Tuesday, Dec 05
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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After starting in the 14th position for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, James Buescher and the RAB Racing No. 99 Rheem team battled a loose-handling race car. The 23-year-old driver was able to adjust his line and continue to hold his ground inside the top 15. During the first long green flag run, Buescher was one of many drivers to go a lap down to the leader. On lap 53 the RAB Racing driver brought his Rheem Camry down pit road for a green-flag pit stop. Looking to tighten up their Camry, crew chief Chris Rice called for four Goodyear Eagle tires, Sunoco fuel and a chassis adjustment. Shortly after Buescher visited pit road, the race saw its first of five caution periods on lap 57. Restarting in 15th position, still one lap down, Buescher went to work trying to get back into contention for the free pass to pit him back on the lead lap and continued to run inside the top 15 until his second green-flag pit stop on lap 111. After the crew completed service on their Rheem Camry, it was announced that Plano, Texas, native was assessed a penalty for speeding when entering pit road. After serving a pass-through penalty, Buescher dropped four laps down to the leader. Continuing to battle the rest of the race, Buescher was able to make up one of his laps and ultimately crossed the finish line in the 18th position. 

James Buescher Quote:   

"It's obviously not the finish our RAB Racing, Rheem team was looking for. Our Rheem Camry got really loose the longer the run went. We continued to make gains on it all day long, but by that time we've given up so much track position. We really got hurt when we got caught speeding coming onto pit road. That put us in a hole and we weren't able to catch any breaks to get us out of that hole. Our RAB Racing Rheem Camry was really good the second half of the race, being able to position the car a lot better than the first half of the race. We'll learn from this and move on to Bristol next week."


RAB Racing PR

Race Highlights: 

  • Ty Dillon won the Boyd Gaming 300 pole position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for  his first career pole in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. His other RCR teammates Brian Scott qualified fifth, with Matt Crafton and Brendan Gaughan starting 11th and 16th, respectively.
  • Brian Scott earned a seventh-place finish, Ty Dillon 11th, Matt Crafton 12th and Brendan Gaughan 16th.
  • Ty Dillon currently leads the Richard Childress Racing drivers in the Nationwide Series point standings in fourth. Brian Scott sits sixth and Brendan Gaughan seventh.
  • Next up for the Nationwide Series is the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 from Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday. Catch all the action live on March 15 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.





Brian Scott Collects First Top-10 Finish of the Season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Brian Scott qualified fifth for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 2 Whitetail Chevrolet Camaro battled loose conditions in the opening laps of the event, but never fell outside of the top-10. Scott was scored in the fifth position when the first caution flew on lap 57 for debris. The team took four tires, fuel and made a chassis adjustment on their pit stop. The Richard Childress Racing team continued to work on the loose conditions during the three pit stops made in Sin City. The hard work paid off for the Camaro team as they gathered a solid foundation for the 1.5-mile program and finished seventh. The  finish is the first top-10 of the season for the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, moving the team up two positions in the driver point standings to sixth heading into Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday.

Start - 5th          Finish - 7th       Laps Led - 0       Pts - 6th

"Today was a really great effort by our No. 2 Whitetail Camaro team. I think that track position was definitely key and if we could have gained a few more positions on those restarts, we'd be in good shape. We had a good car. I'm excited for our 1.5-mile program this season. We've got a solid foundation and can only get better from here."




Ty Dillon Finishes 11th at Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Ty Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Red Kap/Jiffy Lube Chevrolet Camaro to an 11th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which was done after winning his first-career pole award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Rookie of the Year candidate led the first seven laps of the race after his dominant qualifying run, but battled a loose race car until adjustments were able to be made on lap 54. A four tire and fuel stop on lap 114 was done to put the Welcome, N.C. driver back inside the top-five, but Dillon was hit with a speeding penalty on pit road. While serving the pass-thru, Dillon was penalized a second time for speeding, setting the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro three laps down. In the final 80 laps, the No. 3 team battled back making one additional pit stop and was able to gain enough track position to earn an 11th-place finish. Dillon was the second rookie to cross the stripe, and currently sits fourth in the Nationwide Series driver points standings going into next week's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Start - 1st    Finish - 11th       Laps Led - 7     Points - 4th

Ty Dillon Quote:

"We had such a fast race car today and we had the opportunity to be there at the end. Those penalties definitely hurt us and I hate it for my guys. Danny (Stockman) gave me a great car that we were able to put on the pole, but some errors on pit road cost us a top-10 today. I was really happy with how we responded and made the best of the situation. I think we've just got to learn from our mistakes, move on and get after it next week in Bristol."




