NCWTS: Dillon Dominates in Sin City


Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

By: Farrah Kaye

Under the lights of Las Vegas Motor Speedway – and the lights of “The Strip” behind it – the Smith’s 350 began as daytime ended in a city known for drama. Would the truck race have any?

Austin Dillon, 20 – the youngest Truck series polesitter at LVMS – brought the field to green with fellow 20-year-old driver James Buescher on the outside.

The race stayed calm until lap 13 when the engine on the No. 62 StarNursery.comChevrolet of Greg Pursley blew. During pit stops, Ken Schrader brought his No. 2 Kroger Chevrolet to make adjustments and took tires unlike most of the other leaders. Aric Almirola missed his pit stop and when he came down a second time, he ran into teammate Nelson Piquet.

After a crazy caution that sent Jeffrey Earnhardt and Narain Karthikeyan spinning through the field, half the field pitted. Timothy Peters took the lead next to Ricky Carmichael, who went on to lead his first lap ever in the Truck Series.

A great battle began for the lead between Carmichael, Peters, Buescher and Dillon for over a dozen laps until lap 38, when Johnny Sauter sent Mike Skinner spinning into the infield – and airborne for a brief moment.

On the restart, Ron Hornaday started first with Buescher second. On Lap 55, Buescher worked his way up to the lead, which wouldn’t last long as a caution would come out on lap 60 when Rick Crawford and Lance Fenton had separate incidents spinning on the track.

While the No. 19 of David Mayhew and No. 39 of Ryan Sieg were 1-2 on the restart of lap 66, Almirola and Dillon were 1-2 by lap 67. On lap 71, Dillon clearly had the lead and despite his great restart, Sieg was off the pace on lap 74 with throttle issues.

On lap 92, Timothy Peters was on pit road while Dillon had a five second lead. Peters would go behind the wall while a caution for debris came out just two laps later. While on pit road, Almirola lost a lugnut but luckily only lost two spots when he restarted.

Dillon and Buescher started 1 and 2 with a heavy charge from third place Todd Bodine. Buescher quickly took the lead while Dillon fell to third.

Karthikeyan got into the wall with 40 laps left, bringing out a caution. Again, Dillon and Buescher started 1-2. Nine laps later, a caution came out for debris. On the restart, while Dillon and Buescher started 1-2 again, Dillon chose to start on the inside, unlike the previous times. Choosing the inside proved to be the right choice, as he was able to hold his lead unlike the previous restarts.

With 10 laps left, Dillon had a six second lead over second place Johnny Sauter.

Dillon held onto his lead (and led the most laps), earning his second win of the season.

Finishing behind Dillon were Sauter, Buescher, Bodine, Crafton, Almirola, Brian Ickler, Justin Lofton. Carmichael and Schrader.

The trucks are off until October 23rd when they take the track at Martinsville.

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