Kyle Busch wins TicketGuardian 500 in Phoenix to complete weekend sweep

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Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Cup race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix after he led the final 17 laps around the 1-mile track.

The win is Busch’s first Cup victory of 2019 and his second consecutive in Phoenix. He also swept the weekend’s races after he won Saturday’s Xfinity event.

Busch led 177 of the race’s 312 laps and passed pole-sitter Ryan Blaney for the final lead change.

The top five was completed by Martin Truex Jr., Blaney, Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin.

The win is Busch’s 199th across NASCAR’s three national series.

Busch has won all three races he’s entered at ISM Raceway since the start-finish line was relocated last November. His first attempt at 200 will be Saturday’s Xfnity race at Auto Club Speedway. He’s entered in both Xfinity and Cup races next weekend.

Fuel mileage was in question for many of the leaders at the end, including Busch.

“I knew going back before we went green (with 74 laps to go) we were going to be right on the verge,” Busch told Fox. “You got to go race hard first then you’ve got to worry about fuel afterwards. Once I got there and once I got to Blaney I was able to kind of save a little bit. Tried to take care of my tires again for the traffic we had to get through, make sure I had enough fuel to make it to the end.

“Man, this makes last week feel so much stupider.”

Busch was close to the weekend sweep last weekend at Las Vegas before a pit penalty for speeding early in the Cup race got in the way and he placed third.

“We’ll just take what we got here today at ISM Raceway,” Busch said.

Click here for list of Kyle Busch’s 199 career NASCAR victories

Click here for race results and points

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ryan Blaney

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

WHO HAD GOOD DAY: Martin Truex Jr. earned his best Phoenix finish in 27 starts. Previous best was third … Kyle Larson placed sixth for his best finish of the season. He had finished 12th the last two races … Aric Almirola earned his first top five of the season. He has bettered his result in each race this season … Denny Hamlin earned his first top five since winning the Daytona 500.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Erik Jones placed 29th after he lost his right-rear tire and spun on Lap 39 … Brad Keselowski placed 19th after he lost his right-front tire and made contact with the wall in Stage 1 … Michael McDowell was eliminated on Lap 160 when he hit the Turn 3 wall after his throttle got stuck and he had to jam on the brakes … Alex Bowman had two incidents, with the second eliminating him on Lap 193 … Chase Elliott placed 14th after a start violation to the begin the race and then a spin from a loose wheel on Lap 219.

NOTABLE: Kyle Busch is the only driver to start the year with four top 10s. He also earned his sixth consecutive top 10 … Quin Houff placed 30th and Bayley Currey placed 31st in their series debuts.

WHAT’S NEXT: Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on March 17 on Fox

Check back for more

Kaulig Racing hauler involved in accident on way to Kansas Speedway

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Kaulig Racing announced Wednesday night the hauler for its No. 10 team was involved in an accident on the way to Kansas Speedway for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.

Team president Chris Rice said in a statement released on social media that Kaulig’s two drivers for the hauler were alert and had been transported to a hospital for evaluation.

According to 13 WLOS, the accident occurred around 5 p.m. ET, and a state trooper said the truck’s driver and passenger were taken to Mission Hospital by ambulance with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

According to told Fox Carolina, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said the hauler was traveling westbound on I-40 in McDowell County when it went off the right side of the road near mile marker 93. It went through a guard rail and down an embankment before stopping in the woods.

Rice said the team still planned to field two cars in Saturday’s race.

Ross Chastain is entered in the No. 10 Chevrolet this weekend for his fifth start of the year with the team. Chastain was announced Tuesday as the full-time driver of the car next season.

Kaulig also will field the No. 11 Chevy of Justin Haley in Saturday’s race.

Silly Season scorecard: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finds new home in JTG Daugherty Racing

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was without a 2020 Cup ride for less than 25 days.

Only a few weeks after Roush Fenway Racing announced it was parting ways with Stenhouse in favor of Chris Buescher, Stenhouse has landed in Buescher’s old ride at JTG Daugherty Racing in a multi-year deal.

Stenhouse will have Ryan Preece as a teammate in his first full-time year with a new team in a decade.

