Story courtesy of NASCARMedia
Story courtesy of NASCARMedia
Thomas Wolf wrote a famous novel “You Can’t Go Home Again” but jumping to the lead at the green home town driver Kyle Busch was out to prove that it is not true. Unfortunately after looking strong in the first segment never he led again finishing in 7th place in the final run down.
40 Xfinity drivers were brought to green for the Boyd Gaming 300 by the #18 NOS Energy Drink Rowdy Toyota of Kyle Busch and the #22 Discount Tire Ford of Brad Keselowski at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch jumped out to to an early lead over the field, looking strong early. Only 5 laps in brought out the first caution as the # 97 VRom Brands Chevrolet slowed on the track after
scraping the wall.
On returning to green on lap 9 Kyle jumped back out to the lead and continued to lead the field. As the laps wore on it became the Kyle and Kyle show. Kyle Larsen caught up to Kyle Busch and in traffic and at one point passed the # 18 NON Energy drink but did not hold it as they weaved their way through traffic.
At 45 laps and at the completion of stage one Kyle Busch leads all of the laps and the stage win. Top 10 #1 Kyle Busch, #42 Kyle Larson, #12 Joey Logano, #22Brad Keselowski #7 Justin Allgaier, #20 Daniel Suarez, #19 Matt Tiff, #6 Darrell Wallace Jr., #3 Ty Dillon and #16 Ryan Reed. Matt Tiff was the highest finishing Xfinity series regular.
Pit stops changed the top 3 as #42 Kyle Larson and the # 12 of Joey Logano came out ahead of Kyle Busch.
Stage 2 started pretty much like stage one but now with the #42 Kyle Larson jumping out to the early lead. Kyle Busch was not as strong in stage 2 being passed by Joey Logano in the#12 REV Ford for the second spot.
#22 Brad Keselowski took stage 2 followed by Kyle Busch. While up front there was mostly single file racing there was 2 and 3 wide racing through the middle of the pack.
The 3rd and final stage started with the #12 REV Ford of Joey Logano and the #20 Interstate Batteries Ford and last years Xfinity Champion bringing them to green. Joey Logano built a big lead until a scheduled pit stop took him out of the top spot for 2 laps.
Once the pit stops cycled out Joey resumed his spot at the head of the pack. Lots of green flag racing dominated the first 2/3 of stage 3 until a debris caution, the 6th of the day with 39 laps to go helped #22 Brad Keselowski who had an unscheduled for an issue with a loose wheel. Brad was off sequence and it moved him closer to the lead group.
#07 Ray Black spun to bring out the 7th caution followed by a 8th caution with 19 laps to go caused by a spinning #14 Superior Essex Toyota of JJ Yeley who was having a good day but now will be at the back of the lead lap car. As always seems to happens cautions breed cautions and a 9th and final caution for spinning rookie Matt Tiff in the #19 Surface Sunscreen Toyota bunched up the field to create a restart with 4 to go.
No matter how many restarts late Joey Logano would still pull away on the restarts and took the win in the Boyd Gaming 300. Second place finisher #42 Kyle Larson said that Joey had a big advantage on the restarts and could not keep up with him. He was not sure if it was gearing or power but he did not have the power to pass him.
Joey Logano said he did think it would be a small help for Sundays race by being in today’s Xfinity race. Joey also believes that the relationship with his spotter helped him today, they have worked together for about 4 years. The win by Joey was his 28th victory in 160 Xfinity starts.
Xfinity regular Justin Allgaier Chevrolet in the #7 Brandt Professional Agriculture ran strong all day after starting in the 13th starting position. Justin came home with a great 4th place finish.
6th place finisher Darrell Wallace Jr. was under the weather all day but still battled to a good finish.
Elliot Sadler in the #1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet with his 8th place finish maintains his Xfinity Series point lead.
The #22 Discount Tire Ford of Brad Keselowski had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a lose wheel in the 3rd stage which cost him a lap and a shot at the win Brad came back to finish 10th.
Cole Custer in the #00 was the highest finishing rookie with a 11th place finish. Cole started in the 20th position.
Las Vegas native #62 Brendon Gaughan in the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet had a tough day, first pulling behind the wall for a new carburetor then spinning to bring out the 4th caution. In the last stage he slipped high and then brushed the wall.
A full post race tear down will take place for the top 2 cars plus one random car.
There were 10 pit road infraction penalties today, only 3 were for speeding.
The Xfinity Series moves onto Phoenix for the DC Solar 200 March 18th
Top 10 finisher of the Boyd Gaming 300
As the fans, teams and crews rolled into Las Vegas this week there is a buzz about the town and race track. The buzz at the Speedway is not about the beautiful weather greeting the fans and teams but rather its about the move of the New Hampshire Speedways September date out here to The Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Las Vegas is a town that hosts events and hosts them with style. Casinos, shopping, restaurants, conventions and a huge variety of events like NASCAR, College Sports Bull Riding. Adding a second race weekend is welcomed by the city, the fans and teams. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority promotes events here and will put its promotional might behind a second race here at the Speedway.
Walking the garage Friday morning even though its early and practice and yet to start the thousands of fans line the walkway above the teams. Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives some of the best access to the fans to get close to their favorite drivers. The track provides plenty to do when there is no action on the track. Bands, celebrities, food, sponsor activities and to finish off the day the Richard Petty Driving School was taking out fans for a ride along under the lights.
In the driver press conferences they all spoke about the move of New Hampshire’s raced with excitement. The most excited was the 2017 Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch. Kurt and his brother Kyle are from Las Vegas and got there starts in racing not far from the Speedway so now they have 2 race weekends close to home.
Kurt spoke about the second race at the track and what it meant to him. He spoke about how it will now have a playoff atmosphere being part of the Chase. He also talked about how adding the second date helps to grow the city while revolves around sports, Las Vegas recently announced the addition of an NHL team.
Speed was another topic of the weekend, the rack is a mile and a half but they are reaching Daytona speeds with an average of 194 miles and top speeds of 207 MPH was reached by pole sitter Brad Keselowski.
Practice and race speeds will be slower as the track temperatures increase and the tires wear. Goodyear has brought a new softer tire to Las Vegas. This past January they ran tire testing withe intent of having a tire that falls off quicker and they believe they have that tire. Both the Monster Energy and Xfinity cars will use the same tires.
Another topic of speed among the drivers is speeding on pit road. After the numerous speeding penalties on pit road at Atlanta drivers know they need to be much more aware of their pit road speed.
Saturday will be a full day at the track, the Xfinity series will be qualifying for this afternoon’s Boyd Gaming 300 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will hold their final 2 practices.