Despite suffering a pit road speeding penalty in the early going, pole sitter Kyle Busch raced back up to the front and took the checkered flag in today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix.
En route to his 52nd career NNS victory (tops all-time in NASCAR’s No. 2 series), “Rowdy” also became the NNS’ all-time lap leader on Saturday. His 142 laps led brings his grand total in the series to 11,135 circuits paced.
Busch was leading the way up to a caution for a Dexter Stacey spin on Lap 39, and was hit with the penalty one lap later. That knocked him back to 22nd on the subsequent restart, but Busch charged up the pylon until he re-took the point on Lap 89.
Busch went on to beat Brad Keselowski to the stripe by almost two seconds, with third place going to Justin Allgaier, and Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler rounding out the top five.
It was Busch’s first NNS victory since September of 2011 at Richmond’s 3/4-mile bullring.
“I was almost nervous, feeling like it was my first win, although it’s win No. 52 in the series,” he said. “It’s nice to be back.”
He’ll now shift his attention to Sunday’s main event for the Sprint Cup Series on the Phoenix mile. Busch was second-fastest in final Sprint Cup practice on Saturday afternoon and will start fourth for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k (Sun., 3 pm ET).