AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Busch won another race and Richard Childress Racing has all but clinched another championship.
Busch earned his second victory in as many days at Phoenix International Raceway, this time holding off Matt Kenseth to win Saturday’s Arizona.Travel 200, his fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory of the season and 11th of his career.
“Winning’s always fun. It wasn’t for a championship, but winning is always fun,” Busch said.
“Our first (pit) stop was a little bit behind again. We came in leading and we came out seventh, but they gave me a good enough car where I could drive through the field and pass everybody.
“That’s all that matters when you have a car that good, you can make whatever you want happen.”
Kenseth attempted to catch Busch late in the race and was aided by two cautions in the final 18 laps, but to no avail.
“We were pretty even. (Busch) did a great job with his car and put it right where he needed to be so we couldn’t get by him,” said Kenseth, who had problems with his power steering.
“Physically I could turn it. It was just hard to feel the front tires and feel what the car was doing. That was a little bit of a hindrance.”
On Sunday, Busch will attempt to become the first driver to win races in all three of NASCAR’s national series – Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck – at the same track on the same weekend. He starts 38th in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500.
Clint Bowyer finished third, Scott Wimmer was fourth and Kevin Harvick fifth. Carl Edwards, who clinched the series driver’s championship last weekend at Texas, finished seventh.
Wimmer’s finish gives RCR’s No. 29 Chevrolet team a 194-point advantage over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team in the owner championship standings. All the No. 29 needs to do is start next weekend’s race at Homestead, Fla., and the team wins the owner title regardless of its finish.
It would mark only the second time the driver and owner’s titles were split in series history. RCR was also part of the last instance in 2003, when Brian Vickers won the driver title and Harvick and Johnny Sauter won the owner title sharing the No. 21.
“We’re real close to the owner’s championship now,” said Wimmer, who has shared the No. 29 with driver Jeff Burton this season. “We’ll just go down to Homestead and we’ll air it out and get us another win.”