Sauter fastest in NCWTS practice on Thursday
By Lori Vizza
5:20 pm - Thursday Good Night - This concludes our live coverage from Day 1 at the track. Join us again tomorrow for a full day of on-track action that includes practice for the Cup and Xfinity Series as well as qualifying for the Cup and Truck Series. We'll cap it all off with the Truck Series Stratosphere 200 starting at 6 pm.
5:15 pm - Meanwhile Out at The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign…- The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series haulers are lining up for their annual Hauler Parade down the Las Vegas Strip. They'll start at the iconic Welcome sign and follow the world-famous boulevard all the way to Sahara Blvd, where they'll hang a left and hop on the I-15 for the rest of the journey to LVMS. Be sure to check it out!
5:10 pm - Sauter Fastest in NCWTS Final Practice - Johnny Sauter set the pace in this afternoon's final practice session with a lap at 179.319 mph, which was also the fastest lap of the day. Brett Moffitt was the only other driver to surpass the 179-mph mark with a lap at 179.081. Noah Gragson, Stewart Friesen and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.
Sauter, who won the Truck Series race at LVMS in 2009, would love nothing better than to find redemption after last fall's Truck event. After starting second and running among the leaders, Sauter was involved in a crash on a restart, was later forced to make an unscheduled stop for a flat tire and received a speeding penalty on pit road. All that put Sauter three laps behind the leaders. Sauter eventually made up two of those laps but settled for a 10-place finish, one lap behind the winner.
"That’s one race that I still feel like I screwed up and one got away from us," said Sauter. "If our truck drives anywhere like it did last year and I don’t screw it up, we’ll be in great shape."
4:15 pm - NCWTS Final Practice - We're about 10 minutes into this final practice session for the Truck Series drivers. Johnny Sauter is the early leader with a lap of 178.319 mph. He is currently followed by Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen, Noah Gragson and Matt Crafton.
3:00 pm - Marks Leads First NCWTS Practice – Ben Rhodes and Johnny Sauter each took a turn atop the speed chart before Justin Marks retook the spot with a lap at 178.141 mph. Brett Mofitt settled in second-fastest at 178.118 mph and was the only other driver to break the 178-mph barrier. Noah Gragson, Johnny Sauter and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.
The teams will have about an hour to work on their vehicles with the next practice session set to get the green flag at 4:05 pm.
2:25 pm - NCWTS Practice #1 Underway - On-track activity for this weekend's tripleheader begins with the first practice session for the Truck Series.
Noah Gragson, driver of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 Toyota was the first driver on the track. With just under 30 minutes to go in this practice session, 13 drivers have challenged the 1.5-mile speedway thus far. Justin Marks in the No. 54 Toyota is currently on top with a 176.200 mph lap. Austin Self is second fastest at 176.014 mph. Rounding out the top five are Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch and Matt Crafton.
1:30 pm - Pennzoil 400 Weekend Welcome - Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of this weekend's tripleheader at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NASCAR's spring fling in the Nevada desert features events for all three national touring series.
The Truck Series teams will sneak in a couple of quick practice sessions this afternoon, with the first session scheduled to start at 2:05 pm.
Tickets are still available for this weekend's events, so come on out and join us. If you can't be with us in person, stayed tuned to lvms.com throughout the weekend for all the action as it happens.