Race Day Blog -- Saturday
10:05 p.m. - That's a wrap on today’s coverage of the Rhino Linings 350. The Truck Series teams will take the next two weeks off before heading to Talladega Superspeedway, a place where Crafton’s 19 point lead can evaporate in a heartbeat if things don’t go according to plan.
Thanks for joining us!
9:55 p.m. - Erik Jones Beats Kyle Busch Motorsports Teammate to Record Third Career Victory - Just hours after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Dover, Kyle Busch's night got that much better as Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace, Jr drove his NASCAR Camping World Series Trucks to a one-two finish in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Jones started 13th, led two times for 19 of 146 laps, passed Wallace on Lap 132 and led the final 14 laps to post his third career victory.
"It was a blast," said Jones. "It drove so good at the end. I wanted to win out here so bad. I had this marked down as one I was looking forward to. We were way, way too loose before the final pit stop but that last adjustment was perfect. It was a big, big swing."
Wallace led a race-high 84 laps to record his fifth second place finish of the season and second in a row. It was also his second second place finish at Las Vegas in two career starts.
“I just got beat, flat out,” said the disappointed driver. “We need a win. This is frustrating. I hate finishing second so bad. I thought it was ours but it was a dominating performance by Kyle Busch Motorsports once again.”
With his third place finish, points leader Matt Crafton extended his lead from 7 to 19 points over second place Johnny Sauter, who finished 14th, one lap behind the leaders.
Ben Kennedy was the highest finishing Rookie of the Year contender with a strong 7th place finish.
The 18 lead changes in tonight’s race surpassed the old track record of 17 set in 2012.
8:58 pm. - 3 laps to go: Jones stretches his lead to 1.1 seconds
18-year old Erik Jones takes the white flag and crosses the start/finish line 1.329 seconds ahead of teammate Wallace to post his third career victory.
Rounding out the top 10: Crafton, Peters, Ickler, Wallace, Kennedy, Burton, Malsam, Coulter
8 cars finished on the lead lap
8:55 p.m. - With just 6 laps to go, this race is KBM's to lose as the third place car is 3.2 seconds behind Jones and Wallace
8:51 p.m. - Lap 134: Jones wrestles the lead away from Wallace. Wallace loses some of his momentum as they come up on the 11th place truck of John Wes Townley and put him a lap down.
8:49 p.m. - Wallace has a slim 0.31-second lead over Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Jones with 20 laps to go. Somewhere in Dover, DE Kyle is either pretty darn excited or just a little nervous as his two drivers prepare to battle for the lead.
8:42 p.m. - Las Vegas' Spencer Gallagher is holding his own out there. He's running 11th on Lap 97 after starting 9th.
Lap 100: Top 5: Wallace, Crafton, Peters, Jones Ickler
Lap 106: Blaney and Wallace are the first two drivers to come down pit road under green. Crafton assumes the lead
Lap 107: Peters, Ickler and Jones make their stops
Lap 108: Crafton gives up the lead to hit pit road.
Lap 110: Quiroga makes a stop
Silas assumes the lead
Lap 112: Silas and Mingus to pit road
Lap 113: Tyler Reddick is now out front
Lap 114: Reddick and Nemechek are the final two drivers to stop under this round of green flag pit stops
After stops the top 10 on Lap 115: Wallace, Jones, Crafton, Peters, Blaney, Ickler, Ben Kennedy, Taylor Malsam, Jeb Burton and Joey Coulter
8:27 p.m. - Lap 75 - Wallace has a 0.7-second lead over Peters.
Lap 79: Jones moves around Crafton for 3rd but just two laps later, Crafton retakes the position.
Lap 82 - There are 19 trucks on the lead lap
Lap 90: Top 5: Wallace, Crafton, Peters, Jones, Ickler
8:18 p.m. - Wallace takes the lead on the restart after Y#4.
Lap 70: Top 5: Wallace, Peters, Crafton, Jones and Ickler
Lap 73: Jones takes third from Crafton
8:06 p.m. - Lap 50: The top five are Peters, Wallace, Jones, Quiroga and Blaney - There are 23 cars on the lead lap.
Out of the race: TJ Bell, Jimmy Weller, BJ McLeod, Scott Stenzel, Caleb Roark and Charles Lewandoski
Wallace takes the lead from Peters
Yellow #4 on Lap 54 - Crash - Jason White into the wall off Turn 4 after Tyler Reddick takes evasive action and runs White up the track.
Pit stops under caution
Wallace takes the lead off pit road followed by Peters, Brian Ickler (who took 2 tires only and gains 6 positions), Crafton and Jones.
