No bounty this time, but NASCAR’s Kyle Busch to defend Las Vegas truck series win

The last time out on the Daytona International Speedway road course there were 10 yellow flags and three overtimes before a winner was declared in the NASCAR Truck Series race.

Friday’s Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway isn’t expected to be quite so dramatic, though there still are plenty of storylines heading into the third truck stop of the 2021 season.

Here are three to watch for:

1. Kyle’s back

It’s not as easy for Kyle Busch to pad his all-time victory total (59) in the Truck Series per NASCAR rules limiting his participation and his Cup Series rivals paying bounties to anybody who can beat him (as Kevin Harvick did last year). But that won’t prevent Las Vegas’ native son from seeking his fourth consecutive victory in the spring race on his hometown track.

“Competing in the Truck Series in my own equipment is something I really enjoy doing, and as long as I’m allowed to race and my name is on the door, I’ll be running as many as I possibly can,” the two-time Cup Series champion said about his plan to keep truckin’.

If he wins again Friday it will be with his fourth crew chief in as many years. He’ll be teamed with Marty Lindley for this year’s run.

2. Rhodes to victory?

ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes will be seeking his third consecutive victory to start the 2021 season. But he also may have one eye on reigning series champion Sheldon Creed after the two tangled the last time out on the Daytona road course while battling for the lead.

“I’ll remember that down the road when we’re racing hard again,” said Creed, who drives for GMS Racing and Las Vegas businessman Maury Gallagher.

Replied Rhodes, whose first win in the trucks came at LVMS in 2017, about multiple run-ins with Creed: “I’m going to choose my words carefully here for Sheldon because I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that because the guy did try to run me … off the racetrack.”

3. Daly double

After making his Truck Series debut at LVMS in 2020 without a single lap of practice, Indianapolis 500 regular Conor Daly will be back for another go-round.

“I am so pumped up to go @NASCAR_Trucks racing Friday night!” the seven-time Indy 500 starter wrote on Twitter Monday. “I’ve got some great teammates @NieceMotorsport that I am going to annoy the heck out of for more tips and tricks.”

Daly, who finished 18th in his Truck Series baptism, will drive the No. 44 Chevrolet Silverado with sponsorship from Fatheadz Eyewear and Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts.

Contact Ron Kantowski at [email protected] or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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