Kyle Larson scored the win in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Larson led 142 of 200 laps and held off Christopher Bell, who started from the pole, on the final restart.
“It was an awesome day,” Larson said. “This car was so fast. It was really fast last year but you really never know and this was my first time racing with this new body and it performed well.”
It was Larson’s first career Las Vegas Motor Speedway win and his ninth Xfinity Series victory.
Although Larson did turn in a dominating performance there was some nervousness in the late going. He lost several spots on a pit stop and needed to fight his way back while also dealing with the possibility of running out of fuel.
A late caution saved some green flag laps for Larson in his fuel conservation and when the green reappeared with only 11 laps to go he was home free once he got the jump on the field.
“Normally my guys are some of the best on pit road,” Larson explained of the pit road challenge. “They said the left-rear just wouldn’t come out. I had been fighting a tight issue all day and then finally we got our car to turn better.
“It allowed me to get to the lead fairly easily and then I was saving fuel in case the race stayed green.”
Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney and Elliott Sadler roun ded out the top five.
Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Spencer Gallagher completed the first 10 finishers.
While Larson won the second stage before taking the win, Bell edged him to take the first stage.
“It was a lot of fun racing, and hopefully a lot of fun watching,” Bell said. “That was really cool. There’ll be a lot more of that.”
It was a frustrating afternoon for Las Vegas native Kyle Busch, who after winning Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race had his sights set on a LVMS three-peat. But Busch fought handling issues and was never able to make a serious challenge for the lead. His day was compounded by a pit stop penalty when the No. 18 team’s fuel man caught a rolling tire, which is not allowed under the new pit road policy. Busch finished 14th.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series now heads to ISM Raceway in Phoenix next Saturday afternoon.