Kyle Busch wins TicketGuardian 500 in Phoenix to complete weekend sweep


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

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Penalty report from Bristol Motor Speedway

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NASCAR has issued three fines to Cup Series crew chiefs for unsecured lug nuts following Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief on Brad Keselowski‘s No. 2 Ford, Alan Gustafson, crew chief on Chase Elliott‘s No. 9 Chevrolet and Michael Bugarewicz, crew chief on Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford, have each been fined $10,000 for having one unsecured lug nut.

Those fines are in addition to the points penalties against Tyler Reddick‘s Xfinity Series team (10 driver and owner points) for failing pre-qualifying inspection four times.

NASCAR also indefinitely suspended Bayley Currey for violating its substance abuse policy.

Michael McDowell to honor Jimmy Means with Darlington scheme

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Front Row Motorsports is changing things up on its No. 34 Ford for the Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway next week (6 p.m. Sept 1 on NBCSN).

After three years of using the same retro Love’s Travel Stops paint scheme, the team will show up in Darlington next weekend with Dockside Logistics as Michael McDowell‘s primary sponsor. With that sponsor comes a tribute to long-time NASCAR owner and former driver Jimmy Means.

McDowell’s car will be made to look like the No. 52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac Means owned and drove part-time from 1989-91 in the Cup Series.

One of Means’ cars, which was driven by Mike Wallace, is located in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car graveyard.

More: Retro Rundown of Southern 500 paint schemes

Front Row Motorsports was originally known as Means-Jenkins Motorsports, based on a partnership between Means and current FRM team owner Bob Jenkins. Their relationship began with Jenkins sponsoring Means at Bristol with his local Taco Bell franchise, which led Jenkins to a partial ownership of Means’ race team. The team was active for one year before Jenkins separated and founded Front Row Motorsports.

“Throwback weekend at Darlington is one of my favorites of the whole year,” McDowell said in a press release. “It’s fun to recreate some of the most well-known paint schemes throughout the history of our sport. Our owner, Bob Jenkins, has always admired Jimmy Means, and the Alka-Seltzer car is definitely a favorite of his. I’m really excited that we can honor their friendship with our No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford.”

Corey LaJoie to carry ‘Scooby Doo’ paint scheme at Martinsville

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Popular cartoon character Scooby Doo will be featured as the theme on Corey LaJoie’s No. 32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang for the First Data 500 on Oct. 27 at Martinsville Speedway.

Long-time team sponsor Keen Parts/ will transform the team’s usual paint scheme to what it’s calling “the Mystery Machine” for the Martinsville race, which will be four days before Halloween.

“Scooby Doo was my favorite cartoon growing up, so when Tom and TJ (team co-sponsors Tom and TJ Keen) asked what I wanted to do for Martinsville, there was no doubt that I wanted to be driving the Mystery Machine,” LaJoie said in a media release. “They always have really cool themes behind their Halloween-weekend schemes and I’m excited to be part of this one and thankful for all that they do for our team.”

For last year’s fall race at Martinsville the team and sponsor combined for a purple and black Peanuts scheme that featured Snoopy and quickly became a much-talked about fan favorite.

“We are super excited to present this paint scheme to Corey to run at Martinsville,” said lTJ Keen. “This cartoon was his favorite as a kid and I bet it still is today. We cannot thank the team enough for letting us do these schemes and we hope you fans will enjoy it.”

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Richard Childress resigns from National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors

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On Monday, Richard Childress submitted his resignation letter as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association and a handful of the organization’s committees, NBC Sports has confirmed.

The resignation came two days after the owner of Richard Childress Racing helped give the command to start engines  for the Cup Series night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was co-sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and the NRA.

“At this time, it is necessary for me to fully focus on my businesses,” Childress said in his letter. “I owe that to my employees, our partners, my family, and myself. Since proudly agreeing to serve on the NRA Board, I have supported the organization and its important mission to preserve and protect our Constitutional rights. But when, as now, I am no longer able to be fully engaged in any commitment I have made, it becomes time for me to step down. I have reached that point in my ability to continue to serve the NRA. As such, I must resign.”

According to the Washington Post, Childress is the sixth member of the Board of Directors to resign since May. The Board of Directors totals more than 70 members.

Childress was elected as the NRA’s second vice president in 2015 and had also served as the first vice president until he stepped down in April of this year.

Childress will retain his NRA membership moving forward.