Kyle Busch wasn’t in attendance, behind the wheel or watching from pit road, at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Rhino Linings 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, as he was at Dover (Del.) International Speedway for weekend Nationwide and Sprint Cup series activities. But he was a winner at his home track nonetheless, as his two trucks finished first and second in Vegas, with Erik Jones winning in the No. 51 often driven by Busch, and Darrell Wallace Jr. taking runner-up honors.
“Great Tundra, great night,” Jones said. “Great to win in Vegas.”
It was Jones’ third-career truck win and was the sixth mile-and-a-half win for the No. 51 this year, with the first five coming with Busch behind the wheel. For Wallace, the runner-up showing was his fifth second-place finish of 2014 and his second-straight.
“We just got beat. I gave it my all. That was it; we were okay. We’ll rebuild on this. I’m at a loss for words. I thought this was it,” a dejected Wallace said. “We’ll go to Talladega (the next race on the schedule) and, hopefully, be strong there.”
Jones took the lead from Wallace in lapped traffic with 13 laps to go and ran up front the rest of the way to take the win.
“Caught him in some traffic and made it happen,” Jones said.
Wallace led a race-high 84 laps and was up front after the field cycled through green-flag stops between laps 104 and 115 of the 146-lap race. Jones led a total of 19 laps. The only other driver with a laps-led tally in double digits was Timothy Peters with 26 laps led.
After the cycle completed, Wallace and Jones were first and second, with Matt Crafton in third and Peters in fourth.
Crafton and Peters maintained their positions for the remainder of the race. Peters’ Red Horse Racing teammate, Brian Ickler, finished fifth to give Toyota a sweep of the top-five.
“Strong effort for Red Horse,” Peters said.
Ryan Blaney started on the pole, but Wallace took the lead on an early-race restart that followed a caution on lap two. Peters also led laps early before Jones took the lead for the first time on lap 27.
Peters led laps again before Wallace got back to the top spot by getting off pit road first during a caution on lap 56. He continued to lead until the green-flag cycle of stops and returned to the front after the cycle completed.
With his third-place finish, Crafton grew his points lead from seven to 19 points over ThorSport teammate Johnny Sauter after Sauter finished 14th.
“Not worried about that (points),” Crafton said. “We’ve got five more races to go.”
Blaney finished sixth, Ben Kennedy was seventh, Jeb Burton eighth, Tayler Malsam ninth, and Joey Coulter rounded out the top-10.