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Mar 03, 2013
Sunday
Kyle Busch and 54 Monster Energy Team Winners; Dominated from Pole Position to Finish 1st at Phoenix Event
Press Release

“Earned the Toyota Racing Camry 75th NASCAR Nationwide Series Victory”

Date: March 2, 2013

Event: Dollar General 200 presented by AmeriGas (Race 2 of 33)

Series: NASCAR Nationwide Series

Location: Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (1.0-mile oval)

Start / Finish: 1st /1st (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Toyota, celebrates in victory lane during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 200 fueled by AmeriGas at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. - Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Toyota, celebrates in victory lane during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 200 fueled by AmeriGas at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. - Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch brought the No. 54 Monster Energy program to victory lane Saturday, a mission started in 2012 and finally fulfilled, back under a familiar roof. The win gives Busch his 52nd career visit to victory lane in 246 starts, earning Toyota Racing their 75th Camry win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Taking home the trophy Busch captured his fifth victory and 11th top-10 in 15 starts at what is referred to as the “crown jewel” of desert racing.

From the moment they unloaded at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, the newly formed Joe Gibbs Racing team was the group to beat. Through two practice sessions Friday, the 27-year-old Busch showcased his talents pacing fastest lap speeds around the one-mile oval, where he already had seven career wins across all three of NASCAR’s top racing series.

Race day morning the team continued their positive momentum when Busch earned the 27th pole of his Nationwide Series career, at a speed of 133.057mph, his fifth pole on the Arizona-based track.

The race event started strong for Busch and team, eclipsing his 11,000th Nationwide Series career lap led on circuit 29 and continuing to lead until lap 43 of the 200-lap race where a mistake on pit road dropped the team to 22nd place. Overcoming the mid-race penalty, for too fast entering his pit box, Busch regrouped and worked his way through the field to regain the lead and bring the black Monster Energy machine home in style.

The NASCAR veteran, young but experienced celebrated taking the checkered flag with a smoke show that didn’t disappoint. When interviewed post-race, the excited driver described, “It feels awesome. I wish everything in the world that we could have gotten it done with my guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports, but I can’t say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing — all these guys on this team. They do a phenomenal job and it all pays off. We see it. We’ve seen it in the Nationwide Series for years. I can’t say enough about Monster Energy. These guys are awesome. They stuck with us through last year and everything. We had a trying time, but we are here together in victory lane now so it’s all sweet and fun right now. It’s fun to always come out here and win in the Nationwide Series. It gets us warmed up a little bit for tomorrow.”

Busch secured the lead three times for a total of 142 race laps. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Elliott Sadler, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers finished 5th, 8th and 17th respectively. Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Trevor Bayne and Sadler completed the top-five finishers. There were seven caution periods for 38 laps of the race along with six lead changes across four drivers.

The No. 54 Monster Energy team jumps from 32nd to 11th in the Owner’s Point standings, now only 18 points from the lead.

The next event on the NNS schedule is the Sam’s Town 300 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas (Nev.) with the race television broadcast starting at 4:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Busch will make his third start of the season behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.

Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports / Joe Gibbs Racing Press Release




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