Kyle Busch Wins Nationwide Race
Kyle Busch passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with five laps to go and hung on to win the Bashas’ Supermarkets 300 Nationwide Series race Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kevin Harvick also got by Keselowski late in the race to finish second.
Keselowski finished third but took the series points lead away from Carl Edwards.
Busch got the victory even though he was issued a pass-through penalty for jumping a restart with just over 50 laps to go.
After serving the penalty, Busch emerged from pits as the last car on the lead lap. From there, 19th place, he moved forward and finally recaptured a lead he held for much of the evening.
“I knew if we could get a caution that we might have something that we could go after him with,” Busch said of Keselowski. “I didn’t know how far we could come back up. I figured maybe we could get to fifth, maybe fourth but that was about it. A great effort by the team and the guys. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief)awesome race calls there to get the car a little bit better. It all started back in practice. We made a lot of big changes to it and it seemed to pay off. We were pretty good.”
Ratcliff was equally surprised the the way the race ended.
“It was interesting,” he said. “We struggled a little bit at this track last year. We came back with a different setup and went through a lot of changes today in practice and were fortunate to put something together. It was good tonight. It looked like it was between us, the 22 (Brad Keselowski), the 20 (Joey Logano) most of the night and we were able to maintain our track position.
“We had a good night on pit road. Then, there about 70 to go or whatever, everything kind of went upside down and we lost our track position. To come back up through there and come back and win the race, it’s exciting, probably more exciting than it would have been if we would have just led the rest of the laps.”
Busch had more late-race trouble as he tangled with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano in the pits during the final caution of the evening.
During that stop, which came with seven laps to go, Busch clipped Logano near Logan’s stall. Logano had entered the pits as the leader.
“I’m not sure, to be honest with you,” Logano said when asked what happened. “I came off pit road, think I almost had Kyle (Busch) cleared, and he decided to gas it up after my box to shoot into his and came across my nose, knocked my right-front fender in. It was going to rub, but I knew we were screwed. Started to race and was okay, and then got tight and then (Brad) Keselowski pushed me into the turn then shoved me three lanes up the race and that was my other fender. Then, the left-rear tire went flat and that was the end of my day.”
The first thing Busch did after getting out of his car in Victory Lane was apologize to Logano.
The victory was the second of the season for Busch.
Brendan Gaughan finished fourth and Greg Biffle was fifth.
Edwards, who dropped to second place in the standings, finished sixth. He now trails Keselowski by five points.
Busch, who led the most laps in the race, is third in points, 15 behind Keselowski.One Comment