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Kyle Busch dominates Las Vegas NASCAR truck race

Updated March 2, 2019 - 12:07 am

Kyle Busch kept on truckin’ Friday night, winning all three stages of the Strat 200 NASCAR Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his hometown track.

Busch and second-place Brett Moffitt reprised their starting positions, with Moffitt finishing 1.211 seconds behind the 2015 Cup Series champion. It was Busch’s series record 53rd victory in the trucks and his 196th across NASCAR’s three major touring series — Cup, Xfinity, Truck — moving him within four of Richard Petty’s 200, all in the Cup Series.

Asked to predict where and when 200 might come, Busch shook his head during the postrace news conference.

“Just whenever it happens, it happens,” he said after a dominating drive that saw him lead 110 of 134 laps en route to his second straight win in the trucks. “I’m not going to put a name on it and put any pressure on the situation or something like that.”

The impressive victory also kept alive Busch’s quest to record another NASCAR sweep and duplicate his 2010 and 2017 victories in the Truck, Xfinity and Cup Series tripleheaders at Bristol, Tennessee.

Closing the gap

The new high downforce package that the Cup Series cars will run in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 has dramatically narrowed the speed gap between NASCAR’s premier division and the Xfinity and Truck series.

Kevin Harvick earned the Cup Series pole Friday with a speed of 180.517, a tick faster than Kyle Busch’s 178.903 pole speed for the Strat 200. The Xfinity drivers qualify before Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300, but Justin Haley’s top practice speed of 180.306 would have put him third on the Cup grid.

Longtime NASCAR observers said they couldn’t remember the divisions being so close on the speed charts, prompting a novel thought:

How cool would it be to see all three classes race against one another concurrently at the NASCAR All-Star race?

Winners galore

By the time the Cup Series drivers rolled onto the track for their first practice session Friday, three drivers already had visited victory circle at the LVMS dirt track.

Tim Shaffer dominated Wednesday’s World of Outlaws opener en route to his 26th career victory before Thursday’s WoO feature and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races were decided by last-lap passes.

Donny Schatz, the 10-time series champion who drives for Tony Stewart, got around Daryn Pittman to win the WoO race, and 17-year-old Hailie Deegan bumped past Jagger Jones — grandson of auto racing legend Parnelli Jones — to claim her second career win in the steppingstone K&N series.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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