It's a special week for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Spencer Gallagher.
The Las Vegas native has the luxury of sleeping in his own bed this week as he prepares to run in Saturday night's Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and he couldn't be happier to enjoy some time in the friendly confines of his own home.
"It's so great to be back home," said Gallagher, a Palo Verde High School graduate. "You always mark it down on your calendar when you get to run at your home track, and I'm lucky because not a lot of guys have a big NASCAR-sanctioned track where they grew up. Hometown bias aside, I truly love coming to this place, because it's such a fun race track to run around."
Gallagher feels good about where the GMS Racing team stands heading into this weekend's race, especially with the team coming off a victory by Austin Dillon last week in New Hampshire.
"I think we've had a really great year at GMS racing," said Gallagher, who has six career NCWTS top 10s. "Last year was our first full year in the Truck Series, and we're an upstart team. Everything we put together, we do in-house, so to go from the start of 2014 and figuring out how to try and spell car to winning a race in under two years is such a great achievement."
He said his No. 23 GMS Racing Alamo Chevrolet is in great shape for the 146-lap race, but that making adjustments from practice to the race itself will be a key.
"The big trick for us running out here is going to be making the right changes in practice," Gallagher said. "We're going to be practicing in the day and racing in the evening, and growing up at The Bullring, if there's one thing I know, it's that with the heat you get out here and the composition of this pavement, it's going to get extremely slick. You almost want to be terrible in practice, because when that sun goes down and the track cools down, you usually get very loose.
"It sounds weird, but I promise you that's what will happen."
The 219-mile race begins at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a 2 p.m. driver autograph session and immediately followed by a fireworks show. The Rhino Linings 350 is the sixth-to-last stop on the 2015 schedule and has been a fixture at LVMS since Jack Sprague won in 1996.
Fans can go to LVMS.com or call 1-800-644-4444 to order Rhino Linings 350 tickets.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States, and has been named SMI Speedway of the Year each of the last three years. For more information, visit SpeedwayMotorsports.com.
Rhino Linings 350 race-day schedule
9 a.m. Ticket Gate C and Neon Garage open
9 - 11:30 a.m. NCWTS final practice
12:15 - 4 p.m. Minors permitted in garage area
2 - 2:45 p.m. Drivers' autograph session (Neon Garage)
4 p.m. Ticket Gates A, B, D, E, Blackjack Club, VIP Suites open
4:05 p.m. NCWTS qualifying
6:30 p.m. NCWTS driver introductions
7 p.m. NCWTS Rhino Linings 350 (146 laps, 219 miles)
*Fireworks immediately after the race
9:30 p.m. Neon Garage closes
Schedule is subject to change.