AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Busch inched closer to the magical 200 number with a victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series iK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway.
Busch dominated the 200-lap event, leading a race-high 116 laps to secure his 11th victory in Xfinity Series competition at ISM Raceway. The victory was the 94th of his Xfinity Series career and the 198th of his NASCAR National series career.
The 34-year-old Las Vegas native is now just two victories away from tying Richard Petty for the most victories all-time in NASCAR’s three National divisions. He also won last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Xfinity Series competition.
“I can’t say enough about our guys at Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously they build really fast Supras,” said Busch, whose No. 18 Toyota Supra carried sponsorship from race sponsor iK9. “I want to say thanks to iK9. This is the iK9 Service Dog 200 so certainly it’s really, really cool to win for them again and to put them in victory lane back-to-back and in their race here at ISM Raceway.
“If I’m allowed to enter a race I’m going to go enter a race and I’m going to go out there and race, and I’m going to go out there and try and win,” Busch said, referencing recent social media rumblings about his domination of NASCAR’s lower divisions. “If I win, we win and if not we’ve got to go again the next time.”
Ryan Truex, the younger brother of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., went from fourth to second during the final restart of the day with 58 laps left and chased Busch to the checkered flag.
It was a strong rebound for Truex, who failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 in February while driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Truex battled his fair share of adversity Saturday, overcoming a poor start and a
“I guess it’s good when you lose to Kyle Busch,” said Truex, who was making his first Xfinity Series start of the season for JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro. “I just got us behind at the start there. We were just too free and I couldn’t run anywhere on the track, so I lost a lot of track position early.
“We worked hard all day to keep it up and get it back and then we had that weird deal where the ignition just stopped working. I don’t know what was going on there. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and the guys worked really hard. I’m really proud of them.”
Reigning Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick finished third, followed by Cole Custer and stage one winner Austin Cindric.
Busch’s chief challenger throughout Saturday’s race was his teammate Christopher Bell. Bell was running third behind Busch and Justin Allgaier with 70 laps to go when the car of Stephen Leicht went up in smoke entering turn three.
The resulting smoke cloud made it impossible to see in turn one and both Allgaier and Bell spun into the outside wall. Allgaier was able to continue with minimal damage, but Bell’s Toyota Supra was damaged beyond repair and he was forced to retire for the day.
“I saw him blow up going into one and I figured it was going to be slick. I saw the 7 (Allgaier) car start sliding and I started sliding and as soon as I entered the smoke wall, I couldn’t see anything,” said Bell, who won the second stage of Saturday’s race. “I lost my bearings of where I was and the next thing you know, I was in the wall.”
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