Kyle Busch Victorious in iK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway

How simple has it become for Kyle Busch to win an Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway? In Saturday’s iK9 Service Dog 200, his main competition disappeared in a cloud of smoke on his way to his 11th career Xfinity win in Arizona.

With 70 laps remaining, polesitter, Christopher Bell, and Justin Allgaier were hunting down Kyle Busch when a lapped car of Stephen Leicht had an engine failure. The engine produced a bomb-like cloud of smoke. When the wall of smoke settled, Bell and Allgaier were in the wall with their day ruined.

With Busch’s main competition up in smoke, the 33-year-old cruised to his second Xfinity Series win of 2019.

“This is a good place to be, we enter races, we try to win races,” Busch told Sports360AZ in victory lane. “Coming out here to ISM Raceway certainly is a fun race track. Love coming out to the west coast being a part of the Phoenix area and being from Las Vegas feels close to home.”

Not only did this victory marked his 11th career Xfinity win at ISM Raceway, but it also tied Mark Martin for the most Xfinity Series wins at any racetrack.

The win also brings Busch to 198 career wins among NASCAR’s three national touring series. The former Xfinity and Cup champion is only two races from tying Richard Petty’s record of 200 wins, all coming in the Cup Series.

 

Race Action

The action began Saturday morning with Christopher Bell taking home the pole for the iK9 Service Dog 200. Luck would be in favor of Penske’s Austin Cindric following pit strategy to take the stage one win.

State two would see Christopher Bell dominate once again beating out his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate of Busch. Bell searching for his second victory of the year would fall behind Busch in stage three after pitting.

The craziness began when Bell began tracking Busch down and the No. 01’s engine exploded. Bell and Allgaier seemed to hit oil or water and slid up the track in turns three and four and into the wall. The contact would end Bell’s day while Allgaier continued in the race.

Bell led 68 laps in the race before exiting with 70 laps go and finished 30th. Busch took the checkered leading 116 laps. Not only did Busch take home the iK9 Service Dog 200 win, but also brought the sponsor to victory lane with their logo on his hood all weekend.

Ryan Truex fought his way to a second place finish, while Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five.

Saturday was Truex’s first race of the season rotating out of Jr. Motorsports’ No. 8 and carried his older brother Martin’s foundation, ‘Sherry Strong,’ on the hood.

“I guess it’s good when you lose to Kyle Busch,” Truex said postrace. “I Just got us too far behind early on, we were too free. We worked hard all day to get it back.”

Only Christopher Bell and Michael Annett are locked into the 2019 Xfinity Playoffs as the only Xfinity regulars with victories in this season. Defending Xfinity Champion, Tyler Reddick now leads the points and is the driver with the most points without a victory.

The Xfinity Series heads to Auto Club Speedway next Saturday in Fontana, CA. Cup regular Joey Logano is the defending race winner but is unlikely to participate in the race.

Busch looks for win number 199 in the TicketGuardian 500 on Sunday and will compete in the Xfinity Series once again at Auto Club Speedway.

 

Arizona native, Devon Henry, joined the Sports360AZ crew in 2018 after graduating from Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Devon has avidly partaken in coverage of the Arizona high school sports scene since 2013 and has covered NASCAR and INDYCAR at Phoenix Raceway since 2017. Devon is also a play-by-play announcer, calling over a dozen different sports and hundreds of events.