Truex Jr. wins Kobalt 400
By Lori Vizza
6:10 pm - Sunday Good Night - That's gonna do it for this weekend's racing activity. Thank you for joining us. Don't forget we have two triple-header NASCAR weekends to look forward to in 2018 but before that we'll see the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this fall.
5:50 pm - More Post Race Quotes -
Kyle Larson - Finished 2nd - "What an awesome day for our Target Chevy team. Second in the first stage, third in the second stage and then finished second in the race. I can't say enough about my team. I'm so proud of them. Our race cars are amazing right now. We are going to hopefully, keep building on what we've got and keep challenging for wins and they will come."
Chase Elliott - Finished 3rd - "We had a really solid car all day. I felt like we were maybe just a tick off Brad (Keselowski) and the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) and just needed a little bit more. I'm going to have to get back and kind of think about what we needed and where we needed to be better at. Had a poor restart there at the end and kind of got behind, but got lucky to kind of end up where we did with what happened. I'm really proud of the way we have performed."
Ryan Blaney - Finished 7th - "Yeah, I thought we are a little bit better than that. We had to come in early in the race and get some lug nuts back on the right front to be able to race. That put us behind. Our car was good enough and once we got back inside the top 10 I felt that we had a shot at fourth or fifth but that last restart didn't go our way. Good car. Good effort overall. I can't thank the Wood Brothers enough."
Jamie McMurray - Finished 8th - "Just a solid whole weekend for the whole group. We got behind on one of the runs with scuff tires on. I just had a bad restart and we lost a bunch of track position. From there on out our car was really good. I thought we actually had a little better car than where we finished. The No. 42 ran good all day he had a great last run, so yeah a pretty good day."
Clint Bowyer - Finished 10th - "It was a struggle. To be truthful, we weren't the best all weekend, but we just kept digging. Bugga didn't give up on the box and kept adjusting on it and got me pretty good, the best we'd been right there at the end. It's a top-10 and gives us some momentum. It's our third race together and we got a top-10, so we've got to keep digging."
5:30 pm - Race Brawl - The on-track incident that resulted in Kyle Busch spinning out on the final lap spilled over onto pit road after the race when Busch went after Joey Logano.
The contact occurred when Busch and Logano were racing hard for position in the top five. Brad Keselowski’s ailing Ford only complicated matters.
"I was racing hard there at the end with our Pennzoil Ford," said Logano. "Kyle and I usually race really well together. He tried to pin me down into the corner underneath Brad (Keselowski) and we about crashed on entry. And then I was still trying to gather it up by the center and I was gonna spin out, so I’m trying to chase it up and he was there. It obviously wasn’t anything intentional."
Of course, it wasn’t so obvious to Busch.
"I got dumped," said the Las Vegas native. “He flat out just drove straight in the corner and wrecked me. That’s how Joey races. He’s going to get it.”
According to Logano, Busch wasn’t interested in discussion.
“There wasn’t much talking,” Logano admitted. “There was a lot of swinging. You see him coming. He’s wearing the same (bright yellow) color suit as me. I don’t run from conflict. You just talk about it, but he wasn’t in a talking mood. He was in a fighting mood, I guess.”
Busch got the short end of the confrontation when he ended up on the ground underneath a pile of Logano’s crew members and emerged from the scrum with a bloody face.
Logano finished the race 4th. Busch lost a lap early after a speeding penalty but made it up and was poised to record a solid top-five finish before the spin. Instead he leaves his home track with a 22nd place finish, which ironically matches the number on the side of the car driven by his newest arch enemy.
3:50 pm - Pit Road Fisty Cuffs - While Truex was celebrating his victory with the fans on the frontstretch, a brawl broke out on pit road as Kyle Busch and Joey Logano go at it. Logano gets pulled away while several members of his crew pounce on Busch. Busch was finally subdued and left the scene with a bloody gash above his right eye.
3:48 pm - Truex wins the Kobalt 400 - Martin Truex, Jr. recorded his eight career victory and his first at LVMS. He's the first driver to win all three stages in a race under the new points system. Truex led 6 times for 150 laps and beat pole winner Brad Keselowski by 1.495 seconds.
"We definitely had our share of races where we've dominated and gave one away and it looked like today was going to be another one of those," said Truex. "I was out of control and Brad (Keselowski) was really good on the long run. I hate that he had problems, he was strong and we weren’t going to do anything with him, but then he lost the brakes or something. A little bit of a gift, but we have given some away, so it feels good to come out on the good end for once."
