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Davidson: Nemechek wins Truck Series race ahead of his team owner Kyle Busch

Las Vegas, NV, Mar 5/21 (by John Davidson): John Hunter Nemechek held off a late race charge from team owner Kyle Busch to break the boss's win streak in the Spring race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at three-straight victories. The 23-year-old moved to the Camping World Truck Series this season with the plan to win races and contend for championships for Busch.

As series leader, Ben Rhodes started on the pole but Sheldon Creed took the lead immediately with a caution coming out for a smoky spin by Cory Roper as he finished the first lap. Nemechek took the lead on the restart and dominated the first Stage, but Kyle Busch was the story of the Stage as he stormed from his 29th starting spot to second place to finish the Stage in second place.

Several crashes punctuated the race with Conor Daly's hard crash after losing the air on his spoiler sent him hard into the outside wall. "Honestly, that's just inexperience for me," commented Daly after being checked out at the track's care center.

Kyle Busch's truck had been showing a slight tire rub on the left rear that finally caused a flat that sent him into a half-spin before he spun on the apron while headed to the pits for new tires. This dropped him down a lap and led to some comments about how his team seemed the only one suffering tire rub.

More cautions put Busch back on the lead lap and led to speculation about whether he could repeat his run to the front.

With six laps left at the final restart, Busch lined up behind his driver and gave Nemechek a push into a gap ahead of third place, then the younger Nemechek eased out to a lead of almost seven tenths of a second in a Kyle Busch Motorsports one-two finish.

"I just can't thank everyone at Toyota, Jack Irving (TRD), Kyle Busch, Uncle Eric (Phillips, crew chief) for this opportunity, Nemechek said. "It means a lot to me. Mobil 1 on board, coming back to the Truck Series, that was the plan, that was the goal. We came into this year with the hashtag here for wins and we are here for wins. I definitely think experience paid off tonight. We did an amazing job. ... Thank you fans for being here. It's awesome to have you guys back. I can't wait to go celebrate.

[Kyle Busch] "was faster than me in Stage two, so I really didn't know. It was all about using our truck to the best we could possibly do, wrapping the bottom and taking the dirty air away. He had to run up and it created more lap time for him.

"The goal here for us was to come here and win. ... We want to be the dominant one this year and we want to win as many races as we can. It's awesome to get it kicked off here in Vegas and beat the boss."

"Overall, it was an amazing day. Our restarts were on point all day. Just a lot of fun and that's all we can ask for. We're here to have fun, we're here for wins and we're doing it."

As for the Canadians, Stewart Friesen finished a solid fourth. Last year, after years as an auxiliary team to the GMS Chevrolet team, they broke away and built their own in-house team from scratch – with mediocre results. So far this year, they seem to have their act together and we can hope for some good results. Meanwhile the young Quebecker Rapheal Lessard has switched from the Kyle Busch team to GMS. He was up into the top ten for a while in the third Stage but his truck was wrecked in a crash which he caused and he had to settle for a 30th-place finish. 

• Click HERE for the race results


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