Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch led the way at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, taking home the checkered flag in Saturday’s rain-shortened Nationwide Series race and finishing ninth in the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday.
Busch, in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in Saturday’s Blue Jeans Go Green 200, led 155 of the 168 laps completed on Saturday, his third straight Nationwide Series win at Phoenix and fourth-straight for JGR at the track in Nationwide Series competition. Matt Kenseth finished fifth in the No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota, while Nationwide Series regular Elliott Sadler finished sixth in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota.
“I think it’s pretty phenomenal the pure dominance we’ve shown here the last few times that we’ve come here and the amount of laps we’ve led with how fast our cars have been,” said Busch on his website. “All the credit goes to Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everybody back at the shop, all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, Monster Energy Drink, Toyota and the Toyota Camry we drove here today. It’s fun to win them any way we can, but especially when you know how strong the car was. This is my first time winning a rain-shortened race. ‘Welcome to the tent.’ I don’t know that it really made a whole lot of difference though. We were really good. I would have loved to have gone back out there, but the weather wasn’t on our side today.”
Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson.
The sun was shining on Sunday as Busch finished ninth in The Profit on CNBC 500 after starting the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry from the seventh position. Kenseth improved from his 19th starting spot in the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Toyota to finish 12th, while Denny Hamlin finished 19th in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota after starting 12th.
“We fought hard all day with our Skittles Camry,” said Busch. “We never seemed to have the ticket we needed. We got better all day, which was a positive, and salvaged a top-10 out of it. Just didn’t have the speed that we were looking for, especially getting off the corner. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys made the car better during the day, but we just didn’t have the handle to run with the leaders. We had a seventh- to 10th-place car today and brought it home in ninth.”
Harvick took the checkered flag on Sunday, followed across the stripe by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon.
The Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s action, March 7th through 9th. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.
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