Kyle Busch Earns Win In Pheonix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kyle Busch's run of bad luck officially ended Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch followed his Friday night Truck Series win with a victory Saturday in the Busch Series, giving him a chance Sunday in the Nextel Cup event to become the first driver to sweep all three of NASCAR's national series at the same track on the same weekend.

``I am not saying we will. I am not saying we won't,'' Busch said. ``I am just saying we hope to. It would be a great honor to have that.''

In preparation for the moment, Busch pulled a broom-waving fan into Victory Lane to pose for pictures. Busch starts 38th in Sunday's race.

``It would be really special to get that for Kyle,'' crew chief Alan Gustafson said. ``It would be a great way for us to finish up the year.''

The promise is a steep turn of events for a driver who arrived in Phoenix frustrated by what he considered four-straight losses. He was on pace to win the Cup event two weeks ago in Atlanta until a slow final pit stop took him out of contention.

Then he dominated the Truck race in Texas, but blew a motor and failed to finish. He was disappointed with a second-place finish in the Busch Series, and after leading 153 laps in the Cup race, faded to fourth at the end.

But the 22-year-old driver jumped right back behind the wheel to find solace, fleeing Texas for his hometown of Las Vegas to test a late model car. And he was actually racing for four wins this weekend -- Busch had to hustle out of Phoenix to make it back to Vegas in time for a 140-lap short track race.

So his mood was considerably lighter as he left PIR, where he led 131 laps and held off Matt Kenseth over several late restarts to claim the win. The 11th caution brought out an 11-minute red-flag, and Kenseth had one last chance to chase down Busch for a two-lap overtime finish.

But Kenseth, who had no power steering, had nothing for Busch on the restart and he jumped out to a lead of about six car-lengths and coasted toward his fourth Busch Series win of the year.

``Hey, little buddy, you drove the wheels off of that thing,'' team owner Rick Hendrick said ``You sure deserve that one. Great job.''

It was the final Busch Series race of Busch's career at Hendrick. He's leaving the team at the end of the season as it makes room for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Busch isn't scheduled to race next weekend in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In 101 Busch starts for Hendrick, Busch won 11 times.

He celebrated in Victory Lane by personally congratulating every crew member. The team then doused him with ice and water.

``To go out winning a race means an awful lot,'' said Busch, his voice quivering a bit. ``It's all these guys here. They work their guts out, they work their hearts out in the shop in order to prepare us and get us ready for the race track.''

Gustafson was emotional discussing the end of the run with Busch.

``It's tough for a lot of reasons, not only Kyle parting ways with Hendrick Motorsports,'' the crew chief said. ``We've gone through a little bit of a rough patch. That gets hard, a little animosity between Kyle and myself. Not anything out of hand, but it's pretty emotional.

``You put a lot into this, and it catches up you.''

Kenseth's Ford failed postrace inspection, with NASCAR saying the right rear was too high on the second-place car.

Kenseth said the lack of power steering didn't cost him a chance at the win.

``It wasn't bad, but in two laps, I couldn't get him,'' Kenseth said. ``Maybe with 15 laps I could have made a little run. It slowed us down, but I don't think it made the difference in winning and losing.''

Clint Bowyer finished third.

``I was hoping Matt would get up there and crash him, but he didn't,'' said Bowyer, who said he was frustrated with the finish.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 11174721 - wibw.com/a?a=11174721