This year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was nothing short of incredible. I personally have never been to a race with so many different types of weather elements that affected the outcome. Before this race, I thought that Kyle Busch was unstoppable. I was 90% right.
The weekend started off with pretty fair weather. A little cloud cover showed up during Friday practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Saturday Cut the sun shining and hardly a cloud in the sky. Xfinity final practice and qualifying couldn’t have gone any better. The track showed some life and there was plenty of grip to go around.
The start of the Xfinity race had mild wind blowing in from the east. It was nothing unusual, to say the least. During the middle of the race clouds moving and the tractor started to drop. card gardens around the track and crowd got to see some amazing side by side racing. When it was all said and done, Kyle Busch was crowned the winner. He lead 199 of 200 laps in a dominating fashion. The Last Vegas native has never won a Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Sending retarded with a light downpour of rain.The cars had to be covered and festivities were put on hold for about 25 minutes. Finally, the weather let up and the track began to dry. We knew that racing was in our future.
30 laps into the NASCAR race we saw a competition caution. There was rainfall the night before and Nacar had made the decision. Had it not rained before, there probably still would have been a competition caution.
After the competition caution cloud start to move away and the Sun started to shine. The cars started to slide and get loose due to the rising temperature of the track. Some cars reported that they drove better in the cold and others were better in the heat. As the temperature started to fluctuate, minute by minute, Cars would either gain or lose track position.
What an incredible sight to see.
SEND IN THE SAND
At one point during the race on Sunday, the wind started to pick up immensely and a sandstorm was created. The crowd assumed that the tiny drops of white stones were hail. Further inspection showed that it was in fact, raining sand.
In high wind storms, dirt tends to get swept into the air. At some point, what goes up must come down. During this shower of sand, the cars resumed racing. As the cars came barreling out of turn four, you could see for a brief second before you lost sight heading into turn one.
The sandstorm was so great, at one point the visibility was less than 60%. I’m saying that it was hard to see the mountain range, Nellis Air Force Base and the rest of Las Vegas.
THE BEST PART OF THE DAY
After the sandstorm settled down, the announcer on PRN radio made a comment that captured the tone for the day. “Well race fans, we’re patiently awaiting the arrival of the locust from the good book. Then we claim this day to be the beginning of the Apocalypse.” As shocking as that sounds, it was exactly what everyone was thinking.
Cold to hot, dry to wet, clear to cloudy. We experienced almost every type of weather element. Except for snow. How often does it snow in Vegas? It hardly snows in Las Vegas. Even on the coldest days during the year.
Almost A Kyle Busch #18 Win
It’s no secret that I am a Kyle Busch fan.Anybody who knows me will tell you the same. Kyle Busch led almost 50 laps during the Sprint Cup Race in Las Vegas, NV. As the laps wound down, my rituals started to increase. I’m not a superstitious person. If it would have helped Kyle Busch win, I would have tried to do it. At one point, I started to yell “Rain! COME ON! RAIN!”.
When more than 50% of the race has been run, and bad weather causes the cars to come off track, Nascar usually ends the race. Whoever is leading at that time will be crowned the winner. Now you know why I was yelling. Kyle Busch was leading. With less than 5 laps to go, the #18 Toyota Camry had finally given up. There was a report of a bad vibration. The car became very hard to drive. Which means that the lap times started to rise.
A much faster, and stupid head, Brad Keselowski drove around Kyle to take his second win in Las Vegas within three years.
Was I sad? You bet I was. I almost saw an #18 win.
I did, however, see some of the best racing I have ever seen. In crazy weather.
Fun Facts About Nascar and I
I, personally, have been waiting to see a win by Kyle Busch, in any of the three major NASCAR touring series, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I have seen Kyle Busch win in the Sprint Cup Series. That was during the 2013 season. His win came in Fontana California. My second favorite track. That will forever be my favorite win of his.
The summer before that win, I saw Kyle Busch win in the Nationwide series at Phoenix International Raceway. He was in the Monster Energy #54 Toyota Camry. Kyle had driven up to the front, dropped to the back for a speeding penalty and back to the front in spectacular fashion. That was officially the first Kyle Busch win that I witnessed in person.