Kyle Busch scores Xfinity Series win at Las Vegas
Kyle Busch led all but one lap to win the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his first Xfinity Series win at his home track.
Busch won from the pole for the second week in a row and led a sweep of the top three positions by Joe Gibbs Racing, as he was chased in the final laps by Daniel Suarez , who finished second, and rookie Erik Jones, who fought back from two speeding penalties that sent him two laps down.
“It feels really good for as good as this car was,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “I hated to lose but man, Daniel Suarez was coming on there at the end. He was really, really fast.”
Busch led 199 of 200 laps and along the way led his 16,000th lap, which is a Xfinity Series record. At one point, Busch had lapped all but 10 cars in the 40-car field. Eleven drivers managed to finish on the lead lap.
“Suarez was definitely faster than us when he got clean track,” Busch said. “If roles were reversed, he would have been pulling away from me and I wasn’t going to be able to catch him.”
Suarez earned his first top five of the year and the ninth of his career. The second-year driver made a last effort at the lead in the closing laps, getting within a few car lengths of Busch before the No. 18 took the checkered flag.
“I just felt like it took me too much time to figure out how to be fast with a loose car in traffic,” Suarez told Fox Sports 1. “I think in the end we were able to figure it out, but it took me 10 laps.”
HOW KYLE BUSCH WON: The No. 18 started from the pole and stayed out front for the entire race except for one lap during green flag pit stops.
WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Erik Jones had a complicated relationship with pit road. During the first set of green flag stops, the rookie was caught speeding entering and leaving the pits. Then, while serving his pass through penalty, he was caught speeding again, leading to a stop-and-go penalty. Thanks to cautions, the rookie clawed his way back to finish third … Brendan Gaughan, another Las Vegas native, finished 10th, one of the 11 cars that finished on the lead lap ... Brennan Poole finished 11th, just shy of earning his third top-10 finish of his career.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Blake Koch had a mechanical issue on Lap 108 that made his No. 11 lose power and head to the garage for a short time. Koch finished 26th … The red flag was brought out on Lap 137 for a crash involving Cody Ware, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Justin Marks. Ware’s car became loose in Turn 2, spun and slid down the outside wall before coming to a rest in the middle of the track. Wallace was unable to avoid Ware and slammed into the car. The impact destroyed the right-rear of Wallace’s car, which continued down the track before being hit again by Marks. All three drivers walked away and Wallace finished in 33rd, 65 laps down. “By the time we saw (Ware) it was too late. I was already kind of pinched sideways. It was a hell of a hit,” Wallace said … It was an uncharacteristic day for the No. 22 at Team Penske. Brad Keselowski started 15th and by Lap 50 was being lapped by Kyle Busch. A vibration caused him to pit out of sequence and fall further off the pace. He finished 15th, three laps down.
NOTABLE: The only lap not led by Kyle Busch was led by Darrell Wallace Jr. on Lap 55 ... Daniel Suarez leaves Las Vegas leading the point standings. He has a three-point lead over Elliott Sadler ... Xfinity Series regulars have failed to win in the first three race of 2016 and qualify for the series’ Chase.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s awesome that they have always supported racing out here in Vegas. Fans have always supported the Bullring and then fans always come out here to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I love it and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.” - Kyle Busch after winning his first Xfinity Series race at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NEXT: Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 12.