Photo via Kyle Busch Motorsports
The 2020 season is now in full swing and NASCAR now hits the “West Coast Swing” of the season a week earlier than previous seasons as Atlanta moves to after this stint in the West. However, this will be the only race the truck series will be a part of in the West Coast Swing as they do not race at Auto Club and they won’t race at Phoenix until Championship Weekend.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile track located a few minutes north of the Strip. The second race of the NASCAR season is always considered the real start of the season as this will be the true test of where all teams’ equipment are at to kick off the season and find out what adjustments they will need to make to carry them through the season.
Last Friday, it was Grant Enfinger winning at Daytona and locking his spot into the playoffs already. However, Enfinger and two of his Thorsport Racing teammates, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton were handed L1-ldvel penalties this morning due to technical violations involving the engine oil reservoir tank. Also suffering this penalty is GMS Racing’s Tyler Ankrum. All teams and drivers were docked 10 championship points.
Niece Motorsports’ Natalie Decker will look to capitalize again after a stellar top-five finish at Daytona last Friday. However, Decker was 30th fastest in the one and only practice out of 35 drivers.
Christian Eckes was fastest in the lone practice in the Kyle Busch Motorsports number 18 truck. The top five consisted of Eckes, Sauter, Jordan Anderson and Codie Rohrbaugh. Anderson has risen into a fan favorite in the truck series after his lively post-race interview following his 2nd-place finish at Daytona last Friday.
Kyle Busch will be making his return to the truck series and will run five races with his own truck in the 51. The first of which is coming tonight in his hometown. Last night, Busch won a Super Late Model racer at The Bullring just outside the speedway. Busch will look to take three wins this weekend with trucks tonight and Cup on Sunday.
Sauter will lead the field to green tonight after winning the pole this afternoon in qualifying. Sheldon Creed will join him on the front row. Kyle Busch will roll off 3rd.
Sauter and Kyle Busch will be the drivers to beat tonight as Sauter has posted an average finish of 8.8 in 13 truck races here. Busch has won two of the three truck races he has competed in at Vegas.
Stages for tonight’s race end at Lap 30, Lap 60 and the finish at Lap 134. You can watch the race on Fox Sports 1 at 9:00 pm E.T.
My pick: Kyle Busch