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.
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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