NASCAR Race Weekend Day 3 - Saturday Updates
By Lori Vizza
5:30 pm : Day 3 Goodnight - We've just gotten word that all cars have passed through post-race tech with no problems to report.
Join us again tomorrow for this weekend's main event, the Kobalt 400.
5:15 pm : Wrapping Up the Boyd Gaming 300 - Kyle Busch can add a new race record to his list of accomplishments this weekend. After lapping all but 11 of the 40 drivers who started the event, Busch finished the race in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 47 seconds at at average speed of 145.415 mph. That breaks the previous record of 135.118 mph (2 hours, 13 minutes) set by Jeff Burton in 2000.
His 199 laps led also set a series record at LVMS. Austin Dillon set the previous high when he led 183 laps en route to last year's victory.
3:40 pm : Kyle Busch Whips the Competition, Wins Boyd Gaming 300 - Kyle Busch didn't just win today's Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he flat out dominated the race to record his first Xfinity Series victory at his hometrack. Busch started on the pole and led 199 of 200 laps to record his 78th career.
Busch withstood a late race charge by teammate Daniel Suarez to win the race by 0.812-second. Erik Jones overcame two speeding penalties on pit road and came from two laps down to complete the Joe Gibbs Racing top three sweep.
Chase Elliott finished fourth followed by last year's race winner Austin Dillon in fifth.
3:30 pm : Lap 175 Update - Kyle Busch holds a 2.6-second lead over teammate Suarez with 25 laps to go. Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Brandon Jones round out the top five.
3:10 pm : Red Flag Lifted - NASCAR replaces the red flag with the yellow and the cars are rolling again. Now it's up to the crew chiefs to decide whether to make a stop before the race goes back to green. The red flag lasted 19 minutes, 9 seconds.
Erik Jones is the beneficiary and makes it back onto the lead lap.
The leaders head for pit road. Most drivers opt for two tires, Brendan Jones gets 4 new tires and Brendan Gaughan gets 2. After rejoining the field Gaughan makes a second stop to tighten up a wheel.
Busch holds onto the lead and is followed by Suarez, Elliott, Allgaier, Sadler, Brandon Jones, Poole, Dillon, Almirola,
Back to green on Lap 143
2:46 pm : Red Flag - NASCAR throws the red flag with 137 laps complete to allow the safety crew a chance to clean up the massive amounts of debris on the track.
2:42 pm : Caution #3 - Lap 136 - Cody Ware spins out coming off Turn 2 - what looked like it should have been a simple one-car spin turns into a multi-car pileup when Darrell Wallace, Jr. slams into Ware and collects Justin Marks.
All drivers involved have exited their vehicles and appear to be uninjured.
Running order under caution: Busch, Elliott, Suarezz, Allgaier, Sadler, Austin Dillon, Brandon Jones, Poole, Gaughan
2:30 pm : Busch Reaches Milestone - When Kyle Busch completed Lap 116, he pushed his total laps led in the Xfinity Series to 16,000.
2:25 pm : Green Flag Pit Stops Start - Ty Dillon makes a scheduled green flag pit stop on Lap 111.Dillon took the wave around during the second caution. Erik Jones pits on Lap 117.
Dakoda Armstrong is penalized for speeding on pit road.
2:20 pm : Halfway Update - We're halfway through this 200-lap event and Kyle Busch continues to run at the front with absolute no challenge.
The top 10 at halfway are: Busch, Elliott, Suarez, Allgaier, Sadler, Austin Dillon, Wallace, Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Justin Marks, Ty Dillon
Busch has a 2.5 second lead.
2:16 pm : Lap 84 Update - Brad Keselowski lost a lap early and stayed out during the 2nd caution to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap. That strategy backfires on lap 85 when he is forced to make an unscheduled pit stop under green for a tire vibration. That drops him back to 24th, one lap down.
2:10 pm : Caution #2, Lap 73 - A tire got away from a crew on pit road bringing on the caution for the 2nd time.
The leaders head for pit road for service. Busch easily wins the race off pit road.
Erik Jones is one of several drivers who take the wave around. Jones is now one lap down to the leaders.