Truex and Keselowski set the pace by 239 of the 267 laps between them. Keselowski was in control of the lead for the final restart with nine laps to go but fell off the pace and faded back to fifth over the closing laps.
"I just had three-quarter speed," Keselwoski explained. "And when everybody is charging behind you that's gonna cause a wreck. I got out of the way the best I could. We had a great day. We ran up front and we led a lot of laps. We were the fastest car at the end an just didn't come together. That's part of how racing works."
Keselowski's finish was good enough to push him into the points lead by a single point over Kyle Larson. With the victory, Truex moved from 7th to 4th in points.
3:45 pm - Kobalt 400 Checkers - Keselowski chooses the outside lane on the restart with 9 laps to go and he holds off a challenge from Truex for the lead.
8 Laps to go - Busch and Larson are side by side for third and give it to Larson.
5 Laps to go - Keselowski's lead is 0.7-second over Truex and it almost 2 seconds back to Larson in 3rd
4 Laps to go - No change up front but Truex is catching Keselowski
2 Laps to go - Keselowski seems to have a problem as Truex powers by him on the inside and takes the lead
White Flag - Logano and Busch are side by side for third and as Truex wins, Kyle Busch goes around after contact with Logano
2nd-5th: Larson, Elliott, Logano, Keselowski
3:40 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 252 Update - Under caution or the sixth time as Danica Patrick blows an engine.
Almirola is the beneficiary.
Running order under caution is Keselowski, Truex, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Logano
The lead lap cars head to pit road.
Johnson will have to come back to pit road to tighten some lug nuts on the left side. After the second stop, Johnson is running 16th.
There are 23 cars on the lead lap.
Keselowski wins the race off pit road. He's followed by Truex, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Blaney, Larson, Logano, Hamlin, McMurray and Kenseth.
Back to green on Lap 259 - we have just 9 laps to go
3:25 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 244 Update - Brad Keselowski catches up to Truex and makes the pass or the lead with 23 laps to go.
3:22 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 233 Update - Truex remains in control of the lead as he runs 1.1 seconds ahead of Keselowski. Elliott, Kyle Busch and Logano round out the top 5.
After his green flag stop, Johnson is running 19th, the last car on the lap, some 28 seconds behind the leader.
3:20 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 208 Update - Suarez comes off Turn 4 and hits pit road to start another round of green flag pit stops.
Lap 210: Kyle Busch and Blaney make their stops
Lap 211: Elliott pits and Truex gives up a 1.5-second lead to make his stop. Kewselowski is also in.
Lap 212: Kahne, Austin Dillon to the pits
Johnson is currently in the lead.
Lap 213: Menard to pit road
Johnson is the only lead lap car yet to pit and has a 22-second lead over Truex. He is losing about a second per lap to the cars that have new tires. And he finally gives up the lead on Lap 228 to get tires and fuel.
That gives the lead back to Truex, who is followed by Elliott, Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Logano
Kurt Busch is back in the race after the battery change, running 31st, 4 laps down.
3:05 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 202 Update - Kurt Busch makes an unscheduled pit stop under green. He's been having battery problems for awhile now. The No. 41 Monster Energy Ford comes to a stop on pit road and the crew goes to work changing out that faulty battery.
2:55 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 180 Update - Kyle Busch has rallied all the way back to 5th after the earlier speeding penalty on pit road.
2:45 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 161 Update - Y#5 for the end of Segment 2. And Truex wins that one, too.
2nd-5th: Keselowski, Larson, Elliott, Logano
Kyle Busch has made some progress since getting back on the lead lap and now runs 17th.
McDowell was the beneficiary.
Pit road is open on Lap 164 and there are several takers, including Johnson and Kurt Busch who stayed out during the last caution.
That gives the lead back to Truex for the restart. Truex is in position to become the first driver to win all three stages under the new points system.
2nd-10th for the restart: Keselowski, Larson, Elliott, Logano, Blaney, Earnhardt, Jr. Newman, Kahne, Kyle Busch
Green flag on Lap 168.
2:30 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 152 Update - Under caution for the 4th time today as Derrike Cope power slides through the turn but manages to avoid contact.
