NATIONWIDE Bashas' Supermarkets 200Final
Busch prevails in Bashas' Supermarkets 300Apr 12, 2008 - 4:33 AM By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor
AVONDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Kyle Busch was able to hold off a charging Carl Edwards on a green-white-checkered flag finish to win Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series Bashas Supermarket 300 at Phoenix International Raceway.
It was the second straight Nationwide Series victory for Busch, who won last Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, and the 13th Nationwide Series triumph of his career.
Busch's Toyota defeated Edwards Ford by 0.241 seconds.
"He had a great, great race car there today," Busch said of Edwards. "Being in a Toyota made it worthwhile tonight. It was just a great night for us. He had a great race car but we kept getting those cautions.
"These boys won the race for us tonight on pit road. They did an awesome job getting us out first. It was much easier to win this race up front than to try to pass him."
There were nine cautions for 36 laps with 14 lead changes among five drivers. Busch led 133 of 202 laps - the most of any driver in the race.
After smoking his tires in a victory celebration, Busch climbed out of his car on the frontstretch and took a bow to the fans before climbing back into the car and driving to victory lane.
"I ran second to Kyle again and that is frustrating," Edwards said. "Man, that's too bad to run second. The last caution hurt us and the pit stop got us off pit road. That hurt us a little bit. We're coming. We'll get them tomorrow (in the Cup race).
"I hate to lose that thing. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight. It's no fun. That's just a good race. These cars are really pretty fun at these short tracks. That's a blast. To go down to the wire with Kyle like that, that was really cool."
After a caution for debris with 22 laps left, it set up the final dash to the checkered flag. Edwards came into the pits with the lead but Busch got off pit road with the lead.
Landon Cassill was spun out by Marcus Ambrose on the restart for yet another caution.
Four laps later, the green flag waved again with 12 to go and Busch drove away from Edwards.
That didn't last long, though, as Jason Leffler, the last car on the lead lap in 15th place, spun out with nine to go for the eighth caution of the race.
Busch was in front again with six laps to go and charged away from Edwards on the restart. That was before Jeff Burton crashed with two laps to go to set up a green-white-checkered flag finish.
The win moved Busch up to third in Nationwide points but he is not a full-time contender for the series championship.
"These guys are having a great time but it's great to come out here and run the Nationwide Series," Busch said. "Our goal is the Cup effort where we are third over there, too. If this keeps going, maybe we'll re-evaluate it."
Denny Hamlin was third in a Toyota, giving Joe Gibbs Racing two cars in the top three.
"It was a very competitive race," Hamlin said. "It was good to see some side-by-side racing there. It shows that our cars weren't so bad. It was good to see passes for the lead and side-by-side racing. The Toyotas don't have a big advantage over the guys ... but it's not the manufacturer as much as Gibbs has done a lot of homework on these Nationwide cars and it has shown up.
"This is only my second run with these guys and hopefully we can continue that trend."
Kevin Harvick was fourth in a Chevrolet and David Ragan was fifth in a Ford.