By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
LAS VEGAS, Nev.-Sam Hornish Jr. drove an absolutely dominant car to victory Saturday afternoon, streaking away from Kyle Busch during a seven-lap dash to the finish in the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The win was Hornish’s second in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and his first since Nov. 12, 2011 at Phoenix.
Busch rolled across the finish line in second, 1.1 seconds behind Hornish. Brian Vickers ran third, followed by Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler. Bayne recovered from an early brush with the wall to post the fourth-place result.
Hornish dropped from the lead to third during pit stops on Lap 139, after NASCAR called a debris caution one lap earlier. Eight circuits after a restart on lap 145, Hornish regained the top spot, sailing past Busch and driving away.
Hornish led Busch by almost three seconds when Scott Lagasse Jr.’s spin in Turn 1 on Lap 182 caused the seventh caution of the race. The top seven cars stayed on track under the yellow while those behind them came to pit road for fresh rubber on Lap 184.
Four laps later, moments after Hornish led the field to the green flag, a hard wreck in Turn 2 involving rookie Kyle Larson, Joey Gase and Ryan Sieg slowed the race for the eighth time and left Larson’s No. 32 Chevrolet Camaro a smoking ruin.
Larson, whose car flew into the catch fence on the final lap of the NNS season opener at Daytona, hastily climbed from his car as safety workers arrived with fire extinguishers.
Bayne and Larson made track-position plays on Lap 83, taking fuel only under caution for Robert Richardson Jr.’s spin in Turn 2. Though they started at the front of the field, the strategy backfired, as both Bayne and Larson hit the outside wall battling for the lead on Lap 87.
Larson, in the outside lane, crowded Bayne on the bottom as the drivers raced side by side. Bayne’s No. 6 Ford broke loose, carrying both cars into the wall. Bayne remained on the lead lap, but Larson’s No. 32 Chevrolet was damaged more extensively, and the rookie lost two laps during repairs.