Keselowski Wins South Point 400
5:45 pm - Good Night - That's gonna do it for this weekend's coverage from the race track. Congratulations to Brad Keselowski, Ross Chastain and Grant Enfinger for their victories. Thank you for joining us and we'll see you back here in March!
5:00 pm - Truex Takes Points Lead - Martin Truex, Jr.'s third place finish boosted him into the points lead by two over Kyle Busch. Keselowski is in third place, 18 points behind the leader.
Busch clinched the regular season championship and had to battle back in today's race after an early pit miscue and a crash with less than 40 laps to go. Despite the trouble, Busch finished seventh.
"Our M&M's Camry guys did a great job fighting through that and getting me some good repairs and stuff like that on pit road," said Busch. "That's what this time of year is all about is minimizing the bad days and being able to recover and come back."
4:35 pm - Keselowski Wins Three in a Row - Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 team are on fire after winning their third race in a row, and it couldn't come at a better time in the season. In addition to scoring his 27th series victory, Keselowski also handed Team Penske its 500th victory overall.
Keselowski led eight times for 75 laps, including the final 22 laps that saw the caution fly no less than four times. The No. 2 Ford was strong on the restarts, which was key to the victory.
"I didn't think it was ever gonna end," said Keselowski. "I was worried about running out of gas there at the end. What a special day for 500 wins for Penske, three in a row here, first win in the Playoffs. There are too many storylines for me to get it all right, but we're very thankful and very proud for all of them."
Playoff driver Kyle Larson finished second after rebounding from an early unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire. Larson swapped the lead back-and-forth Keselowski four times over the final 30 laps and ultimately finished 1.3 seconds behind the leader.
"I needed it to stay green," said Larson. "I was terrible on short runs today but once I could get the top going I was really good. Right when I moved up to the top in Turns 3 and 4 and pulled away the caution came out.
Martin Truex, Jr. led 21 more laps than the winner.
"Brad clearly found the horseshoe," said Truex. "Three races in a row he has won, he has not had the best car. He's on a streak. That's the way it goes."
4:00 pm - Keselowski Wins South Point 400 - Brad Keselowski won the South Point 400 to score his third consecutive race and Penske Racing's 500th overall victory.
Kyle Larson finished second and Martin Truex, Jr. finished third.
3:45 pm - South Point 400, Caution #12 - We're going to overtime as we're under caution for a multicar crash on the frontstretch. Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and McDowell are involved
Top 10, under caution: Keselowski, Logano, Truex, Larson, Blaney, Suarez, Almirola, Dillon, Kyle Busch, Newman
We're under a red flag condition for clean up.
Green flag on Lap 270
3:40 pm - South Point 400, Caution #11 - We're under caution on Lap 262. Several cars are having trouble all at once. Jimmie Johnson brushed the wall and has a tire rubbing. Bowyer also had contact. Bowman had to make a pit stop for a flat tire.
Running order under caution: Keselowski, Blaney, Logano, Larson, Truex, Newman, Suarez, Dillon, Almirola
Green flag on Lap 265 with 2 laps to go.
3:30 pm - South Point 400, Caution #10 - Back under yellow for a crash on the backstretch involving Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Keselowski has the lead.
2nd-5th: Logano, Larson, Truex, Blaney
6th-10th: Johnson, Kurt Busch, Newman, Suarez, Bowman
The leaders stay out again.
Green flag on Lap 257
3:20 pm - South Point 400, Caution #9 - Another playoff driver has trouble as Denny Hamlin loses control off Turn 4 and slides through the infield grass.
Under caution on Lap 247.
Most of the leaders stay out on the track. Kyle Busch and Paul Menard make a stop.
Up front: Larson leads followed by Keselowski, Truex, Logano, Johnson, Blaney, Bowman, Kurt Busch
Back to green on Lap 251
3:10 pm - South Point 400, Caution #8 - Kyle Busch gets loose coming out of Turn 4 and takes a ride through the infield grass. His right front tire blows but he manages to avoid any contact.
Under caution on Lap 234
The leaders are coming to pit road.
Running order for the restart: Keselowski, Truex, Logano, Larson, Blaney, Johnson, Bowyer, Kurt Busch
Green flag on Lap 237
2:50 pm - South Point 400, Caution #7 - McMurray slams into the outside wall and Chase Elliott piles in. We're under caution on Lap 214.
