Kyle Busch beats Harvick to Stage 1 win at Phoenix

Kyle Busch ran down Kyle Larson to claim the Stage 1 victory at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

Larson dominated much of the first 75-lap segment but with 18 laps remaining, Busch got around Larson to take the lead for the first time and held off a fast-approaching Kevin Harvick.

Larson finished third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top-five.

Also finishing in the Top 10 and earning stage points were Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Erik Jones.

Larson moved around pole-sitter Truex to take the race lead before the completion of Lap 1.

On Lap 24, the engine let go on the No. 72 of Corey LaJoie to bring out the first caution of the race. NASCAR elected to make this the competition caution (which was originally planned to be on Lap 35).

Truex was the first off pit road as all the lead-lap cars pit and reclaimed the lead on the restart on Lap 34. He was followed by Larson, Kyle Busch, Hamlin and Harvick. Kasey Kahne was assessed a speeding penalty on pit road.

Larson quickly retook the lead after the restart.

With 19 laps left in Stage 1, Chris Buescher had to make an unscheduled green-flag pit stop. One lap later, Kyle Busch cleared Larson to take the lead for the first time in the race.

Harvick moved into the second position with 14 laps remaining. He narrowed the gap to under a second to Busch but could not catch him before the stage was complete.

"We've got a long ways to go," Busch said during the break." The boys really did a good job and they went to work overnight and made this Camry a little bit faster. So far for us, it's been pretty good."

The cars of Jeffrey Earnhardt and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had to start the race from the rear of the field after moving to backup cars over the weekend. D.J. Kennington will also start from the rear after his team made an unapproved tire change. 

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Phoenix
Track ISM Raceway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Race report