Kyle Busch Wins Boyd Gaming 300 At Hometown Track, Las Vegas Motor Speedwayby Camille Jones March 5, 2016
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Kyle Busch led 199 of the 200 laps as he drove to his first victory NASCAR XFINITY Series at his hometown track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300.
The driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota held of his hard-charging Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones to capture his second victory of the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. He won at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. Saturday’s win marked Busch’s 78th in the series.
“We were worried about fuel, but more so we more so worried about Suarez,” Busch said. “He was on me there at the end, he was really, really fast. I can’t say enough about all these guys, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing prepares some really fast Camrys and this NOS Energy Drink Camry was the best. It felt really, really good. I wish for as good as we were at the beginning of the race in the beginning of the run and end of the run, I was hoping we’d have some long run speed there at the end. Just wasn’t showing. Suarez was definitely faster than us when he got clean track.
While Busch won the race in a dominating fashion, it didn’t come easy in the closing laps as teammate, Daniel Suarez closed in on him as they meandered through lapped traffic. Suarez, driver of the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota drove to his third top-10 finish of the season as he chased after his unstoppable teammate to finish second. With the runner-up finish, Suarez now leads the championship standings by three points over Elliott Sadler.
“Honestly, I just felt like it took me too much time to figure out how to be fast with a loose race car in traffic,” Suarez said. “I think at the end we would have been able to figure it out, but it took me 10 laps and I lost two seconds there and it was too difficult to catch those seconds back. I’m proud of everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and the entire 19 ARRIS Toyota team – they did an amazing job. It was superfast, one of the fastest out there all race long. We were just a little short.”
Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota, showed for the second week in a row that penalties may put him down, but will not put him out of the fight. After suffering a start violation at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend, he overcame to finish solidly in the Top-5. This weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway he fought back in a similar fashion by overcoming two pit road speeding violations to finish second.
“Overall we fought back again and another solid day out of it and another top-three finish,” Jones said. “The one thing is we had really good race cars and that’s shown the last two weeks with how we’ve run the last two with Kyle winning and us being up there and having a shot. I just wish we could have been in contention. I felt like our Interstate Batteries Camry was good enough to run with Kyle at times and would have really loved the shot at having him straight up I guess you could say. We’ll go on to next week and try again.”
There were three cautions for a total of 15 laps. The most notable caution occurred on lap 138 when the No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Ford of Darrell Wallace, Jr., the No. 25 Lilly Trucking/SupportMilitary.org Chevrolet of Cody Ware and No. 42 Katerra Chevrolet of Justin Marks made multiple points of contact, bringing out the red flag for 19 minutes and 9 seconds before the race was resumed. All of the drivers involved were checked and released from the infield care center.
“It is just unfortunate,” Wallace Jr. said. “We were running our own race there. Top-10. Kind of fell off late in the run and getting free but we were making gains on our Ford Mustang all day and getting it better and better. To come out with a destroyed race car, I can’t even say wrecked, it is done, killed. It is just unfortunate and I hate it for my guys. We will rebound. We have a good Ford Mustang going to Phoenix and we will go from there.”
The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates of Busch, Suarez and Jones completed the top-three, while Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five. Brandon Jones finished sixth, followed by Ty Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Brendan Gaughan.
The drivers of the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be back on track next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway for the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 on Saturday, March 12. Race coverage will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images