Matt Crafton Finishes 12that Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Matt Crafton drove the No. 33 Tarkett/Menards car to a 12th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after starting 11th in the Boyd Gaming 300. The Tulare, Calf.-native quickly jumped inside the top-10 in the opening green-flag run, but battled loose conditions. Crew chief Nick Harrison called Crafton to pit road on lap-46 under green flag racing for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Shortly thereafter, NASCAR displayed the caution flag with the No. 33 driver in the 10th-position. Because of the timing of the caution, the field was sorted out by NASCAR deeming Crafton 17th, one-lap down. For the remainder of the 200-lap event, the No. 33 team battled to get back on the lead-lap running lap times as strong as the leaders. Crafton ultimately took the checkered-flag in the 12th-position. 


Start - 11th          Finish - 12th       Laps Led - 0        Points - N/A


"We definitely had a top-five car today, but we got caught a lap down after a confusing call. All-in-all we had a good Tarkett/Menards, we continued to work on it and made it better. But, it's a shame because we had a lot better car than where we finished."


 Las Vegas-Native Brendan Gaughan Finishes 16th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Brendan Gaughan piloted the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro to a 16th-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gaughan battled a loose race car from the start of the race. On lap 53, the team brought the car down pit road for a green-flag stop where they took four tires, fuel and made a chassis adjustment. A caution fell on lap 57 for debris and the Richard Childress Racing No. 62 Camaro took advantage of the yellow flag to visit pit road for more adjustments. Gaughan began to work his way through the field and on lap 88 found himself racing for the 13th position. On lap 128.the team received a restart penalty forcing him to serve a stop-and-go penalty on pit road. Gaughan battled through traffic for the remainder of the race trying to make up as much track position as possible. The team finished the day in the 16th position. This finish puts the RCR South Point Hotel & Casino seventh in the driver point standings.


Start - 16th           Finish - 16th       Laps Led - 0         Points - 7th

Toyota driver Kyle Busch finished second on Saturday in Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway’s Boyd Gaming 300, NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race and secured his third top-10 finish of the season. With the runner-up claim, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy team is now tied in first place in the series’ Owner’s Point Championship battle with Penske Racing, a familiar rival from 2013 who won the Owner’s Point battle by one marker over the No. 54 team.

On Friday the veteran team started strong with a Toyota that exhibited top speeds during the first practice session. The momentum was quickly halted, however, when during the second and final practice session Busch experienced a flat right-front tire and hit the outside of turn four causing major damage to the side of the No. 54 machine. With the primary race car damaged beyond repair, the JGR team quickly unloaded their backup car from the team hauler and turned that car’s preparation around in time for Busch to complete the practice session with additional laps. Although a scramble to prepare the second car, the crew members were confidant their black machine would once again atop the leaderboard.

Race day started well at a track familiar to the Las Vegas native. Under sunny skies, Busch and the Monster Energy No. 54 team participated in NASCAR’s group qualifying format to set the field’s starting order at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Placing top-10 speeds on the board, Busch advanced to the second and final rounds of qualifying before securing a seventh-place starting position at the speed of 178.524 mph.

Once again, though, momentum garnered with a good qualifying run was thwarted when NASCAR communicated a penalty to the No. 54 team for making an unapproved adjustment to their Camry before race start. The alternator belt was discovered to be broken and although the JGR crew thought approval had been given to make the change, a miscommunication resulted in NASCAR’s penalty, which sent Busch to the tail end of the field during the pace laps.

The additional hurdle did not deter the hometown driver and local fans watched him wheel the car through the field quickly. Within the first 10 laps, Busch drove his Camry just outside the top-10 and by lap 22 he was scored in sixth place when he reported to his team, “We’re better than anyone out here right now.” Busch’s experienced crew chief Adam Stevens responded, “Good work!”