Jennifer Jo Cobb is the beneficiary.
Back to green on Lap 62
7:51 p.m. - Lap 32 - Y#3 - Competition Yellow - Top 5: Jones, Peters, Wallace, Blaney and Crafton.
Everyone comes to pit road.
Peters and Wallace are side by side at pit road exit and give the lead to Peters.
Lap 34: Top 5 after pit stops: Peters, Wallace, Jones, Quiroga and Crafton
Joe Nemechek is the beneficiary and gets back on the lead lap.
Green flag on Lap 36.
7:41 p.m. - TJ Bell pits under the 2nd caution.
Back to green on Lap 19 - Three wide between Turns 1 and 2 for the lead and defending race winner Peters takes it dragging Blaney to 2nd and bumping Wallace back to 3rd.
Lap 26 - Erik Jones takes over 2nd and then sweeps past Peters to the lead on Lap 27.
Jimmy Weller slaps the wall in Turn 4 but we stay under green as he comes to pit road to the attention of his crew.
7:33 p.m. - Wallace takes the lead after the restart on Lap 7 while Blaney drops back to 3rd. Timothy Peters is already up 4th on Lap 13 after starting 17th.
Yellow #2 on Lap 14 as Bryan Silas spins off Turn 4 - He was running 17th at the time.
Under caution: Wallace, German Quiroga, Blaney, Peters and Matt Crafton
7:24 p.m. - The Rhino Linings 350 is underway. Ryan Blaney gets a great start and takes the lead. And we're under caution on the 2nd lap for rookie Mason Mingus who spins off Turn 4.
Under caution the top five are Blaney, Darrell Wallace, Jr, German Quiroga, Danny Crafton and Spencer Gallagher
Back under green on Lap 7.
5:20 p.m. - Pole Facts - Ryan Blaney recorded his fourth career pole in 48 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. It was his second pole of the season and his first in two attempts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr, who starts on the outside of the front row, recorded his 12th top 10 start of 2014 and his first in two attempts at LVMS.
Taylar Malsam snagged his first top 10 start at LVMS and his second top 10 qualifying effort in nine starts this season.
Ben Kennedy was the fastest qualifying rookie with the ninth fastest speed.
4:49 p.m. - After a trip to Bizarro World during the second round of qualifying, we managed to get through Round 3 without a problem. Ryan Blaney wins the pole for tonight's race with a fast lap of 175.770 mph edging out Darrell Wallace Jr, who ran a lap of 175.536 mph. Rounding out the top five are Tayler Malsam, German Quiroga and Danny Crafton.
4:40 p.m. - Round 2 of qualifying was nothing short of chaotic and confusing. With 51 seconds left to go in the round all but five trucks were still sitting on pit road. At that point there was a mad scramble as they all left pit road at the same time but before they could make it back to the start/finish line, John Wes Townley spun and brought out the red flag with just 18 seconds left in the session. When NASCAR attempted to restart the session (to allow the drivers to complete one lap) all but three trucks jumped the start forcing a do over. On the second attempt only six trucks made it to the first timing loop before the 18 seconds was up (giving them official speeds of around 12 mph) while the rest failed to record a time. That gave us just 11 trucks with a 2nd round speed, so they reverted back to 1st round speeds, to fill the 12th slot.
Confused? Don't feel bad….you're not alone.
4:08 p.m. - Round 1 of Knockout Qualifying has concluded and German Quiroga was fastest at 174.222 mph. Rounding out the top five are Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Spencer Gallagher and Brian Ickler. Round two will start after a short five-minute break.
2:42 p.m. - Carrying on the Family Tradition - As the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr, Ben Kennedy should know a thing or two about racing. And it turns out, he does. The rookie driver from Daytona Beach, FL kicked off the season with a pole at Daytona International Speedway and since then, he's recorded two top five finishes and 7 top 10s with a career best 3rd place finish at Martinsville. He has been running at the finish of every race so far and his 21st place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is his only finish outside the top 20. This is his first start at LVMS but Turner Scott Motorsports already knows the way to Victory Lane after Nelson Piquet, Jr won the 2012 race here.
"Vegas is a track I've been excited about since the beginning of the season," said Kennedy. " Turner Scott Motorsports is great on the mile-and-a-half tracks and we're bringing back the same truck we ran in Chicagoland and finished seventh with, so I feel like we've got a lot of potential."
