Busch wins third straight at PIR

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm •  Published: March 1, 2014
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AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Busch didn't mind the rain that ended the race early.

He would have been fine with continuing, though — his car was that good.

Busch became the first driver to win three straight NASCAR Nationwide races at Phoenix International Raceway, dominating his way through a rain-shortened race Saturday.

"We've been very dominant here in the past and led a lot of laps today," Busch said. "I felt like we could have won it if it was rain-shortened or whether we went the whole distance."

Busch took an early lead and was still out front when the race was halted with 32 laps left in the 200-mile race around Phoenix's odd-shaped mile oval. After a delay of more than two hours, the race was called, giving Busch his series-record 64th Nationwide victory.

Busch led 155 laps for his 10th overall victory — seven in Nationwide — at PIR and the fourth straight Nationwide win for Joe Gibbs Racing at the track. It also was the fourth straight win at PIR for Busch's crew chief Adam Stevens, who was at the helm when Joey Logano won for JGR in the 2012 fall race.

Kevin Harvick finished second and pole sitter Brad Keselowski was third, followed by Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth.

"Kyle had the best car today; we probably finished where we should have," Harvick said. "You never know and you always want to finish it out, but all in all it was a good start."

Busch swept the two Nationwide races at Phoenix in 2013, overcoming a pit-road speeding penalty to end a 24-race winless streak in the series in the spring and leading 169 laps in the fall for his 12th Nationwide victory of the season.

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