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(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Kyle Busch Completes NASCAR Phoenix Sweep with TicketGuardian 500 Win

Kyle Busch is one win away from making history. Busch captured his 199th race in NASCAR’s top three series, finishing off a weekend sweep with a 1.2-second win in Sunday’s (March 10) TicketGuardian 500.

Busch took control during the final stretch at ISM Raceway, passing Ryan Blaney with 17 laps remaining. He then went into fuel conservation mode, doing just enough to hold off surging teammate Martin Truex Jr. It’s the second straight victory for Busch at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level since the one-mile track at Phoenix was reconfigured. It’s also a near-miss on a second straight weekend sweep; Busch was in position to do it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend before getting bit by a pit road speeding penalty.

“This makes last weekend so much stupider,” Busch said. “I wish we could have swept last week, too.”

Busch led a race-high 177 of 312 laps and won the second stage, launching him into the series points lead. Truex wound up passing Blaney for second while Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five. Kyle Larson was the top-finishing Chevrolet in sixth, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch.

TICKETGUARDIAN 500 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

After a caution-free race at Las Vegas last Sunday aside from stage breaks, ISM Raceway produced nine yellow flags. Drivers struggled with the new spoiler and splitter on the 750-horsepower package, causing several spinouts. A half-dozen drivers wound up involved in incidents including rookie Ryan Preece, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski and Michael McDowell.

The longest green-flag run of the race was the final 74 laps, putting gas mileage front and center for the front-running cars. But those drivers who came down and pitted on the final caution, hoping those in front would run out of gas wound up with failed pit strategy instead. Kevin Harvick was the fastest car on fresh tires but could only work his way back up to ninth.

Six drivers combined for 17 lead changes, including eighth-place finisher Jimmie Johnson. Johnson had his best run of the year for Hendrick Motorsports, leading four laps. Last year, it took him until Pocono in June to make it to the front.

Last week’s winner Joey Logano rounded out the top-10 finishers. But he was no match for Busch, who now sits one short of tying the NASCAR record. He’ll go for a 200th career win in NASCAR’s top three series next Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

NASCAR RACE WEEKEND CENTRAL: ISM RACEWAY (ALL RESULTS)

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About Tom Bowles

Tom Bowles
The author of Bowles-Eye View (Mondays) and Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 30 staff members as its majority owner. Based in Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild.

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4 comments

  1. Avatar

    What history is Kyle Busch about or set to make?
    He already set the victory mark for Trucks and “busch” but is no where near any records for Cup.

    imho, you media folks need to stop trying to compare Petty’s 200 to Kyle’s. A) Petty essentially only ran one series for his 200 wins. Top level of NASACAR
    2) with having 2 extra series has more opportunities in the last 10 years.
    3) has top level equipment over every other team in trucks and likely other than Penske Xfinity)

    Please pump the brakes on the overall total while still impressive it is not an earth shattering mark based on competition.

    Now flip side observation if say Busch had 80 or 90 wins in Cup, and then also the 53 or whatever in trucks and the 60 or 70 whatever in Busch at least then more of his wins would be against the top of the top level and it would be a little better argument but since his wins are least at the Cup level issue is really not very relevant.

    • Avatar

      Only the haters keep referring to Petty’s 200. KB constantly says he’s not comparing himself to the King’s 200 wins. Look at the percentage of wins to starts. Anything greater than .250 is very outstanding.

      • Avatar

        Kyle has 52 CUP WINS in 502 CUP starts. That is nowhere close (.104) to .250. The competition is a little different in CUP.

  2. Avatar

    Somebody is drinking Kyle’s Kool-Aid.