Sadler leave Las Vegas tied for the series lead, 23-points ahead of Bell in third.

 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Boyd Gaming 300

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Saturday, March 3, 2018

 

               1. (2) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 200.

               2. (1) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 200.

               3. (12) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.

               4. (8) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 200.

               5. (6) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 200.

               6. (3) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 200.

               7. (16) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 200.

               8. (7) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 200.

               9. (4) Cole Custer, Ford, 200.

               10. (11) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 200.

               11. (9) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 200.

               12. (10) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 200.

               13. (19) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.

               14. (5) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 200.

               15. (17) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 200.

               16. (18) Kaz Grala #, Ford, 200.

               17. (24) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 200.

               18. (14) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 199.

               19. (13) Ryan Reed, Ford, 199.

               20. (23) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 197.

               21. (29) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 197.

               22. (20) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 196.

               23. (26) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 196.

               24. (37) Vinnie Miller #, Chevrolet, 196.

               25. (33) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 195.

               26. (34) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 195.

               27. (27) Matt Mills #, Chevrolet, 194.

               28. (39) Josh Bilicki #, Toyota, 189.

               29. (21) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, Engine, 185.

               30. (40) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 185.

               31. (38) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 183.

               32. (30) Chad Finchum #, Toyota, Suspension, 140.

               33. (25) Timmy Hill, Dodge, Power Steering, 134.

               34. (15) Austin Cindric #, Ford, Accident, 132.

              35. (35) David Starr, Chevrolet, Engine, 78.

               36. (31) Spencer Boyd #, Chevrolet, Suspension, 70.

               37. (36) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Oil Leak, 24.

               38. (28) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Vibration, 18.

               39. (32) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Brakes, 15.

               40. (22) Dylan Lupton, Ford, Accident, 5.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  131.884 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 16 Mins, 29 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.881 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  10 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Bell # 0; K. Larson(i) 1-42; C. Bell # 43-48; K. Larson(i) 49-94; R. Blaney(i) 95-127; K. Larson(i) 128-135; C. Custer 136-139; J. Allgaier 140-151; K. Larson(i) 152-186; T. Reddick # 187-189; K. Larson(i) 190-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Larson(i) 5 times for 142 laps; R. Blaney(i) 1 time for 33 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 12 laps; C. Bell # 1 time for 6 laps; C. Custer 1 time for 4 laps; T. Reddick # 1 time for 3 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 20,42,9,18,22,19,21,00,1,7

Stage #2 Top Ten: 42,22,7,00,9,1,19,21,20,18

 

Kyle Busch gets a hard-fought milestone victory at his home track

March 2, 2018

By Reid Spencer

Stephen Furst Myracenews Photo

 LAS VEGAS – Holding off a hard-charging Johnny Sauter and Brett Moffit in the closing laps of a thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Kyle Busch claimed a milestone victory at his home track and kept alive the possibility of a three-race sweep at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 Busch crossed the finish line .437 seconds ahead of Sauter, who outdueled Moffit for the runner-up position. Last week’s winner at Atlanta, Moffitt held the lead until contact of his No. 16 Toyota with the lapped truck of Michel Disdier gave Busch the opportunity to charge to the outside and pass for the top spot.

 Busch maintained the lead the rest of the way, except for two laps under caution for Disdier’s spin off Turn 4 on Lap 119. Busch won for the first time this season, the first time in a truck at Las Vegas and the 50th time in his career, leaving him one win short of the record held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr.

 Busch has now won at LVMS in each of NASCAR’s top three touring series, and he has won a Truck Series race at every active track at which he has competed.

 “It means a lot,” said Busch, who will race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday. “We’ve had some great runs in the races that we’ve had at Kyle Busch Motorsports. We’ve raced and won all across the country, but I’ve just never been able to get back to Las Vegas to run a race.

 “This one’s pretty cool to be able to win in my hometown and finish my list of Truck Series facilities that I’ve raced at and I’ve won at. I couldn’t be prouder to do it with this Cessna Beechcraft Toyota Tundra – just a phenomenal race truck.”

