Winning his third consecutive Xfinity Series race this season, Kyle Busch led a Joe Gibbs Racing onslaught in Saturday’s Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Busch, who led 175 of the event’s 200 laps, took the checkered flag at PIR for the ninth time in his Xfinity Series career, while teammates Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez finished second and third, respectively.
“I guess we just have a knack for this place,” Busch said on Fox after the race. “We didn’t sit on the pole, but our teammates did and were obviously very fast. They made me run hard all day long.”
Not only was it the third race in a row that JGR drivers qualified 1-2-3 (a NASCAR record), it was also the second consecutive week that the organization has finished 1-2-3.
NASCAR announced after the race that Jones’ car was cited for rear toe outside of tolerance when measured by the Laser Inspection Station. NASCAR will address possible sanctions this coming week.
HOW BUSCH WON: Busch led three times for 175 laps, including the final 14 laps to take the checkered flag. Pole-sitter Erik Jones (five laps), Ty Dillon (11 laps) and Brad Keselowski (nine laps) were the only drivers to lead laps in the event. Busch had the best car in the field and went on to win his 79th career Xfinity Series race.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: As Busch ran, so did teammates Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez, who finished second and third, respectively. Justin Allgaier finished fourth, one of three JR Motorsports drivers to finish in the top 10 (Chase Elliott was fifth and Elliott Sadler was eighth). … Ty Dillon (sixth) also had a strong showing.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Jeremy Clements was head for a likely top-20 finish until he wrecked on Lap 58. Clements finished 28th. JJ Yeley (20th) and David Starr (22nd) also had wrecks that impacted their finishes.
NOTABLE: Busch has won nine of the last 17 Xfinity races he’s started, including all three in 2016, having also won at Atlanta and last week at Las Vegas.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The Xfinity Series, it’s fun to come here and participate. I learn a lot and do that for a reason – to try and make myself better on Sundays.” – Kyle Busch on why he races so often in the Xfinity Series.
WHAT’S NEXT: NASCAR Xfinity Series 300, March 19 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.