The first of two Camping World Truck Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway had a unique feel as 10 drivers, including defending truck series champion Sheldon Creed, were sponsored by Camping World, meaning the 10 cars will ride with similar paint schemes. After a race with nine cautions, John Hunter Nemechek held off his team boss, Kyle Busch, to pick up his first win in the 2021 truck series season.
Creed got the jump on Ben Rhodes to start the race, taking the initial lead. Before a caution on lap two, Nemechek got into second behind Creed. Nemechek took the lead over Creed on the restart. Busch, who had won the last three spring truck series races at Las Vegas, worked his way from 29th to 10th by lap nine and fifth by lap 14. Nemechek dominated to win stage one with Creed, Matt Crafton and Busch finishing second through fourth.
Nemechek maintained his lead into stage 2 as Busch suffered oil pressure and tire issues, preventing him from taking the lead over Nemechek.
Halfway through stage 2, Busch worked his way up to second place after Creed dropped several spots during the long run. Busch took the lead from Nemechek with 13 laps to go in stage 2 as Creed fell outside the top 10. Busch won stage two over Nemechek.
Zane Smith, who was one of the drivers in the Championship 4 last season, continued his rough start to 2021 after speeding on pit road, falling behind two laps.
Stewart Friesen won the race off pit road as Busch dropped back to third.
Chandler Smith was forced to drop to the rear after an uncontrolled tire. However, Friesen immediately dropped back to fourth as Nemechek retook the lead before a caution. Another caution came out a few laps later as Smith spun out with Nemechek still in the lead.
With 46 laps left in the race, Busch suffered a flat left-rear tire, bringing out another caution and forcing him to pit. As a result, he went a lap down. During the pit stops, Brett Moffitt stayed out to assume the lead on the restart. A big wreck brought out a caution on the restart that saw Hailie Deegan and Raphael Lessard, among others, caught up in the incident.
Nemechek retook the lead on the restart ahead of Moffitt. Nemechek held the lead over Austin Hill with another caution coming out on the front stretch. Busch moved back up to ninth ahead on the restart with 13 laps to go in the race. At the next caution with 11 laps to go, Busch moved up to third place behind Nemechek and Hill.
On the restart with six laps to go, Nemechek held off Busch to pick up his first win of 2021 and his first win in the truck series since winning the spring 2018 Martinsville Speedway race. With father Joe’s first win at Las Vegas at the Xfinity Series in 2003, the Nemechek’s become the first father-son duo to win at Las Vegas in NASCAR.
Busch finished second, ending his streak of three-consecutive wins at Las Vegas in the truck series. With only 10 laps left, he still trails Jack Sprague for the most laps led in the truck series at Las Vegas.
Hill finished third to pick up his first top-10 and top-five finish of the season. Friesen finished fourth and Crafton picked up a fifth-place finish. After a rough start to the race, Zane Smith worked his way back up with all the cautions to finish sixth, his first top-10 finish in 2021.
Grant Enfinger and Parker Kligerman finished seventh and eighth, earning an extra $25,000 for finishing in the top 10 after the reward tier introduced by Marcus Lemonis himself.
Christian Eckes finished ninth while Rhodes, the winner of the first two races of the season, rounded out the top 10.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return on Saturday, Mar. 20 for the Fr8 Auctions 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Lead changes: 11
Time of race: 2:05:26
Avg. speed: 95.910 mph