Phoenix victory slips away from Busch after Logano's crash

Kyle Busch wanted a solid finish out of Phoenix and he got one, but he also saw a very good chance at a victory slip away.

Phoenix victory slips away from Busch after Logano's crash
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, pit stop
Checkered flag for Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Busch has had a rough start to the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and said his team needed a solid finish this week at Phoenix International Raceway – it got that and more.

Busch worked himself into the lead for the second time on Lap 196 of the scheduled 312 and appeared set to earn his first win of the season when a caution was displayed with five to go after Joey Logano blew a tire.

Three drivers – Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. – elected not to pit and everyone else on the lead lap did. Busch lined up sixth on the restart but could only make it to third at the finish as Newman won the race.

“It was just too many cars that stayed out,” Busch said after the race. “If it was just two (drivers) that stayed out maybe, but we really needed the outside (line) like (Kyle) Larson had. Overall, we should be proud of our run today and we will move on.

“We were in the right position and we were in a great spot to win the race today, but unfortunately it just didn’t happen for us and that’s racing.”

The irony in the final caution period

There was some irony in the fact it was Logano’s incident that brought out the caution which changed the outcome of the race.

Just last week, Logano and Busch made contact on the final lap at Las Vegas racing for position, which left Busch with a wrecked car. The two got into a fight on pit road after the race.

Until Sunday, Busch’s best finish was 16th at Atlanta and he had led only 18 laps (all at Daytona). He led a race-high 114 at Phoenix.

“We had a good car and that’s what it takes. When you have a good car you can run up front like that,” he said. “We kind of missed it a little bit at Atlanta and we rebounded and tried to rebound a little bit at Vegas and had a shot for a top five there, but we weren’t able to capitalize on that, but we were today thankfully.

“It seems like every finish that’s destined for us it seems to end in a worse finish that day.”

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