Saturday, October 16, 2021

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Kyle Busch dominates at Phoenix

It’s hard to believe, but prior to today’s Nationwide race at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch hadn’t visited victory lane since September,2011 in the very series in which he is the all-time wins leader.

His struggles of 2012 are well documented, bringing his  Kyle Busch Motorsports team to the Nationwide Series barely a month before the season started at Daytona. The team only won once race during the 33-race season, and it wasn’t even Kyle behind the wheel of his own car.

Instead, older brother Kurt brought home the team’s only win of 2012 at Richmond.

For 2013, the No.54 team became apart of the Joe Gibbs Racing organization, the very team in which the majority of his Nationwide Series wins came.

The very dominance Busch showed in the past with JGR was evident when he showed up to Phoenix as he was the fastest car in both practice sessions, and put the No.54 Toyota on the pole for Saturday’s 200 lap event.

From the very drop of the green flag, Busch looked to have the car to beat. And for a point in time, it didn’t look as though anyone would make a serious run at him.

But when Busch had a misunderstanding of the timing lines on pit road during the first round of pit stops under caution, it sent him to the back of the field, a position he hadn’t been in all day.

However, Busch made quick work of the Nationwide field sprinkled with Sprint Cup stars as he retook the lead before halfway mark of the race.

Once again, it looked as though Busch was going to runaway with the Dollar General 200. The driver with something to say about that was defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski stayed out on a late caution which put his No.22 Ford in the lead. But just like every other car on the track, Busch made quick work of the No.22, and never looked back as he went on to claim victory in the Dollar General 200.

“It feels awesome,” said Busch in a Nationwide Series victory lane for the first time since that September night in Richmond 18 months ago.

“I wish everything in the world I could have gotten in done with my guys over at Kyle Busch Motorsports, but I can’t say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing and all these guys.”

Busch lead a whopping 164 of the 200 laps en route to claiming his 52nd career Nationwide Series win, and his fifth win in the series at Phoenix.

” [We] had a trying time, but we’re here in victory lane and it’s all sweet and fun right now,” said Busch.

“It’s always fun to win out here in the Nationwide Series and get us all warmed up for tomorrow.”

With two races complete in the 33-race season, there’s a tie at the top of the point standings between Justin Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr. heading into next weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motorspeedway.

Dollar General 200 Unofficial Results 

  1. Kyle Busch 
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Justin Allgaier
  4. Trevor Bayne
  5. Elliott Sadler
  6. Austin Dillon
  7. Sam Hornish Jr.
  8. Mat Kenseth
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Brian Scott
  11. Regan Smith
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Kyle Larson
  14. Mike Bliss
  15. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  16. Blake Koch
  17. Brian Vickers
  18. Reed Sorenson
  19. Parker Kligerman
  20. Jeffery Earnhardt
  21. Ryan Sieg
  22. Jason White
  23. Hal Martin
  24. Dexter Stacey
  25. Harrison Rhodes
  26. Juan Carlos Blum
  27. Mike Harmon
  28. Travis Pastrana
  29. Eric McClure
  30. Joey Gase
  31. Alex Bowman
  32. Mike Wallace
  33. Kevin Harvick
  34. Daryl Harr
  35. Jamie Dick
  36. Joe Nemechek
  37. Jeff Green
  38. Josh Wise
  39. Chase Miller
  40. Johanna Long

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