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Busch Dominates But Settles for Third at Phoenix

November 12th, 2012 by
Team Interstate's Kyle Busch finished third in Phoenix

Team Interstate's Kyle Busch finished third in Phoenix. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

Team Interstate‘s Kyle Busch dominated the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500, where he led four times for a race-high 237 laps Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

But just as Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s/Interstate Batteries® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), looked as if he would cruise to his second Sprint Cup win of the season, a caution waved with just 10 laps remaining in the scheduled 312-lap distance. The caution allowed eventual race winner Kevin Harvick to sneak by Busch on the ensuing restart. Harvick also held off Busch for one final restart. The result was a solid, but ultimately heartbreaking, third-place finish for Busch.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

“We had a great car. The M&M’s guys gave me an awesome piece,” said Busch, who earned his 10th top-10 finish in 16 starts at Phoenix, which included a win in November 2005. “Unfortunately there, I gave the race away. I hate it for my guys. They work so hard, and they dug hard this weekend.”

While it was Busch’s sixth top-five finish in the nine races since the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, it was a disappointing result considering his dominance most of the day. It was also the eigth time this season Busch led the most laps but didn’t win. Busch’s JGR companions – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished second and 27th, respectively.

Logano was caught up in a late wreck caused by a scuffle between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon.  Before the wreck, Logano seemed poised for a top-10 finish.

Hamlin is representing JGR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and came into the ninth race of the 10-race Chase in seventh place among the 12 Chase drivers, 73 points behind Chase leader Jimmie Johnson. Hamlin leaves Phoenix fifth in the standings, 62 points behind new Chase leader Brad Keselowski and 12 points ahead of sixth-place Matt Kenseth.

Busch maintained 13th in the standings with 1,091 points, 82 ahead of 14th-place Newman. Logano held his 17th position with 935 points, 156 points behind Busch in 13th. Since they are not Chase participants, Busch and Logano can finish no higher than 13th.

Logano Wins 9th Nationwide Race

Joey Logano lifts a pretty Interstate Battery after his ninth Nationwide win of the season.

Joey Logano lifts a pretty Interstate Battery after his ninth Nationwide win of the season. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

Logano continued his stellar year in the Nationwide Series with a dominating win in Saturday’s Great Clips 200 at Phoenix. After qualifying his No. 18 GameStop Toyota on the pole, Logano led 168 of the race’s 204 laps. Logano’s ninth win this season came in just 21 starts.

With the win, Logano was able to extend the 18 team’s lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Standings. The No. 18 JGR team now holds a 33-point lead over the No. 6 of Roush-Fenway Racing heading into the season finale next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NHRA Pro Stock: Edwards Advances to Semi-finals

Mike Edwards takes his Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac into Pomona.

Mike Edwards takes his Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac into Pomona. Photo courtesy Mike Edwards Motorsports

Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards qualified his Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac in the No. 11 spot for the final round of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. After winning his first two elimination rounds, Edwards faced off against newly crowned Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson in the semifinals. The two left the line nearly equal, but before 100 feet out, Edwards suffered severe tire shake and was forced to abandon the run.

Edwards finished the season in sixth place.

Next week: The NASCAR season comes to an end at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

By James Pecht (149 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


Posted in Racing
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6 comments
Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

Your driver is held to a higher standard and Nascar showed their bias again today.

Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

Your driver is held to a higher standard and Nascar showed their bias again today.

Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

Norm Miller should be outraged along with JGR....

Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

Norm Miller should be outraged along with JGR....

Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

As usual to many late race yellows ... Ready for 2012 to be over with for us Rowdy fans. Hopefully Jeff Gordon will get a two race suspension like Rowdy did for doing the exact same thing under the same circumstances except Jeff took out the 43 and 20 also. He should receive 2 races minimum suspension and as a Rowdy sponsor and the crap you put up with I hope Norm called Nascar and is telling them to be consistent and fair and suspend Gordon two races. Nascar set the precedent for this action with the Kyle Busch suspension.

Barry Taylor
Barry Taylor

As usual to many late race yellows ... Ready for 2012 to be over with for us Rowdy fans. Hopefully Jeff Gordon will get a two race suspension like Rowdy did for doing the exact same thing under the same circumstances except Jeff took out the 43 and 20 also. He should receive 2 races minimum suspension and as a Rowdy sponsor and the crap you put up with I hope Norm called Nascar and is telling them to be consistent and fair and suspend Gordon two races. Nascar set the precedent for this action with the Kyle Busch suspension.

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