LAS VEGAS — official release — Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America — NASCAR Next member Erik Jones leads the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team to its owner’s hometown of Las Vegas for his first career start at the track in Saturday’s Rhino Linings 350 (10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
And the odds are quite good there will be a No. 51 Toyota Tundra “sighting” in Victory Lane.
The No. 51 team has been dominant at 1.5-mile tracks this season, scoring four victories in five starts. Busch, who splits seat time with the 18-year-old Jones, has piloted the truck in all four victories, but his protégé possesses the talent needed to leave the rest of the field in his dust. In fact, Jones won the NCWTS race at Iowa in July on the shorter tracks and claims three top-10 finishes in four races since then.
The NASCAR Next member will try to give KBM its first victory at Las Vegas, one of only five tracks on the current schedule where the team has yet to earn a win.
Owner points are also at stake for Jones and KBM. The No. 51 truck ranks third in the owner standings, trailing ThorSport’s No. 88 (Matt Crafton) and No. 98 (Johnny Sauter) Toyotas by eight points and one point, respectively.