Here are where things stand with Silly Season:

OPEN RIDES ANNOUNCED FOR 2020

No. 38: Front Row Motorsports must replace David Ragan, who stated Aug. 14 that 2019 would be his final season running a full schedule.

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2020

No. 8: Richard Childress Racing made it official Oct. 2 that Tyler Reddick will move to Cup in 2020 and drive the No. 8 car.

No. 10: Aric Almirola confirmed Oct. 11 he signed an extension to race for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon posted a video Sept. 6 on Instagram refuting rumors that he would retire after this season. He has a contract with Germain Racing through 2020.

No. 17: Chris Buescher will take over the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 ride in 2020 after the team announced Sept. 25 that it would part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after this season.

No. 20: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Sept. 6 that it had signed Erik Jones to an extension. It is a one-year extension for the 2020 season.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto replaces Paul Menard at Wood Brothers Racing (announcement made Sept. 10). DiBenedetto’s deal is for 2020 only.

No. 95: Christopher Bell moves to Cup in 2020 and will drive for Leavine Family Racing (announcement made Sept. 24).

JTG Daugherty Racing: It was announced Oct. 16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Ryan Reece at the two-car team, essentially swapping seats with Chris Buescher.

AMONG THOSE YET TO ANNOUNCE DEALS FOR 2020

Clint Bowyer His contract expires after this season with the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team. Take it whatever way you want but Bowyer stated Sept. 20 that he did a commercial shoot in September with Kevin Harvick for next season.

Kurt Busch His contract expires after this season. Car owner Chip Ganassi has suggested in media reports that a deal will be done. Busch declined to discuss much about his contract status before the Sept. 29 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, stating: “We haven’t really started talks. I felt like it was good to get the playoffs underway and go as far as we could comfortably. Man, there’s a lot going on and we’ll see how things play out. Again, it’s all about all the stars lining up with Chevrolet, Monster Energy, myself, Chip. For me, I feel like things haven’t progressed because of the focus on the playoffs.”

Daniel Suarez He has said that both he and the team have an option on his contract for next year. He has remained confident that he will return to Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 41 car.

Xfinity Series

Ross Chastain – Kaulig Racing announced Oct. 15 he would compete full-time for the team in 2020 driving the No. 10 Chevrolet.

NASCAR America presents MotorMouths at 5 p.m. ET with Jimmie Johnson

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Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is the guest of honor on this week’s episode of NASCAR America presents MotorMouths, which airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Johnson joins Marty Snider and Kyle Petty. Together they’ll discuss this week’s storylines and take fan phone calls.

You can call in at 844-NASCAR-NBC or reach out on Twitter via #LetMeSayThis.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Tanner Gray to make Truck Series debut at Martinsville

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Former NHRA Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray will make his Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut in the Oct. 26 race at Martinsville Speedway, DGR-Crosley announced Wednesday.

Gray, 20, will drive the No. 15 Toyota in the final three Truck Series races of the season.

This is Gray’s first season in NASCAR competition after also racing in super late models.

Gray competed full-time in the K&N Pro Series East this season for DGR-Crosley, where he earned one win, six top fives and nine top-10 finishes. He also claimed one pole on his way to finishing third in the point standings. He made three starts in the K&N West Series and earned two poles and three top fives.

MORE: Tanner Gray embracing NASCAR after drag racing career

“I’m excited to make the step up to the Truck Series,” Gray said in a press release. “I think it’s going to be challenging, but I’m ready to take the next step with my DGR-Crosley guys. We’ve been preparing for this all season, and I think the best way to learn is to go out and do it. Between testing and spending time in the Toyota simulator, I think I have a good feel for Martinsville and will be able to adapt quickly. We will have three practice sessions to get acclimated and get the truck where it needs to be. We just need to keep our nose clean in the race and have a solid day on pit road.”

Gray’s K&N team will make the transition to the Truck Series with him for the remainder of the season. Seth Smith will serve as crew chief duties while veteran Eddie D’Hondt will be his spotter.

“I’m really looking forward to Tanner’s Truck debut after the building season that he’s had,” Smith said in a press release. “He’s learned a lot from where he started at the beginning of the season to where he’s at now. We tested at Martinsville and I feel like we had a really successful test session.”