McMurray had made contact with the outside wall a few laps ago. It looks like he damaged a tire and it finally let go. Elliott was a sitting duck as McMurray swept up the track right in front of him.
Top 5 under caution: Truex, Keselowski, Logano, Larson, Johnson
The leaders hit pit road on Lap 219
Running order after stops: Keselowski, Logano, Truex, Larson, Blaney, Bowyer, Kurt Busch
Green flag on Lap 222
2:40 pm - Erik Jones Quote - Pole winner Erik Jones was collected in the crash caused by Harvick's flat tire on Lap 147.
"It's just unfortunate - we didn't have the best-handling DeWalt Camry today and thought we were going to end up okay. We were going to finish top-10 no matter what. It's unfortunate we had that happen, nothing Kevin (Harvick) could do and nothing I could do unfortunately."
2:30 pm - South Point 400, Caution #6 - Byron hits the outside wall to bring out the 6th caution on Lap 184.
Keselowski leads the field to pit road.
Top 5 after pit stops: Keselowski, Larson, Truex, Logano, McMurray
Kyle Busch has fought his way up to 12th.
Back to green on Lap 188
2:25 pm - Harvick Quote - Harvick crashed on Lap 147 due to a flat tire.
"Well, there was something wrong from the time we put the tires on. It was like Russian roulette every time you put these piece of crap tires on and try to drive around the race track. One time it is tight, one time it is loose, one time they are blistered. We had a great car and then you put a set of tires on it and you can't hardly make it through the field. I just hate it for everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford."
2:20 pm - South Point 400, Back to Green - Blaney makes a two-tire stop and jumps up into the top 10.
Bowman penalized for uncontrolled tire.
McLeod penalized for speeding on pit road.
Running order for the restart: McMurray, Larson, Bayne, Kyle Busch, Menard, Blaney, Keselowski,
The top five drivers opted to stay on the track during that caution.
Back to racing on Lap 166
2:10 pm - Keselowski Wins Stage 2 - Stage 2 is in the books and give this one to Keselowski.
2nd-5th - Kurt Busch, Truex, Johnson, McMurray
6th-10th - Logano, Elliott, Blaney, Bowman, Larson
The leaders are on pit road.
2:00 pm - South Point 400, Caution #4 - Trouble for two playoff drivers as Harvick and Jones crash off Turn 1. Harvick lost a tire and Jones gets collected as he has nowhere to go.
We're under caution or the fourth time on Lap 148.
Top five, under caution: Truex, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Logano, McMurray.
The leaders are on pit road.
Top five on the restart: Keselowski, Truex, Kurt Busch, McMurray, Bowman
6th-10th: Johnson, Elliott, Logano, Larson, Blaney
Back to green on Lap 157
1:50 pm - South Point 400, Lap 135 Update - Truex ran down Keselowski and retook the lead on Lap 127.
3rd through 5th are Kurth Busch, Logano, and Bowyer
Kyle Busch has stalled out and has only managed to get back to 18th place after a pit miscue during the last caution period.
1:35 pm - South Point 400, Caution #3 - Ty Dillon scrapes the outside wall. He's off the pace with a flat tire and that brings out the caution for the third time on Lap 112.
Truex continues to lead. He's followed by Harvick, Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Logano.
And the leaders are down pit road.
Keselowksi wins the race on pit road. Truex comes out 2nd. Logano, Harvick and Kurt Busch will restart 3rd-5th.
Kyle Busch had to make a second pit stop for a lug nut issue. He'll restart way back in 24th.
Back to green on Lap 116
1:25 PM - South Point 400, Caution #2 - We're under caution for a crash by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Stenhouse was able to drive away and back to pit road. He's got heavy damage to the right side.
That caution is a break for Larson, who took the wave around on the last restart and will now be back on the lead lap.
Top 5 under caution: Truex, Bowman, Kurth Busch, Harvick, Logano
Green flag, Lap 94
1:15 pm - South Point 400, Stage 2, Green Flag - Truex held the lead through that round of pit stops.
Top 10 for the restart: Truex, Bowman, Logano, Elliott, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jones, Almirola
Back to green on Lap 88
1:05 pm - Truex Wins Stage 1 - Truex took the lead on Lap 60 and hung on to win Stage 1.
2nd-10th: Harvick, Bowman, Kurt Busch, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Logano, Jones, Almirola, Newman
1:00 pm - South Point 400, Lap 65 - We have a new leader. Martin Truex got a run on Harvick and made the pass for the lead on the outside on Lap 60.
