The past three years at Phoenix International Raceway, Kevin Harvick Incorporated (KHI) has won, with Kyle Busch second. Going into this year set to take down KHI, Busch said "No more" as he brought a brand-new truck into the race.
"Big thanks to the guys in the chassis shop," crew chief Eric Phillips said afterwards. "They put their heads together on building a brand-new truck—its not like anything in the shop."
On lap 43, Busch came down pit road second to KHI driver Clint Bowyer. With a quick boost from his pit crew, Busch gained the lead and never looked back as he led the final 50 laps on his way to victory.
The win gave Busch his 25th Camping World Truck Series victory, and 50th top-five finish in 87 starts.
"It's pretty amazing and it's been that way for a long time," Busch said in victory lane. "I've had a lot of awesome people stand behind me all the way. Man, I was scared there near the end thinking Clint was going to walk the dog there but Eric's made some awesome changes on these trucks."
The Kyle Busch-KHI one-two show kept rolling as Bowyer finished second.
"I knew once he beat us out of the pits," Bowyer said. "You know, in clean air, once you drive off and leave them you're a tenth better than the field. Its like when we won in the fall. I knew in practice that he'd be the one to beat."
In the last 50 laps, Bowyer had multiple chances to get Busch on the restart, but he could never get that run.
"One time I'd spin the tires; the next time I'd hit the REV limiter," Bowyer said. "These things hit the REV limiter quicker than the Cup cars do."
His teammate Ron Hornaday finished third, while Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five. Rookie Cole Whitt finished sixth for his first truck series top 10; he was followed by Matt Crafton, Justin Johnson, Joey Coulter and Jason White.
The first 43 laps went green, though the final 100 saw eight cautions as multiple trucks found themselves in trouble.
With his seventh place finish, Matt Crafton takes the points lead by one over Clay Rogers. Rogers, who was the points leader coming into the weekend, finished 16th.