Larson Remains Tough in the West in Winning Xfinity Race at Las Vegas

Jerome Miron - USA Today

LAS VEGAS, NV – RIS – Kyle Larson, who always seems to bring his A-game on the western swing of the NASCAR Xfinity and Cup races, did it again by winning the Xfinity race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Larson overcame strong winds and two late restarts Saturday to earn his ninth career Xfinity victory.

The 25-year-old earned his first win on the 1 1/2-mile track in Vegas, where he finished second in both the Xfinity and Cup series races last year.

Larson claimed the lead on the opening lap and eventually led 142 of the 200 laps in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. He avoided any late-race fuel trouble when Ryan Reed blew a tire with 16 laps to go, allowing him to gas up for the final push.  It had been assumed that Larson didn’t have enough fuel to finish the race,

Rookie Christopher Bell finished second in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Justin Allgaier was third. Ryan Blaney, the pole-sitter for Sunday's Monster Energy Cup series race, came in fourth in his Fitzgerald Ford Mustang ahead of Elliott Sadler in fifth.

"This race car is so fast," Larson said after his second Xfinity start of the season. "It was really fast last year, but you never really know. This was my first time with this body, and it performed well."

Larson was nearly unbeatable during NASCAR's three-race trip in the West last season. The Sacramento-area product finished second in the 2017 Cup series races in Las Vegas and Phoenix before winning at Fontana to complete a double with his Xfinity win at Auto Club Speedway.

Bell followed up his third-place finish in Atlanta with another impressive performance by last season's Truck Series champion. He had never made an Xfinity start in Vegas.

"If I have to run second to anyone, running second to him is pretty cool," Bell said of Larson, his good friend. "Plus, I got him in the Chili Bowl."

Heavy favorite Kyle Busch had a rough day.  Apparently having a car that wouldn’t handle and getting  a one lap penalty for a pit road infraction, he worked his way back to 14th place at the end of the race.

