That’s three in a row … and counting for Kyle Busch.
As he’s done in each of three NASCAR Xfinity Series races he’s entered this season, Busch on Saturday dominated the competition on his way to victory in the Axalta 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
This weekend, his top competition consisted of Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and series points leader Daniel Suarez, who are fulltime regulars in the series.
The victory is Busch’s third this season and 79th of his career. Busch, who led 175 of the 200 laps, came into the race already the all-time series leader in victories.
“It’s not as easy it looks, definitely not today for sure with my teammates right behind me,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “They were breathing down my neck all day.
“They were fast and they made me drive my car as hard as I could all day long – I never could give up or take it easy in order to try to save some stuff. They just kept pushing me.”
Late in the race, Jones was able to once almost run side-by-side with Busch but could not complete the pass. His chance at getting into the lead took a hit on the subsequent green-flag pit stops when Jones lost time to Busch.
“From the start, we had a second-place car it looked like. Then toward the end there before the last (pit) stops, I thought we were better than (Busch) and started to work him over,” Jones said.
“But we lost too much ground overall leaving pit road trying to stay with him. After that, we were too tight really to try to run him down.”
Suarez finished third and expanded his lead in the series standings to eight points over Elliott Sadler. Justin Allgaier finished fourth and Chase Elliott was fifth.
“Congrats to Kyle and the Gibbs bunch – they are on it right now,” Elliott said. “We have some work to do.”