Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Kyle Busch wins Nationwide race

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kyle Busch spun his wheels at the start/finish line for a few extra rotations, filling the track and grandstand with a fog of white smoke.

After waiting so long to win in the Nationwide series again, it felt like the first time, and he was going to enjoy it.

Overcoming a mid-race gaffe on pit road with a dominating performance, Busch led 142 laps at Phoenix International Raceway to end a 24-race winless streak in the Dollar General 200.

"It was a phenomenal day for us to get back to Victory Lane, feel the taste of it again," said Busch, whose last Nationwide win was Sept. 9, 2011, at Richmond. "I was almost nervous, feeling like it was my first win even though it was, I think, No. 52 in the series. It's nice to be back."

He indeed extended his series record with his 52nd victory. But Busch had a rough 2012 by his high standards, finishing 13th in Sprint Cup points with just one victory and going winless in 22 Nationwide and three truck races.

He bounced back from a rough start at Daytona in the season opener by earning the pole at Phoenix and was clearly the fastest car all day during the 200-lap race around the mile oval.

Despite a penalty for entering pit road too fast, Busch, 27, earned his seventh victory at Phoenix, fifth in Nationwide. "He's just gifted behind the wheel, so we're excited about that," Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said. "Cup, Nationwide, truck, whatever he races, he's got a gift."

Brad Keselowski finished second, and Justin Allgaier overcame body damage from an early wreck to finish third. Tampa's Aric Almirola was ninth.

"It was pretty phenomenal how fast his car was and what he was able to do with it," Keselowski said of Busch.

Suspended driver to see expert: NASCAR is sending suspended Nationwide driver Jeremy Clements to a sports diversity expert at UCF after making insensitive remarks during an interview. Clements, 28, will work with Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at UCF before he can drive again.

Grand-Am: Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney teamed to win the series' inaugural event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in a Corvette DP.

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