Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix in dominating style

Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Clint Bowyer had the pole for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. He was also one of the favorites to win; he was defending a win that came in the fall race at Phoenix last November. During Friday’s qualifying, Bowyer had even set a new track qualifying record of 26.876 seconds, 133.949 MPH. However, he just didn’t have enough to catch Kyle Busch, who snatched the lead on lap 44 under caution.

Kyle Busch also felt that Bowyer would dominate and win again. Busch had finished second to Bowyer last fall. "We had a really good truck, but I was scared there at the beginning," said Busch. "I was like, 'Man, it's going to come down like last fall -- Clint's going to walk the dog on this one.' But (crew chief) Eric (Phillips) made some changes to this thing that really brought it to life."

There were a total of six restarts during the final 50 laps of the race and Bowyer feels that he has only himself to blame. “Whichever one of us had clean air, we were about a 10th [of a second] to a 10th and a half better," he said. "For me -- and I'm not making any excuses; I was screwing up big-time on the restarts -- I'm just not used to a) not having any power and b) I was hitting the rev what sounded like about 5,000 less rpm than it should have been.”

Bowyer dominated almost a third of the race, however, before the caution flew on lap 41 for Chase Mattioli, who blew a right front tire and tossed debris into turn 3. Busch won the race off pit road, taking the lead, and never lost it. Busch won over Bowyer with a .291 second lead. It was his second win at Phoenix and his 25th in the series.

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