Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kyle Busch sweeps at Phoenix

Bashas Supermarkets 200 logoTo call what Kyle Busch has been able to accomplish at Phoenix a “domination” would be an understatement. From the Camping World Truck Series to Nationwide qualifying and then the race, Kyle Busch has commanded the weekend so far. He added to his list of Nationwide victories by taking the win at the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday.

Kyle Busch qualified for the pole position with a top lap time of 26.806 seconds, breaking the track record set by Joey Logano in November 2010. After a strong start, he never lost the position. Although Carl Edwards in the 60 car had a good run and challenged him near the end, he just didn’t have quite enough to catch Busch. Edwards finished .514 seconds behind Busch in a race that had only three cautions, one for debris and two for right front tire issues on the 22 car of Brad Keselowski and the 16 of Trevor Bayne.

In spite of leading every lap, Busch knew that the 60 car would be his biggest challenger.

“It came down toward the end of the race there, and Carl was alongside of me, and we were racing really hard, and he was trying to pass me, and I was like, ‘Man, just beat him back to the start/finish line; man, just beat him back to the start/finish line.’

“I was trying to hold on as long as I could. Finally, it seemed like about 15 laps or so that his stuff would start falling off enough that we could start clicking back away and get away from him a little bit. So I knew that if we could just make it to that threshold, I thought we’d be OK.”

2011 Phoenix Feb NNS Kyle Busch with checkered flag
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Busch became the first driver since 2003 to lead every lap in a race. The last driver to do this was Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the July Nationwide race in Daytona that year. Adding to the accomplishments he already has this weekend, this was Busch’s 44th win in the series. He now stands only four behind all-time series win leader Mark Martin.

Although Kyle Busch was ineligible to earn driver points in this series, his Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Toyota is in first place in the owner points standings.

“All in all, this was such a phenomenal day with this Camry. This thing was phenomenal.”

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