Running order after pit stops and still under caution: Busch, Elliott, Allgaier, Austin Dillon, Sadler, Brandon Jones, Darrell Wallace, Jr, Suarez, Aric Almirola, Gaughan
Back to green on Lap 79
1:58 pm : Lap 70 Update - Busch continues to dominate this event. He currently has an 11.5 second lead and there are just 10 cars still running on the lead lap.
1:55 pm : Green Flag Pit Sops - Green flag pit stops are underway. Some of the drivers that have fallen a lap down make their stops early. Elliott is the first driver in the top five to make his stop on Lap 52. Gaughan is also in for service. Kyle Busch makes his stop on Lap . 54. Darrell Wallace, Jr inherits the lead before making his stop on Lap 55.
Penalty for Erik Jones for speeding on pit road. Jones was running second before that stop. Jones serves his pass through penalty but gets popped again for speeding while serving his penalty so he'll come back in for a stop and go penalty. Those were costly mistakes that put him back to 23rd place, 2 laps down.
Penalty for Garrett Smithely for an uncontrolled tire.
After the stops, Busch cycles back into the lead followed by Suarez, Elliott, Allgaier and Suarez.
1:40 pm : Lap 40 Update - Justin Algaier has moved around Elliott Sadler for 5th. Busch continues to show the way followed by Jones, Suarez, and Elliott. There are only 19 cars still running on the lead lap so Busch is setting a blistering pace so far.
1:31 pm : Lap 20 Update - Kyle Busch has led since the beginning of the race and for now, teammate Erik Jones is content to run in his tire tracks. Daniel Suarez has moved up to 3rd. Chase Elliott is 4th and Justin Algaier is still running 5th.
1:25 pm : Back to Green, Lap 7 - We're back racing after the first caution.
Jeb Burton made contact during the incident that brought out the caution. He's back on track, running 38th after a quick stop on pit road under caution for service.
Rookie Ryan Peece was also involved in that accident.
1:20 pm : Boyd Gaming 300 Green Flag - We're getting set for the command to start engine. The fuel window for today's race is 54 laps. Pit road speed is 45 mph and the pace car speed is 55 mph.
The No 15 car will start at the rear of the field for a driver change. Stanton Barrett will be behind the wheel for the race. David Starr will also start at the rear after the crew made unapproved changes to the No 44 car after qualifying.
Kyle Busch leads the field of 40 cars to the start finish and takes the green flag for the Xfinity Series' 3rd race of the season.
Busch moves immediatey into the top spot and we're under caution for the first time on Lap 2. Corey Lajoe got tapped coming off Turn 4 and slides through the front stretch grass.
Running order, under caution: Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier.
12:25 pm : Kenseth Leads Final Kobalt 400 Practice - Matt Kenseth jumped to the head of the class early into the Cup Series final practice session and he stayed there. His fastest lap was 189.460 mph. Second through 5th were Carl Edwards in his backup car, pole winner Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. Menard logged the most miles with 54 laps around the speedway but Denny Hamlin was close behind with 52 circuits completed.
11:45 am : Boyd Gaming 300 Pre-Race Notes - Today's race is scheduled for 300 miles, which translates to 200 laps around this 1.5 mile speedway.
Elliott Sadler defends his points lead from 7th on the starting grid. With just two races in the books, Sadler holds a slim three-point lead over Daniel Suarez, who starts alongside today's pole winner Kyle Busch.
Brendan Gaughan will duke it out for local bragging rights. Gaughan rolls off the grid in his No 62 South Point Chevrolet in 8th and, like Busch, is seeking his first series victory at his home track.
There have been 13 different winners in 19 series events at LVMS. Last year's winner Austin Dillon can be the first ever to visit Victory Lane here two years in a row. Dillon starts today's race 14th.
Five drivers are doubling down on their opportunity for a win by competing in both races here this weekend. They are: Kyle Busch, Brad Kesolowski, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola.
Busch record his 50th Xfinity Series pole and his second in two weeks. He won last week's race at Atlanta after extending his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one pole to 14.
11:30 am : Final Cup Practice in Progress - The Cup drivers are getting one final chance to dial in their rides for tomorrow's main event. This practice goes until 12:20 pm, giving double duty drivers approximately 10 minutes to hustle out for driver intros for the Boyd Gaming 300.
