Kyle Busch dominated the ServiceMaster 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, leading 168 of the 200 laps that made up the race to claim his 12th win of the season and the sixth of his career at PIR.
“Just can’t say enough about (crew chief) Adam Stevens and all the guys at JGR,” Busch said. “All in all, a great race today — a really fast car.”
With the win, Busch pulled his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team to within four points of the No. 22 Penske Racing team in the owner’s championship standings. Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 at Phoenix, finished 19th.
Busch led the entire first half of the race, with the exception of two laps during a cycle of green-flag pit stops just past lap 75. He temporarily lost a couple of positions on the restart that followed the second caution of the race on lap 105, but was back up front by lap 121.
After the first half of the race only produced one caution, the second half of the race was littered by yellow flags, with six cautions coming after the 100-lap mark. One of those cautions came out as a result of a spin and contact with the wall for Keselowski after contact with Brian Scott.
“All in all, that’s what this sport is all about,” Busch said of Keselowski’s troubles. “We had bad luck last week.”
Trevor Bayne and Sam Hornish Jr. both stayed out during a caution on lap 130 to restart the race first and second. Hornish had previously ran near the back of the lead lap, but after getting up front on pit strategy, he stayed within or near the top-five the remainder of the race to finish fifth.
“It was tough. We were up and down all day today,” Hornish said. “While it’s not going to victory lane, it was like a victory.”
Justin Allgaier got by Austin Dillon on the final lap to finish second, making Dillon settle for third.
“Can’t get too upset,” Dillon said. “I think he (Allgaier) got into me; he said he didn’t”
With his third-place finish, Dillon slightly increased his driver’s points lead from six to eight points over Hornish.
Regan Smith finished fourth. Finishing sixth through 10th were Matt Kenseth, Bayne, Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR