Date: Feb. 21, 2020
Event: Strat 200 (Race 2 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Segments; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 3rd / 1st (running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: Kyle Busch of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Kyle Busch and the No. 51 Cessna/Beechcraft team put on a dominating performance and led 108 of 134 laps en route to victory in the Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 51 team posted the 14th-fastest time in one practice on Friday morning, and then Busch qualified his Tundra in the third position in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
After the green flag fell, Busch wasted no time making his way to the front of the field once the green flag fell. He took the lead on lap 12, with teammate Christian Eckes close behind, then won the first and second stages, only giving the lead up after pit stops. Busch would go on to lead seven times for 108 of 134 laps to earn his 209th career NASCAR National Series win and his 57th victory in 151 Gander Trucks races. Busch has four more scheduled NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races this season.
Stage One Recap:
- Qualifying for the event consisted of one round of single truck qualifying, and Busch earned the third starting position.
- Busch took the lead on lap 12, and led the rest of the laps until the stage caution on lap 30.
- At the stage conclusion, crew chief Danny Stockman brought Busch to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and a tank full of Sunoco fuel.
Stage Two Recap:
- Busch began the second stage in second place and battled with teammate Christian Eckes for the lead, eventually taking it on lap 45 and winning the second stage.
- During the second stage, Busch reported that the handling of his Tundra was one number loose.
- Stockman called him to pit road following the end of the stage for four more Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
Stage Three Recap:
- The 34-year-old owner-driver began the final stage at the front of the field and battled back and forth with the No. 2 truck, but eventually would lead the final 37 laps.
- With 43 laps to go, the caution flag flew and Stockman brought Busch to pit road for the final time for four tires and fuel.
- Busch earned his third victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Gander Trucks Series and his first victory of 2020 in the Strat 200. This is his 57th overall Gander Trucks win and his 209th National Series win.
What happened on the restarts?
“I don’t know why we just couldn’t fire off on the restarts. We just didn’t have any speed. Once we got about 10 laps in, we started to check away from everybody. This Cessna Tundra was awesome. It had really good long run speed. The guys did a fantastic job. It’s the first win for Danny Stockman with KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), so that’s cool to have him on board. For us to have good stuff with Rowdy Manufacturing. All my guys, they just worked their butts off. When we unloaded we weren’t really that close. Worked on it a lot with this tire and we got it a lot better. Kind of showed that with the long run. Overall, thanks to Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Energy keeping us powered here lately, Black Clover, Gander RV & Outdoors, appreciate their support of the series and being here with us. Of course all the fans – pretty cool to have a homecoming win in Vegas like this.”
Does winning the Truck races seem as easy to you as the numbers show with your laps led?
“We certainly work really, really hard. It wasn’t like we unloaded and knew we had a great piece and that we were going to go out there and dominate like that. We work for it, these guys do. All the preparation at the shop comes a long way with Danny (Stockman, crew chief), with Rudy (Fugle, No. 18 crew chief), with Mike Hillman Jr. (No. 4 crew chief). It’s just been really cool to get the equipment going that we have now. Obviously, the talent that we have now. Our groups of guys, the core of them have been together now for a long time. It’s nice to keep some familiarity around KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) with the faces that are there and bring in some experience to help facilitate growing the 51 team to a top-notch team.”
Strat 200 Recap:
- Kyle Busch won the race by 5.958 seconds followed by Johnny Sauter, Austin Hill, Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for 25 laps and 15 lead changes among five drivers.
How Busch’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 23rd
Gander Trucks Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team leaves the second race of the season ranked first in the Truck Series Owner’s Championship Standings, 19 markers ahead of second-place.
Owner-driver Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tundra when the Truck Series returns to action Saturday, March 14 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the Georgia 200 begins at 1:30 p.m. EST on FS1.