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The streak continues: Kyle Busch has now won every NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event he has raced in since July 2018.
The Nevadan picked up his seventh consecutive NGROTS win after claiming the checkered flag in Friday’s (Feb. 21) Strat 200 at his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch’s No. 51 dominated the event, leading 108 of the 134 laps while cruising to a nearly six-second victory over Johnny Sauter. With the win, Busch extends his record for the most wins in the series to 57.
“I don’t know why, but we just couldn’t fire off on the restarts,” Busch told FOX Sports. “Once we got about 10 laps in, we just start to check away from everyone. The [truck] had really good long-run speed. Our guys did a fantastic job.”
Fortunately for Busch, restarts were few and far between. There were just three cautions besides the stage breaks, with the last coming on lap 91 for a tangle between Raphael Lessard and Grant Enfinger that forced both drivers to retire from the event.
On the ensuing restart, Busch faced his toughest challenger, as he and Sheldon Creed had a spirited side-by-side battle for several laps. However, a costly bobble by Creed allowed Busch to cascade back to the outright lead for the final 35 laps.
— NASCAR Gander Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) February 22, 2020
The opening laps of the race didn’t go as smoothly, as the field was slowed on just the third lap after Rookie of the Year contender Derek Kraus‘s No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Toyota got loose and made contact with the wall.
For the first half of the race, Christian Eckes looked to have one of the only trucks in the field who could keep up with Busch. The New Yorker even managed to lead 10 laps, but his promising night came to a sudden halt when his No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota smacked the wall. Eckes managed to stay on the race track, but he was never in contention as he finished off the lead lap in the 23rd position.
While Busch scooted away throughout the night, pit penalties plagued the vast majority of the field. Several drivers, including Stewart Friesen, Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum, Spencer Davis, Tate Fogleman and Spencer Boyd, were hit with penalties, with Ankrum being hit hardest by suffering a one-lap penalty for pitting outside the box. Ankrum did manage to get back on the lead lap and went on to finish 11th.