 Failure to launch on the restarts cost Sauter a chance to battle for the victory after the final restart on Lap 124 of 134.

 “Tonight I was frustrated when I got out of the truck because of the restarts,” Sauter said. “My best one was the last one, so that was good.”

 Just not quite good enough for the driver of the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet, who felt he could have caught the race winner given five or six more laps.

 Sauter, however, was no more frustrated than Moffitt, whose issue wasn’t with Disdier. Moffitt was seething because the lapped truck of Myatt Snider raced him tenaciously after coming off pit road with fresh tires in the late stages of the race.

 “When the 13 (Snider) pulled out from the pits a couple laps down and side drafted us for the lead, and it allowed Kyle to close in, I tried to go to the bottom of a lapped car (Disdier) and he turned down into us.

 “It’s just frustrating, because when you’re out of the race, you shouldn’t get in the way of the leaders… It’s just a bittersweet race.”

 Sauter added to his series lead, outpacing second-place Moffitt by 39 points. Fourth-place finisher Grant Enfinger is 40 points behind in third, one ahead of Noah Gragson, who ran 12th on Friday night.

 Stewart Friesen led 31 laps—second only to Busch’s 55—and placed fifth. Gragson and Friesen won the first and second stages of the race, respectively.

 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Stratosphere 200

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, March 2, 2018

 

               1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 134.

               2. (3) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 134.

               3. (6) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 134.

               4. (8) Grant Enfinger, Ford, 134.

               5. (2) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 134.

               6. (18) Dalton Sargeant #, Chevrolet, 134.

               7. (15) Ben Rhodes, Ford, 134.

               8. (14) Cody Coughlin, Chevrolet, 134.

               9. (17) Justin Fontaine, Chevrolet, 134.

               10. (13) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 134.

               11. (7) Justin Marks(i), Toyota, 134.

               12. (5) Noah Gragson, Toyota, 134.

               13. (4) Spencer Davis, Toyota, 134.

               14. (20) Wendell Chavous, Chevrolet, 134.

               15. (10) Myatt Snider #, Ford, 133.

               16. (19) Austin Self, Chevrolet, 133.

               17. (16) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 133.

               18. (24) Robby Lyons, Chevrolet, 133.

               19. (22) Michel Disdier, Chevrolet, 132.

               20. (23) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 132.

               21. (9) John H. Nemechek(i), Chevrolet, 130.

               22. (26) Mike Harmon(i), Chevrolet, 127.

               23. (31) BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 123.

               24. (27) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 123.

               25. (25) Josh Reaume, Toyota, Engine, 119.

               26. (30) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Parked, 118.

               27. (28) Tommy Regan, Chevrolet, 112.

               28. (11) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, Accident, 75.

               29. (12) Matt Crafton, Ford, Brakes, 40.

               30. (32) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Electrical, 28.

               31. (21) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Vibration, 23.

               32. (29) Scott Stenzel, Chevrolet, Electrical, 5.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  122.665 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 38 Mins, 19 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.437 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 25 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Busch(i) 1-15; S. Friesen 16-20; N. Gragson 21-32; G. Enfinger 33-35; K. Busch(i) 36-39; G. Enfinger 40; K. Busch(i) 41-42; S. Friesen 43-68; B. Moffitt 69-70; K. Busch(i) 71-83; B. Moffitt 84-108; K. Busch(i) 109-114; D. Sargeant # 115-117; J. Fontaine 118-119; K. Busch(i) 120-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Busch(i) 6 times for 55 laps; S. Friesen 2 times for 31 laps; B. Moffitt 2 times for 27 laps; N. Gragson 1 time for 12 laps; G. Enfinger 2 times for 4 laps; D. Sargeant # 1 time for 3 laps; J. Fontaine 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,4,51,52,13,41,21,16,2,88

Stage #2 Top Ten: 52,13,51,41,16,18,24,21,98,4