Kyle Busch Wins Gun Fight in Phoenix

Samuel SicaAnalyst IApril 11, 2008

     The Nationwide Series rolled into Phoenix this week for another classic battle out west. The field consisted of the regular drivers in the series as well as eleven sprint cup drivers pulling double duty this weekend. Kyle Busch started on the pole with Brad Keselowski starting along side in second.

     Keselowski started off strong, not allowing Busch to lead the first lap. Keselowski led the first 7 laps of the race before Busch finally got around him for the top spot.

     Busch continued to lead until a caution flag came out on lap 34 for a car hitting the wall on the front stretch. All the leaders ended up coming to pit road for the first time with Jeff Burton coming out as the leader. Busch ended up coming off pit road in third.

     It didn't take Busch too long to pass Burton back for lead but the caution came right back out when Jamie McMurray was spun into the wall by Clint Bowyer in turn three. The race went green after that until lap 63 when the race was slowed for debris. The leaders once again came to pit road for tire and fuel with Carl Edwards coming out first. Busch and Jason Leffler stayed out under the caution to keep their track position.

     After the restart Edwards passed Busch for the lead on lap 74 because of his fresher tires. Edwards would continue to lead until the fourth caution flag of the race came out for a spin by Keselowski off turn two.

     Denny Hamlin would then take command of the race by getting around Edwards for the lead on lap 84. At the half way point it was a three car fight for the lead between Hamlin, Edwards, and Harvick. Shortly after half way another caution waved for a spin by Steve Wallace off turn four. The leaders came down pit road again with Edwards coming off in first.

     Busch would not be denied of the lead as he passed Edwards on lap 111. Busch led the race for awhile until Edwards once again passed him for the lead with just 42 laps to go in the race. Edwards was leading when a caution flag came out with just 23 laps to go for debris. All 15 cars on the lead lap came to pit road for the final time with Busch beating Edwards off pit road. This would turn out to be the turning point in the race.

     The race looked to be well in hand for Busch but a caution came out with just 10 laps to go for Jason Leffler's flat tire. The race was restarted but another caution waved for Jeff Burton hitting the wall. 

     The race would restart with just 2 laps remaining setting up the field for yet another shootout in the late laps. Edwards tried to get ahead of Busch on the last lap but could not get around him. Busch ended up winning his second race in a row as he also won last week at Texas.

     The top ten were Busch, Edwards, Hamlin, Harvick, Ragan, Bliss, Leicht, Bowyer, Reutimann, and Stremme. Some notable finishes were Keselowski in 12th, Mike Wallace in 15th, Jeff Burton in 31st, and McMurray in 36th.

     Phoenix is now in the history books and the Nationwide Series now rolls into Mexico City for next weeks race.