Kennedy was fourth fastest in today's final practice, just 0.126-second off the fastest lap set by Darrell Wallace, Jr
1:04 p.m. - KBM Looking for First LVMS Victory - While Kyle Busch is busy this weekend in Dover, DE, Darrell Wallace, Jr and Erik Jones are carrying the banner for Kyle Busch Motorsports at the boss' home track. Wallace led the final practice and was one of just six drivers who broke the 174 mph barrier. Erik Jones was second fastest during the first practice session with a speed that was 7th fastest overall at 173.812 mph.
Wallace is coming off a strong second place finish at New Hampshire last week and is looking for his third victory of the 2014 season.
"Our mile-and-a-half program has turned around a tremendous amount," said Wallace. "We have a brand new Toyota Tundra and we have the momentum on our side."
Erik Jones is driving the No 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The team unloaded chassis KBM-21, a fitting number considering the venue. Jones has four top 10 finishes in the last five races and he and crew chief Eric Phillips are hoping the trend continues with a jackpot run in Sin City.
"This is one we've circled as a company for a long time but we haven't been able to bring home the victory yet," said Phillips. We're bringing our favorite truck. Erik was able to get a little more mile-and-a-half experience by practicing the truck for Kyle at Chicago and I think it really helped his confidence."
12:20 p.m. - So Far, So Good - Jeb Burton's first visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2013 proved to be quite the challenge as the young driver wrecked him primary ride during practice and was forced to a back-up truck for qualifying and the race. Even against those odds, he was able to manage the fourth fastest qualifying time and a 12th place finish on the lead lap.
This year he's off to a much better start here in Sin City. He was 13th fastest in the first practice session at 171.565 mph and 14th fastest in the final session with a 171.805 mph.
"I had a tough time at Las Vegas last year," Burton admitted. I wrecked my primary in practice and struggled with handling issues on by back-up during the race. We just need a smooth run this weekend. We had a strong run at Chicago, another 1.5 mile track. If we can keep that up in the final six races, we have a shot at salvaging a decent finish in the points after a tough start to the year.
Burton is currently 9th in points, 111 points behind leader and ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton.
12:05 p.m. - The final practice session has ended and Darrell Wallace Jr was fastest at 174.814 mph. He was followed by German Quiroga, Timothy Peters, rookie driver Ben Kennedy and Brian Ickler. The teams are busy getting their trucks ready for qualifying, which starts 3:40 pm.
11: 05 a.m. - We're 20 minutes into the final practice and we're under a red flag condition due to a minor spin into the infield by Mason Mingus. He gets the truck pointed back in the right direction and drives back to the garage. As we go back to green, Darrell Wallace, Jr jumps up to the top spot with a 174.814 mph lap. Rounding out the top five are Brian Ickler, Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters and Ryan Blaney.
10:20 a.m. - The first practice session is in the books. Joey Coulter held onto the top spot but he upped the ante to 174.825 mph. Erik Jones was second fastest followed by German Quiroga. Darrell Wallace, Jr jumped up to fourth on the time sheet and Brian Ickler rounded out the top five. The teams will take a short break and be back on track for their final practice session at 10:45 am.
10:10 a.m. - We have 30 trucks on the entry list for tonight's race so everyone will make the field. Mike Skinner holds the track qualifying record of 179.065 mph (30.326 seconds) set way back in 2006. We have two native Nevadans competing here this weekend, one from the north and one from the south. TJ Bell, from Reno, is driving the No 50 Dedicated to Electrical Linemen Chevrolet. Spencer Gallagher, driving the No 3 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, is from right here in Las Vegas.
9:55 a.m. - The trucks are on the track for their first practice session. Joey Coulter is fastest so far in the No 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet at 172.900 mph. Rounding out the top five are Erik Jones, Geman Quiroga, Brian Ickler and defending race winner Timothy Peters.
9:30 a.m. -- Good morning from Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the 18th Rhino Linings 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams have made their annual trek to Sin City and we've got a full day of activities on tap before tonight's Rhino Linings 350 under the lights. The drivers will have two practice sessions this morning, from 9-10:15 am and from 10:45 am-noon. Qualifying will take place at 3:40 pm and the field will get the green flag for tonight's 146-lap race at 7 pm.
The Neon Garage is open to all guests today and several drivers including Darrell Wallace, Jr, Ron Hornaday, Jr, German Quiroga, Timothy Peters, Spencer Gallagher and TJ Bell will be there for an autograph session during this afternoon's break from 2-2:45 pm.
Tickets are still available for tonight's race, so come on out and join us!
Be sure to check back throughout the day for news, notes and quotes from today's activities.