Kyle Busch wins rain-shortened Phoenix race

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With 32 laps to go, the race was called after a nearly two-hour delay.

Kyle Busch didn't need the full 200-lap distance to claim his third-straight NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday and the seventh series event of his career at PIR.

Rain shortened the race by 32 laps, and Busch claimed a dominant win, with his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota leading 153 of the 168 completed laps. The victory was crew chief Adam Steven's fourth-straight at Phoenix.

"It can rain all it wants as far as I'm concerned," Busch said before the race was officially called. "But we can go back green, too."

The No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick was second, and pole sitter Brad Keselowski finished third in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.

Start: Brad Keselowski leads
Start: Brad Keselowski leads

Photo by: Getty Images

Busch took the lead from Keselowski on lap six and led the way until the second of four cautions came out just after most, but not all, drivers had made green-flag pit stops. Having pitted during the first caution of the race that came out on lap 20, Keselowski planned to make his green-flag stop later, and still hadn't made his stop when the yellow waved.

Harvick, Busch, and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth managed to stay on the lead lap during the cycle of green-flag stops and stayed out during the second caution to restart in the top-three spots.

Bush retook the lead from Harvick on lap 100 and led the rest of the way. Harvick gave up the second position when he lost positions on pit road during a caution on lap 134 and restarted fourth. When the race went back to green, he made his way back toward the front, passing Kenseth for third on the restart and then getting by Keselowski to take over the second spot on lap 159.

"We probably had about a third or fourth-place car all weekend," Keselowski said. "We made adjustements to try to get better, but I just had my hands full for whatever reason."

Busch and Harvick then ran one-two for the remaining nine laps before the race was red-flagged. The yellow preceeding the red flag didn't come out quite fast enough, though, for the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ryan Reed. Reed spun and wrecked as the track began getting damp.

"I think the comination of a little bit of a damp race track, and I was being super aggressive," Reed said. "We knew the rain was coming, and we were faster than the guy sin front of us and running them down."

The No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet of Kyle Larson finished fourth, and Kenseth rounded out the top-five.

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Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Race reports
Tags kyle busch, nascar-ns, nationwide, phoenix, rain, weather