Chevrolet sweeps podium
Nelson Piquet Jr. drove his No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet past the No. 88 ThorSport Toyota of Matt Crafton on the final lap of the Smith's 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday to claim his second truck win of the season and the seventh of the year for Turner Motorsports.
"We really needed this win," Piquet said. "Probably the best win of my career."
After taking the lead with 15 laps to go, Crafton was relegated to a runner-up finish.
"That was a tough one to lose on the last lap," Crafton said.
Race pole sitter Joey Coulter finished third in the No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
"I thought we had a good enough truck," Coulter said after the race, going on to criticize contact he received from Crafton in the late laps of the race.
After starting on the pole, Coulter lost the lead to the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota of Timothy Peters on lap one. Peters' RHR teammate, Todd Bodine in the No. 11, spun later that same lap to bring out the first caution of the race.
The yellow flag waved often in the opening laps of the race, with the caution coming out four times in the first 30 laps of the event.
During the fourth caution of the race, Parker Kligerman in the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota and James Buescher in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet took fuel only to get off pit road first and second and restart the race on the front row.
Kligerman wound up giving up the lead, though, to pit under green for fuel and four tires on lap 73. He was then caught speeding on pit road and went two laps down after serving his speeding penalty.
Piquet took advantage of Kligerman's problems to take the lead, but lost positions to Richard Childress Racing teammates Ty Dillon in the No. 3 Chevrolet and Coulter when they got off pit road first and second during a caution on lap 76.
With 50 laps to go, Piquet moved into second. But again, he lost his lead under caution a few laps later when he was beaten off of pit road by Dillon, David Mayhew in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota and Bodine.
Piquet got back up front by taking the lead on the restart. He and Crafton raced side-by-side for the lead several laps later, but Piquet had his truck out front when the eighth caution of the race came out with 21 laps to go.
Coulter, who had made his way up to second on the restart, passed Piquet for the lead with 15 laps to go. That stint up front for Coulter was short-lived, though, as Crafton got by him for the lead later the same lap.
"We had a great truck," Crafton said. "The thing was really good right there at the end."
Crafton continued to lead the way as the white flag waved to signal the final lap, but on that last lap, Piquet was able to get by for the win.
"I have no idea what happened," Piquet said. "Someone up there gave me some grip when I needed it."
Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan drove the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish, and Bodine recovered from his first-lap spin to finish fifth.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Buescher, Cale Gale in the No. 33 Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet, Peters, Mayhew and Dillon.
Story by: Amanda Vincent