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Busch hoping for first Nationwide win at hometown track

<p>Last Saturday, Busch won a Nationwide race at Phoenix International Raceway for a record third straight time, even though the scheduled 200-lap event there was cut short by 32 laps due to rain. He also earned his record- extending 64th career win in the series.</p>

Last Saturday, Busch won a Nationwide race at Phoenix International Raceway for a record third straight time, even though the scheduled 200-lap event there was cut short by 32 laps due to rain. He also earned his record- extending 64th career win in the series.

Busch has competed in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas each year since 2004, finishing second there two times (2007 and '13). In last year's event, Sam Hornish Jr. grabbed the lead from Busch with 48 laps remaining and then held off Busch after two restarts within the final 15 laps. It was the second career win for Hornish in Nationwide.

"We had a good finish last year [at Las Vegas], considering we started further back in the pack than we wanted to, due to qualifying being rained out, so just had to work our way through the traffic," Busch said. "Got a second out of it, but would like to improve on that obviously. We are off to a good start with the Phoenix win. Just hope we don't get wet with any more rain."

There is no chance of rain in the forecast for the Las Vegas area on Saturday.

This season, Busch and Hornish are sharing driving duties in the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch is scheduled to drive it in 26 Nationwide races, while Hornish will behind the wheel in the remaining seven events.

Busch won a Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas in 2009.

"Vegas always means a little bit more pressure - more pressure on myself - just because it's the hometown and you want to win there."

The last two Nationwide races as Las Vegas have been won by series regulars. Hornish did it last year, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. did so in 2012. Stenhouse graduated to Sprint Cup in 2013.

Regan Smith, the current points leader and winner of the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, has four Nationwide starts at Las Vegas, with his best finish of seventh occurring this past season. Smith holds a five- point advantage over Trevor Bayne, while Elliott Sadler trails by six markers.

Forty teams are on the entry list for the Boyd Gaming 300. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, David Ragan and Busch are those Sprint Cup regulars scheduled to compete in this race.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, March 8. Race: Boyd Gaming 300. Site: Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time:4:15 p.m. ET. Laps: 200. Miles: 300. 2013 Winner: Sam Hornish Jr. Television: ESPN2. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

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