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Kyle Busch Wins Rain-Shortened NNS Race At PIR

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 1 2014

Kyle Busch was a winner in Arizona Saturday.(RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

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Kyle Busch led 155 laps en route to a third straight NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Phoenix International Raceway.

The victory came after officials ended the race 32 laps early because of rain.

“I think just 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 are is pretty phenomenal,” Busch said after a rain-soaked celebration. “All the credit goes to Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everybody back at the shop.

“It’s fun to win them anyway. This is my first time winning a rain-shortened one. Welcome to the tent. I don’t know that it really made a whole lot of difference. We were really good. I would have loved to gone back out there after, but the weather wasn’t on our side today.”

The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had taken the point for the first time with a pass of polesitter Brad Keselowski on Lap 6. From that point on, he toyed with the rest of the field, extending his advantage to more than four seconds at its widest.

Kevin Harvick was second when rain halted the race, having passed Keselowski on Lap 160. Keselowski recovered from an accident on Lap 20 to run third. A tap from the pole winner sent Darryl Haar spinning into the outside wall off Turn 2 in a collision that also damaged the nose of Keselowski’s car.

Kyle Larson was fourth, followed by Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Trevor Bayne and last Saturday’s Daytona winner, Regan Smith, who retained a five-point lead over Bayne in the series standings.

In his first run in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Harvick was loose on restarts and soon fell approximately two seconds behind Busch.

“From there, we were just able to maintain,” Harvick said. “But a good effort for the first time out. … Kyle had the best car today. We probably finished where we should have.”

During three breaks in the rain, NASCAR put its Air Titan track-drying system to work, but three more intermittent downpours foiled the efforts to restart the race.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 1 2014
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