Las Vegas Truck results: Kyle Busch wins


Kyle Busch, who started on the pole, led 84 of 134 laps to win Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The victory is Busch’s 63rd in the Truck Series and his fourth series win at his hometown track. Busch is competing in all three national series races this weekend at Las Vegas. He’ll compete in the Xfinity Series on Saturday and the Cup race on Sunday.

MORE: Las Vegas Truck results

MORE: Truck points after Las Vegas

Reigning series champion Zane Smith, who won the season opener at Daytona, finished second. Ben Rhodes placed third and was followed by Corey Heim and Ty Majeski.

Stage 1 winner: Zane Smith

Stage 2 winner: Carson Hocevar

Who had a good race: Reigning series champion Zane Smith, who is the points leader this season, has opened the season with a win and a runner-up finish. … Christian Eckes finished third, giving him finishes of sixth or better in the first two races of the season. Ty Majeski placed fifth, giving him finishes of sixth or better in the first two races of the season. … Jake Garcia was the top-finishing rookie, placing 10th.

Who had a bad race: John Hunter Nemechek and Hailie Deegan were involved in a crash on the final lap of the second stage. Deegan could not continue and finished 32nd. Nemechek finished 31st.

Next: The series is back in action March 18 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on FS1)

Las Vegas Truck starting lineup: Kyle Busch wins pole


Kyle Busch won the pole for Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This is the first of five Truck races that Busch will run this season. The pole is Busch’s 23rd in the Truck Series. He earned it with a lap of 178.678 mph.

MORE: Las Vegas Truck starting lineup

Busch will be joined on the front row by rookie Nick Sanchez (177.608 mph). Chase Purdy qualified third at 177.608 mph, Ty Majeski qualified fourth at 176.910 mph and Hailie Deegan qualified fifth 176.661 mph. Daytona winner Zane Smith qualified seventh at 175.844 mph.

The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 9:13 p.m. ET Friday.

Hailie Deegan moves to ThorSport Truck team for 2023


Ford driver Hailie Deegan will race for ThorSport Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2023.

The new season will be Deegan’s third full-time in the Truck series. In 46 starts she has no wins and three top-10 finishes.

Deegan has started one Xfinity race, finishing 13th last October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Deegan drove for the David Gilliland Racing Ford team in trucks the past two years. Gilliland is switching to Toyota for 2023. Deegan has a Ford contract. The ThorSport team, which has won four truck championships, is moving to Ford after two seasons with Toyota.

“I think the last two seasons in trucks I’ve been trying to figure it out,” Deegan said Thursday. “I feel like I have a good grasp on it now and understand what you need to be successful. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. The last two years I’ve been trying to find those pieces. Coming here to ThorSport, they’ve always had the pieces to the puzzle figured out.”

Although Deegan has shown slow progress in her limited time at NASCAR’s national level (her average finish in trucks this season was slightly worse than in 2021, and she has no top fives), she remains one of the most popular drivers in Ford’s motorsports lineup. She has won the Truck Series Most Popular Driver award the past two seasons.

“I’ve been used to pressure my whole life,” Deegan said. “It’s been on me from the start. If you can’t deal with the pressure, you probably shouldn’t have it on you. I’m going to go out and work as hard as I possibly can.”

Deegan will join Ty Majeski, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton on the ThorSport team.




Chase Elliott wins NMPA Most Popular Driver Award


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chase Elliott won his fifth consecutive NMPA Most Popular Driver Award on Thursday.

The announcement was made during the NASCAR Awards at the Music City Center. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock.

Elliott is one of only five drivers to win the award since 1984.

Bill Elliott won it from 1984-88, 1991-2000 and 2002. Dale Earnhardt won the award posthumously in 2001. Darrell Waltrip won it in 1989-90. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won it from 2003-17. Chase Elliott has won it every year since.

Noah Gragson was voted as the Most Popular Driver in the Xfinity Series. Hailie Deegan was voted as the Most Popular Driver in the Camping World Truck Series.

Phoenix Truck results: Zane Smith wins championship

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Zane Smith, the title runner-up the past two years, charged to the lead on an overtime restart and held off reigning series champion Ben Rhodes to win Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race and claim the series crown at Phoenix Raceway.

“Third time is a charm,” the 23-year-old Zane Smith told FS1 after his fourth win of the season.

“For so long I’ve wanted this moment.”

Rhodes finished second. Chandler Smith placed third. Ty Majeski was 20th after crashing in the final laps.

MORE: Phoenix Truck race results

MORE: Truck Series points after Phoenix

The race changed when Hailie Deegan brought out the caution for a crash with 16 laps to go. That sent the field to pit road. Zane Smith led but was 10th after his pit stop. Two trucks did not pit and four trucks took only two tires, including Rhodes.

The race went to overtime when Majeski crashed while battling Zane Smith for second place four laps from the scheduled distance. Majeski was on the left rear of Zane Smith’s truck but lost control and slid across the track on the backstretch and hit the inside SAFER barrier.

Zane Smith started on the inside of the second row for the final restart and slipped past Rhodes. Coming to the checkered flag, Rhodes bumped Zane Smith but couldn’t move him.

“That was just the story of two vs. four (tires),” said Rhodes, who liked the pit call to take only two tires and gain track position. “I couldn’t get the jump I needed on the green. I didn’t have the grip… It was extremely hard to hold them off.”

Stage 1 winner: Zane Smith

Stage 2 winner: Zane Smith

Who had a good race: Kaden Honeycutt, making his ninth series start, finished a career-high ninth. … Tanner Gray finished eighth, only his second top 10 in the last 13 races. John Hunter Nemechek‘s fourth-place finish snapped a streak of three consecutive races without a top 10.

Who had a bad race: Hailie Deegan’s late crash left her with a 31st-place finish. It is the seventh time in the last eight races she has failed to score a top 10. … Christian Eckes finished 30th, snapping a streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes.

Next: The season is done. The series resumes Feb. 17, 2023 at Daytona International Speedway.