Kyle Busch is the beneficiary and is now back on the lead lap (Look out field)
Top 5 under caution: Truex, Elliott, Keselowski, Larson, Johnson
Johnson and Kurt Busch stay out to take over 1st and 2nd, respectively, while the rest of the lead lap drivers head to pit road.
Truex beats the field off pit road and lines up behind Kurt Busch in 3rd.
Behind him it's Keselowski, Elliott, Larson, Logano, Earnhardt, Blaney, Newman
Back to green on Lap 157
2:20 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 123 Update - Green flag pit stops starting with Menard. Elliott pits on the next lap and so does Almirola.
Truex gives up the lead to make a stop on Lap 126 handing the lead to Keselowski.
Lap 127: Keselowski pits, followed by Elliott
Kyle Busch to pit road - He receives a speeding ticket from NASCAR and will have to serve a pass through penalty.
Gaulding is also caught speeding and will serve a penalty.
Ty Dillon has lead as the field continues to cycle through green flag stop.
Ty Dillon comes to pit road on Lap 130, handing the lead to Michael McDowell
Lap 130: Kyle Busch serves his pass through penalty and rejoins the field in 24th place, 1 lap behind the leaders.
Lap 131: Truex blows by McDowell for the lead.
2nd-10th on Lap 131: Elliott, Keselowski, Larson, Johnson, Earnhardt, Logano, Newman, Jones, Blaney
There are 22 cars on the lead lap.
2:05 pm - Harvick Quote About Crash on Lap 69 - "(The tire) started vibrating about four or five laps there before it blew out, and I was just trying to ride it to the end of the stage there. Obviously, it didn't make it. We were just too loose right there. It's not like we were even tight, so it either just cut the tire or came apart or melted the bead."
2:00 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 100 Update - Truex continues to lead with Keselowski running second, 1.5 seconds back.
3rd-10th: Elliott, Larson, Earnhardt, Jones, Kyle Busch, Newman, Bayne.
There are 27 cars on the lead laps. LaJoie and Harvick are the only two drivers out of the race. LaJoie will be awarded a 39th place finish and Harvick will finish 38th.
1:55 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 80 Update - Yellow #3 as the field completes Stage 1. Truex wins that stage.
2nd-5th: Larson, Blaney, Keselowski, Elliott.
Pit road is open on Lap 83.
It's a mixed bag as some drivers stay on track and others come to pit road. Logano heads to his pit for fresh tires, along with Suarez and several others
Running order for the restart: Truex, Larson, Keselowski, Elliott, Earnhardt, Newman, Jones, Menard, Bayne, Austin Dillon
The first driver with four fresh tires is Jimmie Johnson in 17th.
Back to green on Lap 88
1:45 pm - Medical Update - Harvick was checked and released from the Infield Care Center. "I'm OK. I blew a tire," he said about the incident.
1:40 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 70 Update - Yellow #2 for a crash in Turn 1. It's Kevin Harvick who blew a tire on the frontstretch at full speed and hits the outside wall hard.
Running order under caution: Keselowski, Truex, Logano, Blaney, Kyle Busch
Allmendinger is the beneficiary,
Pit stops for everyone on the lead lap except Logano on Lap 71.
Logano assumes the lead. McMurray gets off pit road first after a two-tire change and lines up behind Logano.
3rd-10th: Truex, Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Larson, Elliott, Blaney, Johnson, Earnhardt, Jr.
The green flag waves on Lap 76.
Logano loses several positions on those old tires as Truex motors into the lead and pulls McMurray, Larson and Blaney along with him. Logano is all the way back to 14th within two laps after the restart.
1:30 pm - Penalty Update - Timmy Hill's team is popped for an uncontrolled tire on pit road and costing them a pass through penalty on Lap 63.
1:25 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 50 Update - Keselowski is still out front. He currently has a 1.6-second lead over Truex, who holds onto second.
Behind them it's Logano, Blaney, and Kyle Busch.
6th-19th: Harvick, Elliott, Larson, Johnson, Kenseth
There are still 30 cars on the lead lap and Corey LaJoie is the only driver currently out of the race.
1:15 pm - Medical Update - Corey LaJoie was checked out and released from the Infield Care Center after his crash in Turn 2.
1:10 pm - Kobalt 400 Lap 19 Update - We're under caution for the first time after Corey LaJoie crashes hard in Turn 2. There are some flames under the hood and a ton of smoke but the fire extinguishes itself and LaJoie climbs out safely.