3rd-5th: Kurt Busch, Larson, Kyle Busch
Lap 70 - Larson has a flat tire and has to make an unscheduled pit stop under green. He'll lose a lap and returns to the track in 24th position. Before the flat, Larson was running 3rd and challenging Harvick for 2nd.
12:50 pm - South Point 400, Lap 50 Update - After green flag stops, Harvick retains the lead over Logano. Kurth Busch, Truex, and Kyle Busch round out the top 5.
Bayne and LaJoie were penalized for speeding on pit road.
12:40 pm - South Point 400, Lap 35 Update - Harvick becomes the 2nd leader of the race as he shoots inside of Logano and takes the lead.
Lap 35 top 5: Harvick, Kyle Busch, Logano, Jones, Larson
Keselowski peels off the track on Lap 37 to begin a round of green flag pit stops.
12:35 pm - South Point 400, Lap 20 Update - Logano continues to lead with Kyle Busch running second and Jones hanging on in third.
Austin Dillon has raced from last place up to 20th in the first 20 laps.
Harvick is running 4th and Kurt Busch is 5th.
12:20 pm - South Point 400, Green Flag - Brendan Gaughan gives the command to start engines and we are just moments away from getting this event underway.
"On behalf of my family but more importantly, Las Vegas, NV, it is my honor to invite my friends, Drivers, start your engines!"
Erik Jones chooses to start from the inside lane and he's got Joey Logano to his right and Denny Hamlin on his back bumper.
Two drivers will drop to the rear for the start-- BJ McLeod (qualified 38th) for a rear gear change and Austin Dillon (qualified 18th) for an unapproved body modification.
Stage 1 ends at Lap 80. Stage 2 ends at Lap 160.
The green flag waves and the first race of the playoffs is on!
Logano takes the lead from Jones in Turn 3.
Logano leads the first lap, followed by Jones, Kyle Busch, Blaney, Kurt Busch
9:50 am - Sizing Up the Big 3 - The "Big 3" Erik Jones identified as the favorites to run for this year's title are Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex, Jr. Las Vegas' Kyle Busch, is a six-time winner in 2018 and kicks off the playoff season with the biggest advantage as the season's regular season champion.
Busch holds the record as the youngest Monster Energy Series winner and polesitter in LVMS history. He finished second to Harvick in March.
"I've won here before, but it was a long time ago," said Busch. "We'd love to have the opportunity to go out there and win and just move ourselves automatically through to the next round and not have to worry about the roval (at Charlotte)."
Harvick is looking for back-to-back LVMS wins. He dominated the March race, leading 214 of 267 laps. He has seven victories this season and has led 1,220 laps so far, more than any other driver.
Truex is a four-time winner in 2018 but is coming off a miserable performance at Indianapolis that saw him finish last with mechanical problems.
Busch starts today's race 4th on the grid. Harvick takes the green one lap back in 5th, while Truex qualified 10th.
9:00 am - South Point 400 Pre-Race - We are getting set to kick off the MENCS playoff season and Erik Jones, driver of the 20 DeWalt Toyota will lead the field to the green flag.
Jones readily admits that he may not be a favorite to run for the championship at Homestead but that doesn't mean the fans should count him out.
"I don't mind (being a dark horse)," said Jones. "I don't think it's wrong. You look at the three guys who have won all of the races and it's only been a few who have won a couple of races. I would say there's a few dark horses. I don't think I am the only one. I would say the big three are definitely the favorites to get to Homestead, but that last spot needs to be filled. We're all fighting for it."
The 16 playoff drivers qualified in the top 18 for today's race. Jamie McMurray (starting 12th) was the highest qualifying non-playoff driver. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. crashed the playoff qualifying party with a 14th place qualifying effort.
Ross Chastain, yesterday's Xfinity Series race winner lines up 34th on the grid in the 15 Xchange of America Chevrolet.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is on hand to welcome fans to today's events. As mentioned, NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan will give the command to start engines on behalf of the South Point Hotel and Casino. Our flyover today will feature four A-10s from the 66th Weapons Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base.
7:45 am - Good Morning - For the Cup drivers it's all over but the racing. Las Vegas' own Brendan Gaughan will give the command to start engines at 12:07 pm and we'll set 'em loose for 267 laps.
Stay tuned here for all the action as it happens.