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NASCAR

Trucks head to Las Vegas

Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck. Date: mile oval. Start time: 3:30 p.m. (et). Laps: 146. Miles: 219 (350 kilometers). 2010 winner: Austin Dillon. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.

While the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Camping World Truck Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Saturday's race will be the final stand-alone event for the series this season.

This race will also run in the afternoon. The series had run at nighttime here from 2003-10.

With five races remaining, Austin Dillon leads in the championship standings by just three points over James Buescher. Johnny Sauter is now 19 points behind.

At age 21, Dillon is attempting to become the youngest champion in the series' 17-year history.

"I'm very confident in winning this championship," he said. "I want to go to the next five races and do whatever it takes."

When the series ran at Las Vegas last year, the finishing order of the 219- mile (350-kilometer) race found each of the current title hopefuls among the top-three. Dillon won the race by 2.5 seconds over Sauter, while Buescher came in third.

"That should be a fun and exciting race for us, and the points battle will probably stay tight through the rest of the year, I think," said Buescher, who is seeking to win his first truck race.

Sauter finished 14th at Kentucky and lost some ground in the points battle. He was penalized for speeding on pit road during his last stop.

His first win in the series came in the 2009 Las Vegas race.

"We're not out of this championship hunt - actually, far from it," Sauter said. "This is just beginning, going into Vegas, where I won two years ago."

Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday Jr. are a distant fourth and fifth in points, respectively, but both drivers are not out of the title bout just yet. Peters trails Dillon by 40 points, while Hornaday is 42 markers behind.

Hornaday captured his record-extending 50th win in the series at Kentucky. He has yet to win a race at Las Vegas.

"This is one of those tracks that I don't have a victory at, so that is definitely our priority this weekend," Hornaday said. "I am back with [crew chief] Bruce Cook and the No.2 truck team this weekend and really looking forward to getting on the track to see what we have. This team is on top of their game, and with five races to go in the season, it's game time."

Matt Crafton is expected to make his 268th straight truck start this weekend, surpassing Dennis Setzer for second on the series' all-time consecutive starts list. Terry Cook holds the record with 296.

And recently crowned NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Max Gresham is scheduled to make his truck debut here, driving the No.66 Chevrolet for Turn One Motorsports.

Thirty-one teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Smith's 350.