Busch reported over the day a slightly tight-handling car through the turns, but didn’t want the team to make drastic adjustments, for fear the car would swing too loose. The team brought their Monster Energy machine down pit road three times to replenish Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel. While Busch enjoyed the race lead three times over 33 laps, he battled hard at the end of the race with JGR teammate Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski, the ultimate race winner. After a long yellow-flag delay towards the end of the event, Busch was shuffled back on a restart and dropped to third place. The car felt slow according to Busch, who asked if he had any rear quarter panel damage, to which the team confirmed there was none.

While crew chief and spotter encouraged Busch over the final laps of the race, he did gain position on the leader, but ran out of time for a final pass to earn back the lead. Busch finished second, a repeat of his Las Vegas finish one year ago. The JGR driver commented to the media afterwards, “I don’t know what caused us to lose the lead.  That was unfortunate.  I think that was the race. Our car was super-fast on the long run when guys would get their tires hot and use up everything and what not.  You could see everybody hang with us for about 10 (laps), and then 10 to 20 (laps), and then about from 30 (laps) on is what made me better than the rest.”


Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne, driver of the No.6 AdvoCare finished eighth in Saturday'sBoyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, gaining two points on NNS point leader Regan Smith. 

“At the beginning we were really fast.  We drove from 17th to seventh and I was like, ‘Holy smokes, we’re gonna have a shot at winning this thing.’  From there I just lost all of my side bite.  Everybody else seemed to tighten their cars up and get better.  We were making adjustments, but we just didn’t have the side bite that we needed here today.” 
Bayne qualified 17th for the start of Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 
From the drop of the green flag the driver of No.6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang began picking his way through the field. Working his way up to ninth by lap 16 despite battling a loose race car.  
Crew Chief Chad Norris called his driver down for adjustments on lap 56 while under yellow flag conditions.  Four tires, two cans of fuel and a track bar adjustment was the call.
Shorlty after leaving pit road, Bayne reported his AdvoCare Mustang was unpredictable and bouncing around thru turns one and two. Although the handling was not to the liking of the Nationwide veteran, Bayne was able to maintain valuable track position.
The next stop came at lap 109 and with it came another round of adjustments for Bayne.  Norris made the call for a round of track bar in, four tires and two cans of fuel.
The adjustments still didn't cure the issues for Bayne but he was able to stay in the top-10 for the majority of the race.
The team battled the ill-handling Mustang for remainder of the race, trying different set-ups but never completely solving the puzzle.  Bayne was still able to bring home a solid finish and close the gap on point leader Regan Smith who leads by only 3 points in the NNS championship standings.

Lady Luck was not on the side of driver Jamie Dick and the No. 55 Viva Auto Group Chevrolet Team during Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After starting from the 26th position, the car quickly became very loose on the throttle making it hard to maintain momentum at the fast, 1.5 mile oval. With a 56-lap green flag run to start the race, Dick fell behind getting caught multiple laps down. After several adjustments during pit stops the ill handling car was getting better as the race went on, but Dick ran out of time resulting in a 29th place finish.

"The car had really good grip in qualifying and in practice so we weren't expecting to be so free all day," said Jamie Dick. "From the drop of the green flag, the car was just wicked free from the middle off, making it really hard to carry speed off the corner and down the straights.  We did make improvements as the day went on, but it just wasn't enough this weekend.  Hopefully this is the last weekend with this misfortune during the race."

Viva Motorsports PR

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), earned a 13th-place finish in the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sadler started 13th and immediately raced his way into the top-10. He was seventh by lap five around the 1.5-mile oval before the car developed a loose-handling condition whenever it exited the track’s corners. Sadler battled to maintain his top-10 position until the first round of green flag pit stops on lap 53 when he came to pit road for a track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel.

As Sadler returned to the race and the pit cycle was about to finish, NASCAR threw the first caution flag of the race for debris on lap 57, causing the No. 11 team to lose a lap to the leaders. He restarted as the second car one lap down on lap 69. Another quick caution followed for an accident in turn three on lap 71, but Chase Elliott was just ahead of Sadler and the Interstate Batteries driver remained a lap down.

