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NASCAR at Las Vegas: Logano (Cup); Briscoe (Xfinity) and Kyle Busch (Trucks)

NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
• A second straight win here for Logano

Las Vegas, NV, Feb 23/20 (Staff): When the race finished under caution on lap 267, Joey Logano took the checker ahead of Matt DiBenedetto. Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, who had been contenders, lost out in the end to different pit stop strategies in those late race cautions. Logano had opted to not pit for fresh tires late in the race and that helped give him the winning margin.

Elliott had been leading when his car suffered a flat tire on lap 222 bringing out the seventh caution. Two more cautions flew before the end of the race. The eighth caution came when Ross Chastain, in the No. 6 Ford, spun on the backstretch and the final caution, which came on the final lap of the race, caught up William Byron, Tyler Reddick, polesitter Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemechek.

“I’m not really sure what I was supposed to do (on the last pit call), but, boy, we fought hard for this one today,” Logano said. “Man, what a battle between Blaney and I and Chase Elliott and the 19 (Martin Truex Jr.) earlier in the race, and then to see this finish with Matt finishing second is great day for Wood Brothers and for Team Penske. Man, nothing like winning the Pennzoil 400 in front of this amazing crowd with this awesome yellow car right here in the front. Man, this is a huge win, and nice to kick off the season with a ‘W.’ ”

Ricky Stenhouse finished third, the beneficiary of excellent pit strategy by crew chief Brian Pattie. Austin Dillon ran fourth, and Jimmie Johnson came home fifth, the highest finisher among drivers who pitted for fresh tires under the eighth caution. The top-five run was Johnson’s first since he ran third at Daytona in July of last year.

Kevin Harvick, whose cars had excellent short-run speed, led a race-high 92 laps but finished eighth after taking tires under the decisive caution. Elliott was out front for 70 laps and Logano had the point for 54. Elliott won the first two stages but finished 26th after spinning into the Turn 1 wall with a flat left rear tire on lap 220.

Click HERE for the results of the Cup race at Las Vegas

The next NASCAR Cup race will be held next Sunday, March 1, at Fontana.

PHOTO NXS LVMS1 NXS Leading 022320Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford, leads Austin Cindric during the Boyd Gaming 300 (Jonathan Ferrey | Getty Images)

NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
• Briscoe and Cindric make it one-two for Ford in rain-delayed race

Las Vegas, NV, Feb 23/20 (Staff): The Xfinity race was supposed to be run on Saturday but it lasted only to the end of the first stage in the 200-lap race before rain came and the rest of the race was rescheduled to the Sunday after the Cup race. Chase Briscoe, driving a Stewart-Haas Ford, came home the winner by a three-second margin over Austin Cindric in the Penske Ford. Ryan Sieg finished third, followed by Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton.

“It’s definitely nice to get one early,” Briscoe said. “Now maybe we can go to California next week and win on a 2-mile track (Auto Club Speedway).”

Justin Allgaier took the lead after the start of Stage 2, but Cindric grabbed the top spot on lap 124, powering past Allgaier on the inside near the start-finish line. Cindric retained the lead after a cycle of green-flag pit stops, but when contact from Gragson’s Chevrolet sent Myatt Snider spinning on the frontstretch on lap 162, Briscoe had the opportunity he needed to regain the lead on the final restart.

“Obviously, we were hoping to win sometime this year — we expected to — but to get it before Phoenix (Raceway) is nice because we can go there (in two weeks) and try some stuff,” Briscoe said. “That’s one place that we need to get way better at. That being said, it’s nice to get the points lead. It’s early in the season, yeah, but it’s a big confidence boost for all the guys.”

Click HERE for the results of the Xfinity race at Las Vegas.

The next Xfinity race will be run at Fontana next Saturday, February 29.

PHOTO LVMS1 NGROTS BuschCelebration 022120 Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Cessna Toyota, celebrates winning the Strat 200 (Jonathan Ferrey | Getty Images)

NASCAR Gander RV Outdoor Truck Series Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
• Kyle Busch takes a dominant win

Las Vegas, NV, Feb 21/20 (Staff): Kyle Busch dropped in on the truck series here and once again demonstrated his mastery of this series, leading for 108 of the race’s 134 laps and taking the win by a six-second margin over Johnny Sauter. This was his seventh straight win in as many truck race starts. No doubt Busch would love to compete in every race in the truck schedule but NASCAR’s rules now limit him – as a full-time Cup driver – to a handful of starts in the truck series each year.

Busch already held the record for the most wins in the truck series and he extended this to 57 wins with his victory here at his home-town track.

“I don’t know why but we just couldn’t fire off on the restarts,” Busch said. “We just didn’t have any speed. Once we got about 10 laps in, we started to check away from everybody. This Tundra was awesome — it really had great long-run speed.

“It was the first win for (crew chief) Danny Stockman at KBM, and it’s cool to have him on board. My guys worked their butts off. We unloaded and we really weren’t that close. We worked on it a lot with this new tire, and we got it a lot better. We kind of showed that with the (last) long run.”

Sheldon Creed challenged Busch after the final restart, running side-by-side with the race winner and leading laps 96 and 97, But Creed got loose under Busch’s No. 51 Toyota on lap 98, surrendered the top spot and fell to 10th at the finish.

Sauter passed eventual eighth-place finisher Tanner Gray for second on lap 101, and Austin Hill followed into third a lap later. Reigning series champion Matt Crafton came home fourth, with his ThorSport Racing teammate Ben Rhodes securing the fifth spot.

Last week’s Daytona winner, Grant Enfinger, fell out early after Raphael Lessard’s Toyota broke loose in the bottom lane and carried both trucks into the outside wall. Lessard and Enfinger finished 30th and 31st, respectively.

Lessard had started in eighth place and he finished both Stages in the top ten – sixth and eighth respectively. His fellow Canadian driver, Stewart Friesen started back in 17th place but he finished in ninth.

Click HERE for the results of the NGROTS race at Las Vegas

The next truck race will held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 14.

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