Kyle Busch Sweeps NASCAR Weekend At ISM Raceway; Captures 199th Victoryby Camille Jones March 10, 2019 0 comments
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Busch swept the weekend at ISM Raceway after capturing the win in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 following his victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series iK9 Service Dog 200.
Busch claimed his 199th career victory in the NASCAR national series on Sunday while leading 177 of the 312 laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Skittles Toyota. Busch propelled by Ryan Blaney with 17 laps to go and saved enough fuel to hold off Martin Truex Jr. in the final laps of the event.
“Rowdy Nation out there, they are the ones expecting me to win each and every week,” said Busch. “We have a strong fan following and everybody that shoots for us and that pulls for us. It’s a good time right now to be a part of Rowdy Nation. There’s a lot of wins happening, which is really awesome.”
Busch continued and said, “We just got to continue on and know what we go into each week, do our jobs, work as hard as we possibly can, do the right things. Sometimes when we don’t do the right things, you still got to try to rebound from those. If you have a speeding penalty, seems like these days it’s way, way harder to come back from. Kind of saw that last week. You definitely would have saw that here this week if there was an issue that we had. Overall, I can’t say enough about everybody on my car.”
Truex was unable to catch up to Busch, forcing him to settle for a second-place finish on Sunday. It was a relatively quiet race for Truex, but he was able to drive up through the field and rally to the runner-up position in the closing laps.
“The car was really fast there at the end. Just a good day overall for our Bass Pro Camry. Everybody at JGR and TRD and everybody back at the shop are really doing a good job,” Truex said. “Our boys in the pits did a good job today as well, so thanks to Cole (Pearn, crew chief). James (Small, engineer) and all the guys, we’re starting to click. We’re a little bit off on Fridays and that’s getting us behind, but I feel like each weekend as the weekend goes, we’re getting a little strong and a little stronger. Two second places is pretty decent. We’ll just keep chipping away at it. Had a fun day today and congrats to Kyle (Busch) and those guys.”
Ryan Blaney started on the pole for the race, and he won the first stage, but he was unable to hold off Busch for the win. Once passed by Busch in the closing laps, Blaney then began to save fuel, resulting in losing the second position and settling into third for the finish.
“We were on two tires and I just held on,” Blaney said. “Actually, ours held on a lot better than what I thought it was going to, but then when it got to 30 to go or 25 to go I got kind of tight and I couldn’t hit three and four anymore, and then I ran up on lap traffic and it absolutely killed me. Once we got passed, we were kind of close on gas, so it was full fuel save mode when you know you’re not gonna win the race. It was a good call to take two tires. I don’t think we would have got to third on four because it was hard to pass out there.”
Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin finished in fourth and fifth on Sunday. Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano rounded out the top-10 in the finishing order.
There were nine cautions for a total of 57 laps at ISM Raceway, following last weekend’s caution-free event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Busch leads Logano in the series standings by just six points.
The final race of the ‘West Coast Swing’ on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule will be held at Auto Club Speedway in California on Sunday, March 17. Live coverage of the Auto Club 400 will broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
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