Kyle Busch trucks to victory Friday night in Las Vegas

Kyle Busch hosts the champion’s trophy after winning Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks

LAS VEGAS – Welcome home, Kyle.

Kyle Busch returned to his Las Vegas hometown Friday night to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“It’s great. Thank all you guys and all you fans for coming out tonight,” said Busch. “It’s an honor to come out here with my own team – Kyle Busch Racing – and come out with a win.”

Kyle Busch (51) leads the field at the start of Friday night’s NASCAR truck race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks

It was Busch’s fourth truck series win at the Lal Vegas track, and 63rd truck win overall, as he continues to add to his future Hall of Fame resume.

Zane Smith added his hot start to 2023, finishing second Friday night by 5.371 seconds, after winning the Daytona truck season-opener.

“It’s a long season, but we’re off to a great start,” Smith said. “Just like last season, it feels good. The team worked hard during the offseason, and it was rewarded at Daytona.

I was happy with our day today, happy to get a stage win but now it’s on to the next one.”

Ben Rhodes finished third followed by Corey Heim, Ty Majeski, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Chase Purdy, Grant Enfinger, and, on his 18th birthday (and the first day he was eligible to race in any of NASCAR’s top three series), rookie Jake Garcia.

The race covered 201 miles over 134 laps on the one-and-a-half-mile oval.

Stages 1 and 2 were 30 laps apiece with Stage 3 covering the final 74 laps.

Kyle Busch does the traditional burnout after winning Friday night’s NASCAR truck race. Photo by David Barks

Busch won the pole and raced to the early lead but was dogged by Nick Sanchez.

Sanchez moved in front on lap 9 but it wasn’t long before Busch reclaimed the lead (on lap 16).

“I was trying to give him a push so we could pull away from the rest of the field but it didn’t happen so I had to pull back in front,” said Busch.

During a caution near the end of Stage 1, Busch had to return to the pits to get a loose wheel fixed, costing him his track position.

Sanchez, Smith, and Eckes fought for the lead through the rest of Stage 1 with Smith finally moving in front to claim the Stage 1 win.

Busch was briefly back in the lead early in Stage 2 but was overtaken by Hocevar who was able to hold off all challengers to win the stage.

Kyle Busch waves to the crowd after winning Friday night’s NASCAR truck race in Las Vegas. Photo by David Barks

Busch was never far off the pace and took control early in Stage 3, building more than a seven-second lead to cruise to the win.

“I was extremely grateful the race went green so long at the end. Zane had a really fast race truck and I didn’t want a caution,” said Busch. “The last 20 laps I was going at 80-90 percent, not trying to push the envelope too much.”

Busch’s busy weekend just got started.

He’ll compete in both Saturday’s Xfinity and Sunday’s Cup races.

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