NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers and teams had last weekend off to recharge and regroup after an action-packed race in Daytona to open the 2023 season but this weekend they are back for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 Presented by Westgate Resorts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Fans last saw Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith make his second trip to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in his No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. Smith heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in hopes of taking the checkered flag and becoming the fourth driver in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to post back-to-back wins to start the season, joining Mark Martin (2006: Daytona Auto Club), Johnny Sauter (2013: Daytona Martinsville) and Ben Rhodes (2021: Daytona, Daytona Road Course).
Kyle Busch leads the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with three (2018, 2019 and 2020). But he isn’t the only former winner entered in the race this weekend, Busch will be joined by John Hunter Nemechek (2021), Christian Eckes (2020), Grant Enfinger (2018) and Ben Rhodes (2017).
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Next Race: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, March 3
The Time: 9 p.m. ET
The Purse: $703,062
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30)
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)
NASCAR Trucks are sittin’ pretty in Sin City
There have been 30 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, producing 25 different race winners and 21 different pole winners. Nine races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Kyle Busch in 2019.
Kyle Busch also holds a couple records in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series at the Nevada track, including the qualifying record with his speed of 178.903 mph in 2019 and he also sits as the winningest driver with three (2018, 2019, 2020) victories.
Also, a record holder at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton. He has posted the most top fives (11), top 10s (17), lead lap finishes (20) and laps completed (3,451).
Last year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chandler Smith fought his way to Victory Lane after battling it out with his then team owner, Kyle Busch, who ultimately posted a runner-up finish. Smith led 32 laps while Busch led 31.
Truck Series drivers will kick off their weekend with practice on Friday, March 3 at 4:35 p.m. ET followed by Cometic Gasket Pole Qualifying at 5:05 p.m. ET.
Max Gutiérrez to race in late brother’s memory
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series rookie Max Gutiérrez was set to make his first Truck Series start at Daytona International Speedway but shortly before the start of the season, his younger brother Fico Gutiérrez was killed in a car accident outside of Mexico City.
After taking some time to mourn the loss of his brother, Gutiérrez decided to come back to the track and honor his late brother at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his fifth Truck Series career start.
“This race is totally dedicated to my brother, Fico, who I’m sure will be with me all the time,” said Gutiérrez. “Racing is the best medicine for me, and Fico was one of the first to congratulate me after our success at Nashville. I will cherish that moment forever. I know he will be racing alongside me in our No. 22 BolsaDX Telcel Ford F-150 and I plan to make him proud on Friday night.”
To honor his brother, Gutiérrez’s No. 22 AM Racing Ford will showcase his brother’s logo on the hood for his first Truck Series start of the season.
The former ARCA Menards Series East winner, Gutiérrez, has four NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts under his belt with a career-best eighth-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Zane Smith looks to become eighth driver to win three or more consecutive races – Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith ended last season with a bang by winning the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series championship and carried that momentum into this season with his win at the season opener in Daytona.
If we wins this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he will be the eighth different driver to win three or more consecutive NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races joining Ron Hornaday Jr., Kyle Busch, Johnny Benson, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Kevin Harvick and Mike Skinner.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the Truck Series in most consecutive wins with five straight from June 20, 2009 – August 1, 2009.