Kyle Busch continues Xfinity Series domination at Phoenix

He faced a stiff challenge, but Kyle Busch continued his domination at Phoenix in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Kyle Busch continues Xfinity Series domination at Phoenix
Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Extreme Concepts/iK9
Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Extreme Concepts/iK9
Race Winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Extreme Concepts/iK9
Ryan Truex, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro MTJ Foundation / Sherry Strong / Catwalk for a Cause

Christopher Bell gave Busch a run for his money in Saturday’s race at ISM Raceway but ended up wrecking out, leaving Busch to run away with the victory, his 11th series win in 23 career starts at the 1-mile track.

Busch, who took the checkered flag more than three seconds ahead of Ryan Truex, has won more at Phoenix than any other track in the series.

"Christopher was certainly going to give me a run for my money today," Busch said in Victory Lane. "I can't say enough about our guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. They built really fast Supras. 

"Christopher, I hated he got caught up in that mess. Obviously, it was going to be a very fun run to the end there. 

"It's always cool to come out and have Rowdy Nation's support and what we're able to do and what we're able to accomplish. There's a lot of talk these days but if I'm allowed to enter a race, I'm going to enter a race and I'm going to go out there and try to win. If I win, we win. If not, we go out and try the next time.

Tyler Reddick finished third, Cole Custer was fourth and Austin Cindric completed the top-five.

On Lap 131 of 200, Stephen Leicht’s No. 01 Chevrolet appeared to blow his engine with a giant plume of smoke that covered the track. In the smoke in Turn 3, Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier both spun in the oil and wrecked, which effectively ended Bell’s day.


“Saw him (Leicht) blowing up going into (Turn) 1 and figured it was going to be slick, I saw (Allgaier) start sliding, then I started sliding and as soon as I entered the smoke ball I lost my bearings,” Bell said. “Next thing I know, I smacked the wall.”

All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit under the caution with Busch the first off pit road followed by Reddick, Truex, Custer and Cindric. The race returned to green on Lap 143.

With 55 laps remaining in the race, Truex had moved up to the runner-up position and seemed to be making up ground on Busch. Reddick ran in third.

Busch built his lead back up to nearly 1.7 seconds over Truex with 40 laps to go. Reddick remained third and Cindric fourth.

"I guess it's good when you lose to Kyle Busch. I Just got us too far behind early on, we were too free," Truex said. "We worked hard all day to get it back. Our car was just so good on the long runs."

Stage 2

Bell managed to fend off a stiff challenge from Busch to claim the Stage 2 win.

Reddick was third, Allgaier fourth and Gragson completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, Cindric elected to pit which handed the lead back over to Bell on the restart on Lap 54.

Busch quickly grabbed the lead away from Bell on the restart as Reddick moved into third.

Two laps later, Bell and Busch traded the lead before Busch was able to put some room between himself and Bell.

With 20 laps remaining in the stage, Bell got around Busch to reassume the lead. They were followed by Reddick and Allgaier.

Bell maintained a small advantage over Busch with 10 laps to go in the stage.

Stage 1

Cindric held off a fast-approaching Bell on new tires to earn the first playoff point of the 2019 season.

Busch was third, Michael Annett fourth and Reddick completed the top-five.

Bell, who started on the pole, took command of the race early and moved out to a 1-second lead over Busch after the first 12 laps.

With 25 laps remaining in the 45-lap stage, Bell had built up a more than 1.2-second lead over Busch. They were followed by Reddick, Custer and Cindric.

Bell expanded his lead over Busch to 2.3-seconds with 15 laps to go in the stage.

On Lap 33, Bayley Currey hit the wall to bring out the first caution of the race. Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Bell the first to come off pit road.

Cindric was one of eight drivers to stay out and inherited the race lead when the race returned to green with six laps left in the stage. He was followed by Annett and Haley.

With two laps to go, Bell had made his way back up to second on fresh tires.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. had to start the race from the rear of the field after moving to a backup car on Friday.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 200   116
2 8 United States Ryan Truex  Chevrolet 200 3.025  
3 2 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 200 5.702  
4 00 United States Cole Custer  Ford 200 8.456 2
5 22 United States Austin Cindric  Ford 200 10.503 13
6 98 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 200 15.172  
7 19 United States Brandon Jones  Toyota 200 15.732  
8 1 United States Michael Annett  Chevrolet 200 16.152  
9 23 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 200 16.872  
10 39 United States Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 200 17.793  
11 9 United States Noah Gragson  Chevrolet 200 20.251 1
12 11 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 200 21.654  
13 51 United States Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 200 27.356  
14 7 United States Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
15 86 United States Brandon Brown  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
16 08 United States Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
17 4 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
18 07 United States Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
19 42 United States Chad Finchum  Toyota 197 3 laps  
20 66 Tyler Hill  Toyota 197 3 laps  
21 15 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
22   United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
23 78 United States Vinnie Miller  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
24 35 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 195 5 laps  
25 74 United States Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
26 93 United States Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 189 10 laps  
27 52 United States David Starr  Chevrolet 188 11 laps  
28 5 United States Matt Mills  Chevrolet 182 17 laps  
29 36 United States Josh Williams  Chevrolet 173 26 laps  
30 20 United States Christopher Bell  Toyota 130 69 laps 69
31 01 United States Stephen Leicht  Chevrolet 129 70 laps  
32 90 Ronnie Bassett  Chevrolet 61 138 laps  
33 38 United States Jeff Green  Chevrolet 59 140 laps  
34 89 United States Morgan Shepherd  Chevrolet 56 143 laps  
35 99 United States Tommy Joe Martins  Toyota 49 150 laps  
36 13 United States Stan Mullis  Toyota 35 164 laps  
37 17 Bayley Currey  Chevrolet 30 169 laps  

Austin Cindric sees "a great opportunity" for a win at Phoenix

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Ryan Truex: Finishing second to Busch "feels very validating"

Ryan Truex: Finishing second to Busch "feels very validating"
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