After going winless in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season, Kyle Busch was able to return Victory Lane on Saturday with a dominating performance in the Dollar General 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
In his second race back behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing car, Busch led 142 of the 200 laps en route to his 52nd career victory and first since Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 9. 2011. The win was the 75th for Toyota in the series - 41 of which came with Busch behind the wheel.
"It's been awhile," Busch said. “Unfortunately we couldn't get it done last year with Kyle Busch Motorsports. I really appreciate all these guys at Joe Gibbs Racing - we have seen it year in and year out how competitive these racecars are. Today was phenomenal."
Busch was thrown for a loop during a Lap 39 pit stop under caution when he was caught speeding. After winning the pole Busch had the first pit stall, but it was actually in the second slot due to the Nationwide fields downsizing from 43 to 40.
"It was my problem there at the beginning," Busch said. "I was on the pole here in the last Cup race in the fall and I was just looking at my normal visuals."
Brad Keselowski, who was one of four that did not pit on a lap 152 caution, finished second after being passed by Busch on lap 164.
“I knew I had a shot if something happened to Kyle, but you’ve got to put yourself in a position for good things to happen to you," Keselowski said. "Kyle’s car was so fast that I could have probably had four tires and he could have had none and it wouldn’t have mattered, he would have still drove through the field. When you have that much speed, you’re pretty much immune to strategy.”
Justin Allgaier finished third and moved to second in the series standings, tying Sam Hornish Jr. in points. It was his fifth top-10 finish in 10 races at PIR.
Trevor Bayne, who also did not pit on lap 152, finished fourth with Elliott Sadler rounding out the top five. Austin Dillon, Hornish Jr., Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola and Brian Scott completed the top 10.
Hornish Jr. battled back from damage during a six-car crash on the frontstretch on lap 3.
Busch's teammate Brian Vickers also had a strong car, but spun on the dogleg when he tried to go three-wide between the lap car of Mike Harmon and Bayne, who he was racing for fourth. Vickers ended up finishing 17th after running in the top five up until the incident.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series now heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next Saturday.