March 6, 2014 — photo via FOX News — LAS VEGAS, NV — The last two NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have seen series regulars celebrate in Victory Lane: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2012) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2013). Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300 could continue that streak with a handful of drivers as the most likely to pull the trifecta off.
A quick scan of Loop Data from the past nine series races at Las Vegas have a combination of Trevor Bayne, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott appearing in the top five in several categories: average driver rating, quality passes, green-flag speed, fastest laps run, fastest on restarts, laps led, laps in top 15 and average running position.
In four starts at the “Diamond in the Desert,” Bayne has never finished lower than sixth. He led 21 laps in last year’s race before finishing fourth for the second consecutive season. His best finish at the 1.5-mile speedway is ninth (2012) in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts.
Dillon has only one series start at Vegas, which came last year where he finished 11th after starting fifth. In two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, he has finished of 10th and fourth.
Last season, Gaughan finished fifth in the NASCAR Nationwide race at Vegas, his best finish in three starts. In 2003, he won the truck series race at Vegas to go along with five top-10 finishes. In all, he has 18 national series starts in the desert.
With 19 national series starts, Sadler has the most starts in Vegas among the group, having competed at the track in only the top two series. In seven NASCAR Nationwide events, he’s only finished outside the top 15 once, including a third-place finish in 2012. In the premier series, Sadler turned in a career-best sixth-place performance during the 2004 season.
In last year’s NASCAR Nationwide race, Scott posted his best finish of ninth at the track. In his three other starts, he placed 31st, 14th and 34th. His average finishing position in three truck series races is 20.7.
One interesting note, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch has never won in a NASCAR Nationwide event at his hometown track.