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Kyle Busch overcomes penalty to capture NASCAR win No. 200

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Kyle Busch overcomes penalty to capture NASCAR win No. 200
By:
Mar 17, 2019, 10:49 PM

It’s now 200 NASCAR wins and counting for Kyle Busch.

Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang AAA Southern California
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang AAA Southern California
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth

Although it came with a little drama in the final stage, Busch captured his 200th win in NASCAR’s three national series with a victory Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Busch had to overcome a pit road speeding penalty following the Stage 2 break but reclaimed the lead with 25 of 200 laps remaining. He held on for a 2.354-second win over Joey Logano.

“Awesome car. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Busch said over his team radio as he took the checkered flag.

Busch, 33, is the second driver to amass 200 wins across NASCAR’s three national series – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks. He now has 53 in Cup, 94 in the Xfinity Series and 53 in Trucks. He is the all-time wins leader in both Xfinity and Trucks.

Seven-time Cup series champion Richard Petty also has 200 wins and all of his came in the Cup series.

"It feels just like (win) No. 1, just like yesterday," Busch said. "Man, I had such an awesome race car. I mean - dang! I'm glad we put on a heck of a show for all the fans out here at Auto Club Speedway.

"It's just awesome. To win 200, whatever it means, it means a lot to me. It means a lot to all my guys, to everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. You guys are all the best. It's an amazing opportunity to drive for Joe Gibbs and I've cherished every minute of it.

"I just wish we can keep it going, running strong, running well and winning these races."

Brad Keselowski finished third, Kevin Harvick was third and Ryan Blaney completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Austin Dillon.

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Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-lap car elected to pit with Kyle Busch the first off pit road but was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart the stage from the rear of the field.

Hamlin was also caught speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear. Truex was penalized for having too many crew members over pit wall during his stop.

That left Keselowski with the race lead on the restart on Lap 128, followed by Harvick, Blaney, Elliott and Almirola.

Kyle Busch restarted 18th and Hamlin in 20th.

With 68 laps to go, Clint Bowyer finally took his ailing No. 14 Ford to the garage. He had complained about possible engine issues and had also made contact with the wall.

On Lap 136, Kyle Busch had made his way back into the Top 10, nearly 7 seconds behind the leader, Keselowski.

With 55 laps remaining in the race, Keselowski continued to hold a more than 3-second lead over Harvick. Logano ran third, Blaney fourth and Kurt Busch in fifth.

On Lap 149, Logano moved into the runner-up position behind Keselowski as Kyle Busch continued his march to the front and took over the sixth position from Almirola.

With 45 laps to go, Keselowski held a nearly 4-second lead over Logano with Blaney in third giving Team Penske 1-2-3 out front.

A final round of green-flag pit stops got underway with 40 laps remaining in the race. Logano and Blaney were among the first to head to pit road.

Bubba Wallace had a tire come apart and a caution was displayed with 37 laps remaining for debris on the race track in the middle of green-flag stops.

Five of the six cars on the lead lap elected to pit but Blaney remained on the track and inherited the race lead when the race returned to green on Lap 170. Kyle Busch was the first off pit road and restarted second, followed by Keselowski, Harvick and Logano.

On the restart, Blaney quickly fell back and Keselowski moved from third and back into the lead.

With 26 laps to go, Logano went to the inside of Keselowski and grabbed the lead as Kyle Busch moved to third.

One lap later, Kyle Busch went from third to first and reclaimed the lead he had lost following his pit stop penalty between Stages 2 and 3.

Busch moved out to a more than 2-second lead over Logano with 17 laps remaining in the race. Keselowski remained in third.​

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 200   134
2 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 200 2.354 3
3 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 200 4.037 42
4 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 200 9.146  
5 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 200 9.241 2
6 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 200 9.820  
7 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 200 13.178 8
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 200 13.313  
9 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 200 17.949 7
10 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 200 20.084 1
11 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 200 20.715  
12 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 200 24.401  
13 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 200 24.421  
14 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 200 28.059 1
15 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 200 28.377 3
16 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 200 28.424  
17 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 200 31.131  
18 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 200 33.800  
19 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 200 35.571  
20 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 200 36.692  
21 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 200 37.562  
22 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 199 1 lap  
23 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
24 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 198 2 laps  
25 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 198 2 laps  
26 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 197 3 laps  
27 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
28 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
29 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
31 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 193 7 laps  
32 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
33 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
34 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
35 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 188 12 laps  
36 77 United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 188 12 laps  
37 52 United States B.J. McLeod  Ford 172 28 laps  
38 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 130 69 laps  
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Penske was in hunt for win until Busch "blew our doors off"

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Fontana
Author Jim Utter