Taylor Gray’s first ARCA Menards Series West start at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a rousing success.

Gray took the lead from Jesse Love on a Lap 76 restart and was rarely challenged in the closing stages of Thursday’s Star Nursery 150, scoring his third career ARCA West win – and his second in a row – in only his eighth start.

“I’m speechless. I can’t thank everybody enough,” said Gray, the driver of the No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford. “We brought a good race car. When we fired off today, we struggled and we kind of changed everything on the car. We completely changed the front geometry. (Crew chief) Chad Johnston and everybody at DGR gave me a great race car. It’s a good win, for sure.”

Gray passed polesitter Jake Drew on Lap 22 and held the point for 43 laps before Love overtook Gray on the frontstretch, but Love’s advantage was short-lived. Love took the outside line on a Lap 76 restart, which gave Gray the inside line and, soon after, the lead.

Thirty laps later, Love spun on the backstretch and fell out of contention for good. He finished 13th, four laps down.

Drew held on for second ahead of Sunrise Ford Racing teammate Trevor Huddleston. Joey Iest and Kyle Keller rounded out the top five, with Cole Moore sixth. Paul Pedroncelli Jr. finished seventh ahead of Takuma Koga in eighth, Josh Fanopoulos ninth and Christian Rose 10th.

“(Leading the race) was awesome. I loved it,” Drew said. “I wish we could’ve gotten that win tonight. I feel like we’ve gotten so close the last few weeks, but we’ll take it and we’ll keep fighting. I’d like to thank all the fans who came out tonight to The Bullring. You guys were great. I can’t wait to see you come back.”

LVMS continues its South Point 400 NASCAR weekend with today’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts, which gets underway at 6 p.m. Tickets start at just $24 and are available at www.LVMS.com. Kids 12 and under get in free.