Boyd Gaming 300

Monday, March 4th Race Recap
Date: March 2, 2019
Event: Boyd Gaming 300  (Round 3 of 33)
Location: Las Vegas (NV) Motor Speedway (1.5 Mile Oval)
Format: 200 laps in three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/17th (Running, completed 208/213 laps)
Point Standing: 15th (63 points, 26 out of the playoffs)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing
Stage 1 Winner:  Cole Custer of Stewart-Hass Racing
Stage 2 Winner:  Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45):
Brandon Brown started 11th, finished 17th.
● Back to Back 11th place starting positions for our little team.  When the green flag dropped the No. 86 was timid on the start, being at a track for the first time Brandon wanted to get through to the end and a mid-stage caution helped that.
● The team struggled with the balance of the race car in the early portions of the race, the team stayed on the lead lap by the end of the first stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90):
Started 16th, finished 19th.
A pit road problem entering the pit box cost us to lose two positions during the sequence.
Brown drove up to 13th before a moment getting loose off of turn two, he almost made contact with the wall, ultimately losing six positions and settled in the 19th position.
The No. 86 was loose the entire second stage, at the end of the stage Crew Chief Adam Brenner made a small air pressure adjustment in the LR to offset the loose, expecting the track to tighten up as the rubber is laid down.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 90-213):
Started 18th, finished 17th.
After debating doing a rain dance and staying out to play strategy, Brown restarted 18th and rode around 16th-17th the entire final stage.
● During green flag stops on lap 145 we were caught speeding in Section One by .14 mph, this put us -2 laps as we began the final run to the finish.
A caution flew on lap 189 when the leaders all pitted, our crew took the wave around.  Another caution followed, where the No. 86 team gambled in Vegas, we ultimately lost that gamble running out of fuel right after pit entry.
Finally being pushed to pit road and getting the car re-fired Brown found himself and the BMS crew five laps down, in the 23rd position.  He drove hard in the final laps and picked up a 17th place finish. Overall, a disappointing finish to what could have been a fantastic run.

Brandon Brown, driver of the BMS No. 86 Chevrolet for Brandonbilt Motorsports:
How do you rebound after having what should have been your career-best finish? How do you put that in the back of your mind heading to ISM Raceway (Phoenix, AZ)?

  “You rebound by not letting that eat at you, with a race that comes down to fuel mileage then you gamble, we are in Vegas, so why not?  But the odds weren’t in our favor but I do believe having to come in for fuel allowed us to avoid the mayhem on the ensuing restart.  We came away with a clean car that we can take to Phoenix and Fontana so we stay thankful and prepare for Phoenix.”

What struggles did you face at a new race track like Las Vegas that you can implement when you go to ISM and Auto Club in the coming weeks?

“Struggled with finding a balance really and truly, we don’t have the data that other teams have for these tracks so finding a balance is finding speed, and we kept getting better as we went.  So the weekend started with a bit of frustration but eventually got things figured out.  But we can take the lesson of patience with us, come in with the realistic expectations and continue to excel. We want to impress those watching in the booth, stands and the garages.  We have a focus of gaining respect in the garage and doing it the right way.  As for the driving these tracks I expect to be animals of their own and I can’t wait to try and tackle them to get the job done.”

Next Up: The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the NASCAR Xfinity Series 200 on Saturday March 9th at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ.  The race starts at 4pm EST with live coverage provided by FS1.

Photo: Daylon Barr