Las Vegas, Nevada is the home of gambling, risk, and questionable decisions. The racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is typically the same way. You never know what’s going to happen.
For Brad Keselowski, things were getting hard to handle. Forty laps to go brought electrical issues. Radioing in to crew chief Jeremy Bullins, he asked if he should switch to his backup battery. He heard the statement no driver wants to hear: “You don’t have a backup battery.”
The driver of the No. 22 Penske Ford was being chased by bad luck —and the No. 54 of Kyle Busch.
Double uh oh.
As the laps dwindled away, so did Keselowski’s speed. The gap between him and Busch closed, heightening the tension in the stands and on couches across the country. The number of cycles left seemed to cut down at a staggering rate. Thirty, twenty, ten to go.
Lapped traffic saved the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Weaving through the slower cars created distance between the two drivers, and it was enough to salvage the hopes of seeing a Penske car in Victory Lane.
The race wasn’t entirely focused on Cup drivers crashing the party. Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne, Chris Buescher, and Regan Smith all finished in the top ten. Elliott’s performance was praised by fans and car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. With the last name ‘Elliott,’ there’s no doubt the kid has talent running through his veins.
One astounding thing in the post-race interviews? The difference in tone between Busch and Elliott. When the microphone was pointed at the youngest Busch brother afterwards, he radiated disappointment. He made Eeyore seem ecstatic. ESPN then went to Elliott for an interview, and it was a complete one-eighty; a lively voice described a solid day, though a bothersome vibration reared its ugly head. This youth movement is becoming more prominent with every race and post-race interview.
Points Standings after the Boyd Gaming 300
1. Regan Smith (–)
2. Trevor Bayne (-3)
3. Elliott Sadler (-9)
4. Ty Dillon (-12)
5. Chase Elliott (-14)
6. Brian Scott (-20)
7. Brendan Gaughan (-23)
8. Dylan Kwasniewski (-30)
9. James Buescher (-31)
10. Mike Bliss (-36)
11. Ryan Reed (-40)
12. Mike Wallace (-44)
FAN REACTION: Grades ranged from ‘B’s to a lone ‘F-’ (ouch), but some fans were pleased with the younger drivers getting some screen time. People would like to see tire fall off and less Cup drivers on-track. To summarize: not much has changed.
The end of the race prevailed, as did Brad Keselowski. Things will get interesting next weekend, when the sport heads to one of the most anticipated tracks on the schedule: Bristol Motor Speedway.