A long green flag run put Sadler a second lap down while racing in 16th position on lap 125. By that time there were only eight cars on the lead lap as the leaders continued to set a blistering pace in the 200-lap race.

In the final 75 laps, Sadler and the Interstate Batteries team raced their way to 13th while battling a loose-handling racecar.

“The Interstate Batteries team really worked hard to get a good finish today at Las Vegas,” Sadler said. “We wanted a little better result, but I have to hand it to the guys on the pit box, in the garage and on pit road – no one gave up today. That first caution came out at a bad time, which kept us a lap down and that hurt us. I know if we could’ve got our lap back we could’ve raced some of those guys and had a better finish, but we head out of here third in points with something to build on.” 

The race marked Sadler’s 233rd career Nationwide Series start and his eighth at Las Vegas. His best Nationwide Series finish at Las Vegas is third in 2012. He finished fifth last year in the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota. In his eight Nationwide Series starts at Las Vegas, Sadler has two top-five, three top-10 and seven top-15 finishes. Dallas-based Interstate Batteries is the No. 1 replacement battery in North America and they are Outrageously Dependable. 

Sadler’s JGR teammates – Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 54 Toyota Camry, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, – finished second and sixth, respectively.


Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) rookie, Ryan Reed finished 15thin the third race of NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.

“It was a long day,” said Reed.  “We battled a super loose race car, especially in traffic.  The goal today, after the last couple of weeks, was to keep all the fenders on it and we accomplished that mission.  We’re not a 15th-place team and I think that we’ll continually show that throughout the year, but this is race number three and we’ve got a long way to go in this season.  We’ll keep plugging away at it.  Roush Fenway is building some fast Ford Mustangs and I know we’ll be up there soon.”

For the second week in a row, the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang rolled off 15th.

In the opening laps of the race, Reed battled an extremely loose race car, settling into the top-20.  He radioed to the crew that if the car had a little more forward bite, that the No. 16 would be pretty good.

Crew Chief Seth Barbour radioed his driver down pit road for the first stop of the day under green flag conditions on Lap 54.  The team opted for four fresh Goodyear tires, two cans of Sunoco fuel and a track bar adjustment to help the handling.

Shortly after Reed exited pit road, the caution flag flew.  Barbour called his driver back down pit road for a fuel only pit stop.

After the restart on Lap 68, Reed radioed to the team that the car was still too loose.  He remained in 18th for the majority of the run, until green flag pit stops began.

The No. 16 entered pit road for the third time of the day in 13th on Lap 119.  The pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment.  He returned to the track in 19th.

The caution flag flew again on Lap 148, with Barbour deciding to leave the No. 16 on the track in order to take the wave around, and gain one lap back.  When the race resumed green flag action, Reed informed the team that the handling of his Ford Mustang was much better.

The rookie visited pit road for the final time of the day on Lap 161, for four tires, fuel and a rubber out of the right rear.

Reed restarted the race in 15th, and remained there for the rest of the race, earning his best finish of the 2014 season.


The Wood Brothers and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew got their first taste of NASCAR’s new “knockout” qualifying procedure on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and it was quite an eye-opener.

“It’s very intense,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “You can just sense the pressure in the garage. I’ve got a lot of respect for this procedure and the people who have to do it.”

His own Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew had to put forth a gallant effort to make the starting field for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400. After struggling to find speed in practice, the team managed to get Trevor Bayne on the track for three qualifying runs in the opening 25-minute session of knockout qualifying. That meant the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew had to get the engine of the No. 21 Ford Fusion cooled down two different times, and in a hurry. Teams tape off the radiator for qualifying to improve the car’s aerodynamics, but the lack of air to the radiator quickly overheats the engine.
“That’ all you can ask for,” Wood said of the performance by crew chief Donnie Wingo and his crew.
As it was, Bayne’s second attempt was his quickest lap. His speed of 188.429 was just 34th fastest, but it got him inside the top 36 and thereby in the starting field for Sunday’s 400-miler.

 “It wasn’t very pretty, but it got us in the show,” Wood said. “It’s a relief. The field is really close.”

 With one major hurdle behind them, Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew now turn their attention to tuning their No. 21 Ford Fusion for Sunday’s race on a fast, bumpy Vegas track.



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