Kyle Busch made it 2-for-2 this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, surging to a Saturday afternoon victory at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
Busch led four times for 116 of 200 laps in the iK9 Service Dog 200, his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota holding a 3.025-second margin at the checkered flag. His second win of the season was his 11th in the series at the 1-mile Arizona track and the 94th of his Xfinity Series career.
The triumph propelled Busch to the 198th win of his career in NASCAR national series competition. Busch, who competes for championship points in the Monster Energy Series, has won all four races he has entered this season in the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
“Any race we’re allowed to enter, I try to enter,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “We pick and choose wisely, but there’s only so many to choose from. Of course, having the opportunity to come out here and race when you do, you try to go out there and win. That’s what we did today. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get it there early on, but that’s why we run these things out to the end.”
Ryan Truex matched a career-best in second place, making just his first Xfinity Series start of the season in the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet. Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five finishers.
Christopher Bell started from the pole position, won the second stage and led 69 laps, but the quest for his second Xfinity Series win of the year fizzled in a Lap 129 incident.
The engine in the No. 01 Chevrolet of Stephen Leicht expired entering Turn 3, creating a huge cloud of smoke. Second-running Justin Allgaier and third-place Bell skidded and made contact with the outside retaining wall.
Bell took the worst of it, with heavy damage on the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota relegating him to a 30th-place finish, his worst of the year. Allgaier continued with less significant damage to place 14th in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, the first car one lap down.
“I saw (Leicht) blow up so I knew that I was in trouble,” Bell said after being checked out at the infield car center. “I saw the 7 (Allgaier) get sideways and then by that time, I entered the smoke wall and I knew that I was sliding, but I just couldn’t see anything and didn’t know where I was and I backed her into the wall.”
The Xfinity Series’ next race is the Production Alliance Group 300, scheduled next Saturday (5 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Auto Club Speedway. The 300-miler is the fifth of 33 races for the circuit this season.
This story will be updated.