Running order under caution: Keselowski, Truex, Larson, Blaney, Logano
Jeffrey Earnhardt is the beneficiary
Everybody takes this opportunity to make a pit stop.
Several close calls on pit road as Aric Almirola misses his pit stall and backs up on pit road. Several cars had to swerve to avoid and somehow made it by without contact.
Truex beats the field off pit road to take the lead for the first time.
2nd-10th: Keselowski, Logano, Blaney, Kyle Busch, Gaulding, Kenseth, Larson, Elliott, Harvick
Back to green on Lap 25.
Keselowski wastes no time at all getting around Truex and reclaiming the top spot.
12:50 pm - Kobalt 400 Green Flag - John Fogarty gives the command to start engines and we're just a few minutes away from getting this race started.
The field follows the pace car off pit road with pole winner Brad Keselowski choosing the inside lane for the start. The Team Penske racer is seeking his second consecutive victory of 2017 and his second Cup Series victory in a row here at LVMS. Jimmie Johnson has won more Cup events here than any other driver and he'd like nothing more than to add a fifth LVMS trophy to the case. Roush-Fenway Racing leads all teams with seven victories.
Today's event is 267 laps, 400.5 miles. Stage 1 will end on Lap 80 and Stage 2 will end on Lap 160.
Danica Patrick (unapproved change) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (backup car after encounter with the wall during final practice) will start at the rear.
The green flag waves and the race is on!
Keselowski pulls out front going into Turn 1 but Truex peeks insideon the backstretch. Keseolowski holds him off and leads the first lap
Top 5 on Lap 1: Keselowski, Truex, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth
9:40 am - Putting a Wrap on the Boyd Gaming 300 - Just a few stats and facts to put a bow on yesterday's Xfinity Series race:
Joey Logano recorded his 28th victory in 160 series starts and is in eighth place on the all-time series winner' list. It was his first series start at LVMS and his first victory of the season. Logano led three times for 106 laps more than any other driver.
There were five different leaders: Logano, Kyle Larson led 3 times for 33 laps (Finished 2nd), Kyle Busch led the first 48 laps and won Stage 1, Brad Keselowski led one time for 12 laps and won Stage 2, and J.J. Yeley led 1 lap.
Cole Custer was the highest finishing rookie with an 11th place performance.
Elliott Sadler (Finished 8th) leads the points by 4 over Ryan Reed (Finished 9th)
8:15 am - We Don't Do Boring - From live bands in the Neon Garage to the midway jam-packed with vendors, you'll find plenty to keep you occupied before the green flag flies. Grab a bite to eat, sip on a cold beverage and meet some drivers at the Team Chevy display, including Brendan Gaughan, Michael McDowell, and Austin Dillon. There's cool merchandise and even a small ferris-wheel type ride for the little ones.
On the track, the Speedway Children's Charity Track Walk starts at 9 pm. Hundreds of fans will take a leisurely stroll around this 1.5-mile speedway and while it won't be the fastest lap you'll see this weekend, it might just be the most fun and of course, it's all for a great cause.
And in the infield, the Neon Garage is already rockin'. Our showgirls are doing are busy meeting and greeting, the skater girls are skating, the stilt walkers are stilting, I've seen a cowboy with a lariat, and celebrity look-alikes abound for your social media selfie pleasure. But take a close look because this race weekend in Vegas, baby, and that celebrity you see just might be the real thing.
8:00 am - Say Hello to Our Special Guests - Our list of special guests for today's event include Honorary Pace Car Driver Nevada US Senator Dean Heller. JS Products Presdient Johnny Mora will wave the green flag to start the race. Legendary singer/musician/songwriter John Fogerty will give the command to start engines and members of the rock band Night Ranger will sing the National Anthem wile the 433rd Fighter Weapons Squadron from nearby Neliis AFB unfurl a giant American flag. Today's fly-by includes a pair of F-22s and a pair of F15s, also based at Nellis.
7:30 am - Good morning and welcome to Day 3 of our live coverage from the speedway. The crews are busy setting up their pits for this afternoon's Kobalt 400. Brad Keselowski will lead the field to green 12:30 pm but there are plenty of activities going on around the track to keep you busy until then. It's going to be beautiful day weather with sunny skies and temps in the low '80s. Come on out and joins us for the fun and stay tuned here for all the action as it happens.