Unofficial Race Results for the 22nd Annual Boyd Gaming 300 - Saturday, March 3, 2018 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, Pts, Status, Laps, Tms, St1, St2, Playoff Pts
1) 2, Kyle Larson(i), No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet, 200, 0, Running, 142, 5, 2, 1, 
2) 1, Christopher Bell #, No. 20 Rheem-Smurfit Kappa Toyota, 200, 47, Running, 6, 1, 1, 9, 1
3) 12, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, 200, 43, Running, 12, 1, 10, 3, 
4) 8, Ryan Blaney(i), No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford, 200, 0, Running, 33, 1, 5, 2, 
5) 6, Elliott Sadler, No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, 200, 39, Running, , , 9, 6, 
6) 3, Daniel Hemric, No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, 200, 38, Running, , , 7, 8, 
7) 16, Brandon Jones, No. 19 Menards Toyota, 200, 39, Running, , , 6, 7, 
8) 7, Tyler Reddick #, No. 9 Nationwide Children's Chevrolet, 200, 43, Running, 3, 1, 3, 5, 
9) 4, Cole Custer, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, 200, 38, Running, 4, 1, 8, 4, 
10) 11, Spencer Gallagher, No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet, 200, 27, Running, , , , , 
11) 9, Matt Tifft, No. 2 Tunity Chevrolet, 200, 26, Running, , , , , 
12) 10, Austin Dillon(i), No. 3 Go Green Equipment Chevrolet, 200, 0, Running, , , , , 
13) 19, Michael Annett, No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, 200, 24, Running, , , , , 
14) 5, Kyle Busch(i), No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 200, 0, Running, , , 4, 10, 
15) 17, Ryan Truex, No. 11 Bar Harbor/Sea Watch International Chevrolet, 200, 22, Running, , , , , 
16) 18, Kaz Grala #, No. 24 NETTTS Ford, 200, 21, Running, , , , , 
17) 24, Alex Labbe, No. 36 Can-Am/Wholey/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet, 200, 20, Running, , , , , 
18) 14, Ross Chastain, No. 4 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 199, 19, Running, , , , , 
19) 13, Ryan Reed, No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford, 199, 18, Running, , , , , 
20) 23, Joey Gase, No. 35 Nevada Donor Network Chevrolet, 197, 17, Running, , , , , 
21) 29, Josh Williams, No. 90 Star Tron/Starbrite Chevrolet, 197, 16, Running, , , , , 
22) 20, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet, 196, 15, Running, , , , , 
23) 26, Garrett Smithley, No. 15 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 196, 14, Running, , , , , 
24) 37, Vinnie Miller #, No. 01 JAS Expeditited Trucking LLC Chevrolet, 196, 13, Running, , , , , 
25) 33, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 8  Chevrolet, 195, 12, Running, , , , , 
26) 34, BJ McLeod, No. 78 Zomongo/JW Transport Chevrolet, 195, 11, Running, , , , , 
27) 27, Matt Mills #, No. 0 teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet, 194, 10, Running, , , , , 
28) 39, Josh Bilicki #, No. 45 Prevagen Toyota, 189, 9, Running, , , , , 
29) 21, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Big Valley Towing Chevrolet, 185, 8, Engine, , , , , 
30) 40, Stephen Leicht, No. 55 Jani-King Toyota, 185, 7, Running, , , , , 
31) 38, Mike Harmon, No. 74 Shadow Warriors Project Chevrolet, 183, 6, Running, , , , , 
32) 30, Chad Finchum #, No. 40 TLC Vacations/Smithbilt Homes Toyota, 140, 5, Suspension, , , , , 
33) 25, Timmy Hill, No. 66 Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit Dodge, 134, 4, Power , , , , , 
34) 15, Austin Cindric #, No. 60 Pirtek Ford, 132, 3, Accident, , , , , 
35) 35, David Starr, No. 52 Chasco Corporation Chevrolet, 78, 2, Engine, , , , , 
36) 31, Spencer Boyd #, No. 76 Grunt Style Chevrolet, 70, 1, Suspension, , , , , 
37) 36, Morgan Shepherd, No. 89 Visone RV Chevrolet, 24, 1, Oil Leak, , , , , 
38) 28, JJ Yeley, No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 18, 1, Vibration, , , , , 
39) 32, Jeff Green, No. 38 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 15, 1, Brakes, , , , , 
40) 22, Dylan Lupton, No. 28 thinQ Technology Partners Ford, 5, 1, Accident, , , , ,

 (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie
Race Comments: Kyle Larson won the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his ninth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory. Prior to the start of the race, no cars dropped to the rear of the field under penalty. Total Race Length - 200 Laps - 300 Miles
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 16 Mins, 29 Secs.
Average Speed: 131.884 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.881 Seconds
Caution Flags: 6 for 29 laps: Laps: 7-11 (No. 39, 28 Incident Frontstretch [None]); 47-52 (Stage 1 Conclusion [15]); 92-98 (Stage 2  Conclusion [35]); 135-138 (No. 60, 8 Incident Turn 2 [36]); 186-189 (No. 16 Incident Backstretch [11]); 191-193 (No. 4, 24 Incident Backstretch [18]).
Lead Changes: 10 among 6 drivers: C. Bell No.  0; K. Larson(i) 1-42; C. Bell # 43-48; K. Larson(i) 49-94; R. Blaney(i) 95-127; K. Larson(i) 128-135; C. Custer 136-139; J. Allgaier 140-151; K. Larson(i) 152-186; T. Reddick # 187-189; K. Larson(i) 190-200.
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race:  Hendrick Engines, No. 42
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race:  Christopher Bell, No. 20
Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Christopher Bell, No. 20

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

Read More on Cup / XFINITY / Truck news
Volume 2018, Issue 3, Posted 8:09 PM, 03.03.2018