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Kyle Busch led early and often Friday night, winning both rounds of qualifying, the pole, both stages, and completing the sweep with the trophy in the Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch, who proved almost untouchable in the first stage, won the second stage after a pitched battle with Stewart Friesen, and then weathered a late race charge from defending Truck Series champ Brett Moffitt to score the victory. For Busch, the win was his second consecutive in the spring Vegas truck race and the 53rd of his career.
Of all the trucks in the event, the only one capable of running with Busch for most of the entirety of the evening was that of Moffitt, who had to recover from pit road trouble early after an air hose got tangled in his right rear tire. On the last run of the race under green flag stops, Moffitt closed to within a truck length of Busch’s No. 51, but clipped the apron trying to run him down. The resulting slip allowed Busch to pull away.
“It was a bummer that pit road mistakes cost us this race, they’ve cost us in every race this year” said a disappointed Moffitt immediately following the checkered flag. Still, the driver acknowledged that he was never going to catch Busch on the final run.
“We were on two tires and were getting tight after five or six laps” said Moffitt of his late charge for the lead. “I knew that was my one chance to get him, to pack air on the bumper and get him [Busch] loose.”
“It was a make or break move, and it didn’t work.”
Matt Crafton who finished third enjoyed by far his best result of the season after being involved in a lap 7 caution that was the only incident of the evening. With the team laboring early to fix his rear end, Crafton battled all night long and was all smiles on pit road following the top 3 finish. Friesen and Harrison Burton rounded out the top 5.
The hard luck case of the night went to Cory Roper, who qualified in the top 5 for the first time in his career only to get dropped like a rock by the field at the start, and then heavily damaged in the lap 7 incident. The team was all praises for Roper post-race, crediting him for his qualifying efforts and for not quitting in driving his damaged truck to a 24th place finish.
Leaving Las Vegas, Grant Enfinger is the new points leader after scoring an 11th place result. Points leader Austin Hill had his first sour outing driving for Hattori Racing, as he was forced to park the No. 16 after 82 laps due to repeated overheating.
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