The Gander Outdoors Truck Series kick off a triple header weekend with some Friday night racing on Friday the 13th under a full moon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Truck Series finishes out round one of the playoffs with the World of Westgate 200.
After single truck qualifying Christian Eckes driving a truck owned by Las Vegas native Kyle Busch sits on the pole and will bring the field to green. This is the first time the 18 year old driver has been on a one and a half mile track.
Stages one and two of the track are only 30 laps each with stage three lasting 74 laps for a total of 134 laps around the track. With a fuel load of around 50 laps, the drivers can complete stages one and two on a single fuel load but will have to make a pit stop in stage three.
Brett Moffitt had a flat tire during qualifying and will have to start the race from the back of the field with a tire change.
During his qualifying run Jessse Iwuji hit the wall hard, destroying his truck. While Iwuji walked away from the wreck, the team did not have a backup truck. Justin Johnson offered up his truck…and services to serve as the backup. Johnson will start the race from the back of the field.
As the trucks were lining up to start the race, John Hunter Nemechek’s team had to push the truck to the garage when it failed to fire.
Christian Eckes brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead with a little push from team mate Todd Gilliland. The drivers get three wide behind Eckes.
Ross Chastain passes Christian Eckes for the lead on lap four.
The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap six for Grant Enfinger’s heavily smoking truck. One of the eight playoff drivers, Enfinger had an oil leak under the hood.
Since starting at the back of the field, Brett Moffitt has moved up 13 spots.
Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 14 but it is Christian Eckes who gets out in front for the lead. Chastain retakes the lead as Eckes falls through the field.
Lap 15, Brett Moffitt has moved into 12th place.
On lap 16 Harrison Burton and Johnny Sauter make contact but the track stays green.
On lap 17, points leader Brett Moffitt moves into the top 10.
Austin Hill takes the lead.
On lap 19, Ross Chastain retakes the lead.
In a report from the NASCAR garage, Grant Enfinger is out of the race with engine issues.
On lap 26 Stewart Friesen reports an engine issue, possibly down a cylinder.
Lap 28, Jennifer Jo Cobb is coasting on the track and has apparently lost an engine.
Ross Chastain wins stage one for his sixth stage win of the season.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Playoff driver Stewart Friesen is on pit road for repairs, he has a plug wire issue.
Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 37 and holds on to the lead of the race.
The drivers get FIVE wide across the track…and there is no caution flag.
On lap 40 team mates Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton both have engine issues and bring out the caution flag. There are flames in the under carriage of the trucks. Matt Crafton stops on the track but Johnny Sauter brings his truck down pit road for service and repairs. Three of the four Thor Sport trucks have had engine issues today.
Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 46; Hill and Ross Chastain go side by side before Chastain takes the lead with Austin Hill in second and Brett Moffitt in third.
On lap 48, the drivers are running speeds faster than they did during qualifying.
On lap 49 Austin Hill challenges Ross Chastain for the lead and becomes the new leader.
On lap 50 Austin Hill and Ross Chastain continue to battle for the lead with Chastain getting out in front; Austin Hill is in second with Brett Moffit in third.
On lap 54, Ross Chastain clinches his spot in the next round of the playoffs. He joins Brett Moffitt who earned his spot by winning the first two races in the round.
On lap 56 Ross Chastain has pulled out to a one second lead on Austin Hill.
Spencer Davis is on pit road with some damage after hitting the wall but the track stays green.
Ross Chastain wins stage two to sweep the stages.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
With Matt Crafton out of the race, Austin Hill has clinched a spot in round two of the playoffs.
Johnny Sauter is back in the race.
Brett Moffitt brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 68 but Johnny Sauter brings out the caution flag with a heavily smoking truck. The drivers were getting five wide when the caution flag came out.
Stewart Friesen is back on pit road with the hood up but he is stoll on the lead lap.
After starting the race from the back of the field, Brett Moffitt is in the lead and brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 73.
Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain, and Sheldon Creed make it a three wide battle for the lead.
Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt go side by side for the lead with Moffit taking the lead.
Johnny Sauter is officially out of the race.
Lap 76, Ross Chastain is in the lead.
Tyler Dippel brings out the caution flag with a smoking truck. There are 52 laps remaining in the race.
The drivers are in their pit window to make it to the end of the race. Many of the drivers are taking fuel only, saving their last set of tires for a quick run to the finish.
Ross Chastain wins the race off of pit road.
Despite having engine trouble, Stewart Friesen has secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs.
Austin Hill is reporting some possible engine issues.
Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 86 but it is Brett Moffitt who gets out in front for the lead.
On lap 91 Ross Chastain is in the lead with Brett Moffitt, Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, and Sheldon Creed rounding out the top five.
On lap 94 Tyler Ankrum is reporting some radio issues inside the truck.
Lap 96, Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with a lead of less than half a second on Brett Moffitt.
Lap 100, 34 to go, Ross Chastain has a tenth of a second lead on Brett Moffitt.
Tyler Ankrum is reporting that he may have some possible engine issues in his truck.
Lap 105, Ross Chastain has a half second lead on Brett Moffitt.
Lap 109, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Austin Hill.
Twenty to go, known as the watermelon man, Ross Chastain is an eighth generation watermelon farmer. When he wins a race, he smashes a watermelon on the track and a second one in victory lane.
With 18 laps remaining in the race, Austin Hill has closed the gap on Ross Chastain to less than a second.
Even though he is out of the race, Matt Crafton has secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs.
Fifteen to go, Austin Hill has cut the lead to Ross Chastain down to just over half a second and is closing in on the leader.
With 12 laps remaining in the race, Austin Hill has caught up to leader Ross Chastain and passes Chastain to take the lead.
Ten to go, Natalie Decker brings her truck down pit road.
Austin Hill is pulling away from Ross Chastain, he has a lead of over half a second.
Eight to go, Austin Hill has increased his lead to a second on Ross Chastain.
Five to go, Austin Hill’s lead is now up to a second and a half on Ross Chastain.
After taking tires during his pit stop, Austin Hill restarted the race in 17th place, he is now the leader with a lead of nearly two seconds with three laps to go.
Austin Hill takes the white flag.
Austin Hill wins the race for his thrid win of the season, including the season opener in Daytona.
Tyler Ankrum has earned the final spot in the next round of the playoffs. Johnny Sauter and Grant Enfinger have been eliminated from the playoffs.
The drivers moving on to round two of the playoffs are:
The unofficial results of the World of Westgate 200:
Austin Wayne Self
Jennifer Jo Cobb
John Hunter Nemechek