Sunday, March 10, 2019

PixelatedRESULTS: Kyle Busch Scores Win 199 at Phoenix in Dominant Fashion

Kyle Busch leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 with 98 laps to go. (Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

By: Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

AVONDALE, Arizona (March 10, 2019) -- Kyle Busch gave fans another episode of the “Kyle Busch Show”, dominating the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visit to ISM Raceway in Phoenix. Busch made the pass late on Ryan Blaney, then cruised to the win, beating Martin Truex Jr.

With 16 laps to go, Kyle Busch got to the inside of Blaney in Turns three and four. The pair battled side-by-side for the race lead for a full lap before Busch cleared Blaney with 15 to go.

As Busch sped off to his victory, Blaney was forced to heavily saved gas, ultimately having to give away second place to Martin Truex Jr. in the process.

For Busch, this marked his 52nd career Cup Series victory. With the 93 in Xfinity and 51 in Trucks, that brings his total NASCAR wins to 199.

Busch racked up another sweep after winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, his 198th win… but was even more bummed not to have achieved the three-peat last week in Las Vegas.

"You've got to go race hard first and worry about fuel afterwards,” siad Busch “God this makes last week feel so much stupider, I wish we could've swept last week, too, we could've started the year with two weekend sweeps."

When asked about the hype in the race to 200 wins, he said that it wasn’t for him to decide, saying instead that’s it something for everyone else to debate and argue over.

"It doesn't matter what kind of noise they're making ... as long as they're making noise,” he said.

Now that he is within one win of 200, Jeff Gordon asked him what his goal for the Cup Series would be.

To that, Busch responded that 100 seemed like a good number that would put him up there with the other greats of the sport. He added that doing so would be a tall challenge because winning ten, a dozen or 13 races a year is hard to come by in today’s NASCAR. Busch won eight times in 2018.

Pole Sitter Ryan Blaney led the field to green, leading the race’s first 36 laps before giving way to Busch. Blaney reemerged as a contender after the final yellow flag period, one of nine on the day, setup a 74 lap run to the finish. That meant the race would come down to saving fuel, and staying ahead of Busch after only changing two tires on their final stop.

"Honestly, we hung on better there on two tires than I thought we would,” said Blaney. “I was riding, trying to save tires and gas, we were really close. I think he was riding back there, I think he knew the situation I was in there.”

"When we lost the lead we were just in fuel-save mode,” he added.

PixelatedPICK: Harvick finished ninth, but never led a lap.

Kevin Harvick was attempting to score his tenth win at Phoenix, and ran solidly in the top ten for the majority of the race.

Following a restart on lap 232, Harvick made slight contact with Jimmie Johnson. Harvick fell out the top ten and then he pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 236. He restarted in 21st, and simply ran out of time, yet still managed to salvage a ninth place finish.

STICKIN’ WITH: Jimmie Johnson

After a solid qualifying effort, Jimmie Johnson showed signs of being competitive, running in the top ten throughout the day, finishing a respectable eighth place.

Johnson to Bob Pockrass on difficulty of passing today: "It's been really hard for me to pass anyone for the last year and a half, two years. I know other guys that are standing here are complaining more but ... that is the best I've run in a while."

PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been “Bringing Pixels 2 Pavement Since 2018”. If you've made it this far into the post, thank you. Please consider sharing this content on the interwebs and following PixelatedSPEED on Facebook and Twitter and joining in on the conversation. & 

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