11:00 am : Kyle Busch on the Pole for Xfinity Race - It's official, the Busch brothers are the fastest things on four wheels here at LVMS this weekend. Kyle Busch matched big brother Kurt's pole winning effort for the Kobalt 400 with a pole winning run for the Boyd Gaming 300. Big bro holds the slight edge in bragging rights since his qualifying effort was a new series track record.
Kyle's fastest lap of the qualifying session was 183.449 mph (posted during Round 2), which fell a little shy of breaking Brad Keselowski's track record of 185.427 mph. Keselowski's record has remained intact since 2010.
Busch's teammate Erik Jones qualified second and Daniel Suarez made it top three sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Chase Elliott and Brandon Jones rounded out the top 5.
"I'm really looking forward to today," said Busch. "Hopefully, it's a good day. I haven't yet won here at this place (in this series). So it certainly would be nice to check another box today."
Derrike Cope and Todd Peck were the two drivers who failed to qualify for the race.
10:40 am : Busch Fastest Again in Round 2 - Busch appears to be the man to beat for the pole as he upped the ante with an even faster lap in Round 2. Busch's speed was 183.449 mph, a little over one mph faster than teammate Daniel Suarez, who was second fastest. Erik Jones, Brandon Jones and chase Elliott were 3rd through 5th. a
Darrell Wallace Jr was the final driver to post a speed during the session and was just able to crack the top 12 for a shot at the pole in Round 3.
10:15 am : Kyle Busch Fastest in Round 1 - Kyle Busch posted the fastest lap in the first round of qualifying. Busch waited until approximately halfway through the session to make his attempt and completed a fast lap at an average speed of 182.914 mph.
2nd through 5th were: Erik Jones, Brandon Jones, Daniel Suarez and Chase Elliott.
The session was briefly halted to allow safety crews to clean up some fluid dropped by the No 99 Ford driven by Tom Peck.
9:45 am : Xfinity Series Qualifying - Qualifying has just begun for this afternoon's Boyd Gaming 300. There are 42 entries and 40 available starting slots so two teams will leave the track disappointed before the green flag even flies.
9:40 am : Edwards Fastest in 1st Practice - Edwards' early lap of 191.564 mph held on as the fastest of the session. In fact there was no change in the top five after that first 15 minutes of practice with Dillon, Mears, Kahne and Keselowski remaining 2nd through 5th.
8:45 am : Sprint Cup Practice Underway - We're early into this first of two practie sessions and the hard work by Roush Fenway Racing's No 19 crew is already paying off as Carl Edwards is fastest with a 191.564 mph lap. Rounding out the top five are Austin Dillon, Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski.
8:35 am - Edwards' Backup Ready to Roll - A cut right rear tire during yesterday's Sprint Cup Series qualifying session cost Carl Edwards his primary car. His crew worked into the evening last night and were back in that garage as soon as it opened this morning to prepare their backup car for today's practice and tomorrow's race.
8:15 am : Racing and Live Music? What?! - That's right, LVMS has it all, including live music by popular local musicians.
Bands are already rocking the stages both inside and outside the track. The Joey V Blues Experience (hosted by Kid Rock-alike CK) is currently playing in the Fan Engagement Area while the Paul Charles Band is entertaining fans in the Neon Garage. Other bands scheduled to perform: Scotty Alexander Band and Sin City Kiss.
7:30 am : Welcome to Day 3 - Good morning from the speedway. It's race day for the Xfinity Series but first they'll set the grid in this morning's qualifying session scheduled to start at 9:45 am.
Before any of that happens, the Cup teams will take to the track at 8:30 am for 55 minutes of practice.
After Xfinity qualifying, the Cup teams will return to the track for what has always been affectionately known as Happy Hour but in reality is only 50 minutes...but who's counting? Heck, this is Vegas. We have some drinking establishments where Happy Hour lasts all day, so we're all for relative Happy Hours.
The Boyd Gaming 300 is scheduled to go green at 1:00 pm.
If you can't join us in person, stay tuned here for all the action as it happens.