Busch captures 52nd career Cup victory with Phoenix win

Busch Is Top Dog At ISM Raceway By Adam Fenwick

Busch Is Top Dog At ISM Raceway By Adam Fenwick

Kyle Busch chased down Ryan Blaney late in Sunday's TicketGuardian 500 to complete a weekend sweep at ISM Raceway.

Busch tracked down Ryan Blaney over a long green-flag run before passing his Team Penske rival for the lead with 16 laps to go, then made his fuel and tires last to the checkered flag to add a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday to his triumph in the Xfinity Series race.

Entering turn three on the next lap Busch pulled clear of Blaney and quickly pulled away to his 52nd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and the 199th victory of his NASCAR National series career.

With the win, Busch joins teammate Denny Hamlin and Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as drivers having won races and securing berths in the season-ending Playoffs. Both made it to the finish line with room to spare, though Martin Truex Jr. charged through the field to grab second place after Blaney surrendered the lead and went into serious fuel-saving mode.

Blaney was born in Hartford Township in Trumbull County in 1993.

Driver Kyle Busch makes a pit stop on lap 153 during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at ISM Raceway, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Avondale, Ariz.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver dominated in Arizona, leading a race-best 177 of 312 laps in winning the TicketGuardian 500 - a race that began with Busch being the only driver in Cup to have notched top-10 finishes in the previous three events.

Both Busch and Blaney had pitted on Lap 221, putting them in a precarious position, as their fuel tanks weren't projected to last until the end of the race.

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"We were going to be right on the verge", Busch said.

"It's not for me to worry about", Busch said of hitting 200 wins. "I started to get real tight and we got to lapped cars and I was done".

Truex finished second while Blaney who led 94 laps settled for third.

"I think he was kind of riding back there too", Blaney continued. "Let's set it at a 100 and see if we can't get there". I don't know if those deals will happen that much anymore. That's three top-10s in a row, our first top-five of the year, so we're getting there.

Pole-sitter Blaney started from the pole and led 46 of the first 75 laps to win Stage 1.

Busch, then, won the second stage after staying out during the caution between the two 75-lap stages in the first 150 laps. "A good day, the day we needed".

Nine-time Phoenix victor Kevin Harvick drove to ninth place after an extra pit stop on Lap 234 for tires and fuel. "I was just trying to do everything I could to get it shut off, and yeah, really unfortunate for us today".

"As I got on the back straightaway the throttle pedal was gone".

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