Kyle Busch won’t be allowed to participate in any Chase events for the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017. So he figured he may as well collect as many trophies as he could this year.
Busch grabbed his 10th win of the 2016 season and the 86th win of his record-breaking career in the XFINITY Series at Phoenix International Raceway. The victory was also Busch’s third consecutive triumph and 10th overall at at Arizona track.
Busch dominated the race, leading 190 of the 200 laps in his Joe Gibbs Toyota and besting runner up Austin Dillon by 6.115 seconds.
The race was fairly eventful, with six yellow flags for various incidents. The most significant was when Darrell Wallace, Jr., was cut off by fellow Chase hopeful Blake Koch on the frontstretch. Wallace ended up hitting the inside wall, collecting other cars in the process.
Earlier in the race, Alex Bowman, who won the pole for the Cup race on Friday, suffered a cut tire and pounded the turn 3 wall. He was unhurt but was out of the race after completing just 54 laps. Chase driver Brendan Gaughan later suffered a similar problem and crashed in turn one, ending his championship hopes. Jeff Green and Ray Black, Jr., also had run-ins with the wall at separate times during the race.
While the race served as the presumptive final NXS Chase start (and win) for Busch, the race also determined the four drivers who will contend for the series title next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler, and Justin Allgaier all steered clear of trouble to have an opportunity to win the inaugural Chase in the XFINITY Series. Interestingly enough, the four remaining drivers are two pairs of teammates – Suarez and Jones run for Joe Gibbs Racing, while Sadler and Allgaier compete for JR Motorsports.
The XFINITY Series returns to action for the season finale at Homestead next weekend. Live coverage of the Ford Ecoboost 300 airs at 3:30 pm Et on NBCSN.
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