9:45 - That will do it for Day 1. Join us tomorrow for the Truck Series and Global Rallycross series main events.
9:37 pm – Joey Coulter backed up his fast practice times by winning the pole for tomorrow night’s Smith’s 350. Coulter lapped the track in the No. 22 Chevy in 30.572 seconds for a speed of 176.632 mph.
The is the third pole for the Richard Childress Racing driver in 2012 and his second in a row after leading the field to green last weekend at Kentucky Motor Speedway.
“I had a fantastic truck from the time we unloaded,” said Coulter. “It’s a really good day when you don’t have to mess with it. As good as the truck was in practice, I really would have been disappointed if we couldn’t back it up. It’s definitely cool for me. Last year we qualified 12th or 14th and wrecked. Our goal was to come back and try to forget about last year.”
Timothy Peters qualified the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota 2nd fastest with a lap of 175.856 mph completed in 30.707 seconds. David Mayhew, Matt Crafton and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five. Hometown hero Brendan Gaughan starts sixth in the No. 2 South Point Chevrolet.
5:37 pm - Practice is over and Joey Coulter hangs onto the top spot as the only driver to crack the 176 mph barrier. Timothy Peters, Grant Enfinger, Johnny Sauter and David Mayhew round out the top 5. Ty Dillon was 8th fastest.
The crews will get ready for qualifying while their drivers head to the Neon Garage to meet the fans for a one-hour autograph session starting at 7 pm. Tonight's qualifying session will get underway at 8:35 pm.
5:15 pm - DILLON 4TH HOTTEST IN NASCAR – Apparently Ty Dillon has impressed a lot of people this year…both on and off the track. The series points leader was surprised, flattered and pleased to learn he was named the 4th Hottest Dude in NASCAR by BuzzFeed.com and the only CTS regular to make the list.
“Is that hot, like, good looking hot?” he asked. “Awesome. Was that after Danica, so really it’s like third?” he joked. “Well, that’s cool. I’m sure my girlfriend will be happy about that.”
For the record, Danica – not being a dude – was not in the running. The top three ahead of Ty are Sprint Cup stars Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray.
5:00 pm – We’ve had our first incident on the track. Chris Lafferty spins his Chevrolet off Turn 4 and manages to avoid contact with the wall. Coulter continues to lead the way with a 175.234 mph lap.
4:30 pm – Joey Coulter has jumped to the top of the speed chart at the halfway point of the practice session. Coulter’s fastest lap so far is 174.622, more than 1 mph faster than Todd Bodine in second place. David Mayhew is third, followed by Parker Kligerman and Justin Lofton.
4:20 pm – FROM WINNER TO DARK HORSE – Ron Hornaday does not plan on resting on the laurels of last year’s victory at LVMS. Hornaday is winless so far in 2012 with his best finish a 2nd at Iowa Speedway in July. He would like nothing better than to make it back-to-back victories in Sin City.
“The way this track weathers and the sand and the wind we get out here, it ages fast,” said Hornaday. “What you think you had here last year is not gonna work. This is the only track that I’ve felt comfortable enough where I can get to the top groove. We had a good enough truck last year where we kind of dominated the race and I could drive it anywhere. The odds are definitely against this team coming into this weekend but I would like to consider us a dark horse.”
3:45 pm – The Truck Series teams are 15 minutes into their first and only practice session. Ty Dillon was the first on track and is currently second fastest behind Parker Kligerman. Joey Coulter, Cale Gale and Justin Lofton round out the top five.
2:25 pm - PASTRANA DOUBLES DOWN IN VEGAS - Travis Pastrana is the only driver pulling double duty at LVMS this weekend. He’ll make his Craftsman Truck Series debut in the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota before climbing into the Red Bull Rallycross Dodge Dart to race for the 2012 Global Rallycross Series championship Saturday night.
Pastrana has been racing part time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with his most recent start earlier this month at Richmond International Racing where he finished 17th and led his first NNS laps driving for Roush Racing.
“I’m trying to get my future more into NASCAR and I always wanted to race here,” said Pastrana. “I watched last year’s Smith’s 250 (Truck Series race) here from the grandstands.”
BUESCHER’S DRIVE FOR FIVE – James Buescher comes into LVMS fresh off his fourth victory of the season at Kentucky Motor Speedway. All four wins have been on 1.5 mile intermediate tracks. He is 2nd in points and with just four markers separating him from series leader Ty Dillon, he’s looking for victory number five.
“The team and I are really confident that we can go to Vegas and win this race after last weekend’s performance,” said Buescher. “Las Vegas Motor Speedway falls right into our wheelhouse with it being an intermediate track.”
11:30 am - Good morning from Las Vegas Motor Speedway where we’re gearing up for two days of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Global Rallycross action.
The Truck Series teams roll in with rookie Ty Dillon leading the championship standings by a scant 4 points over last week’s winner James Buescher. Dillon is competing for the first time at LVMS while Buescher has a best finish of 3rd in three races at America’s Racing Showplace. Ron Hornaday is the defending race winner and is hoping to dance with Lady Luck once again for his first victory of the season. The truck teams take to the track at 3:30 pm for two hours of practice with qualifying scheduled to start at 8:35 pm. Fans will get a chance to meet their favorite driver at this evening’s autograph session in the Neon Garage from 6-7 pm.
The Global Rallycross drivers are competing in their 2012 season finale tomorrow night with 12 drivers still in the hunt for the $25,000 grand prize and championship title. Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan are tied for the lead with Samuel Hubinette second and Travis Pastrana third.
Ticket gates open at 3 pm, so there’s still plenty of time to come on out and join us. The Truck Series drivers will be hosting an autograph session in the Neon Garage from 6-7 pm.