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Published on April 12th, 2010 | by Michael J Smith


Busch Overcomes Late Penalty To Win At Phoenix

Kyle Busch overcame a bizarre sequence of events including a penalty and a pit road incident to win the Nationwide Series Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.  

On a restart on lap 137, Busch was bringing the field to the green flag with Brad Keselowski next to him in second place. Busch attempted to brake check Keselowski, in hopes of getting a jump or forcing Keselowski to get a penaltyby beating him to the line. The problem was that Busch didn’t get going between the two restart lines that designate the restart zone, allowing Keselowski to beat Busch to the line.

Because Busch didn’t go, the cars stacked up behind him, causing a multi-car pileup. When the caution came out, Keselowski was in front of Busch and was therefore considered the leader when the yellow flag waved. The race was red flagged to clean up the front stretch.

On the subsequent restart, Busch, now in second behind Keselowski, jumped the restart. A little while later, he gave the position back to Keselowski, but NASCAR black flagged Busch, meaning he had to come down pit road to serve his penalty. He served his penalty on lap 150, and came out in 16th place, the last car on the lead lap.

On lap 187, the caution came out for debris on the track. While on pit road, Busch made contact with teammate Joey Logano. Logano suffered damage in the incident, but was still the leader on the restart on lap 192. Busch restarted in 10th. Three laps later, he gained eight positions. A lap later, he passed Keselowski for the lead.

Top 5: Busch, Kevin Harvick, Keselowski, Brendan Gaughan, and Greg Biffle.

Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Scott Lagasse Jr, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.

Notables: Clint Bowyer (11th), Reed Sorenson (12th), Justin Allgaier (13th), Kelly Bires (17th), Michael McDowell (18th), Jason Leffler (19th), Kenny Wallace (21st), Casey Mears (31st), Landon Cassill (35th), and David Gilliland (41st).

After the race, Busch said of the restart incident:

Brad Keselowski [took off] where I had been going the whole night, which was at the first restart line and I didn’t go. I just kept my pace, I stayed at the same pace and waited until the second [line] to go and went at the second. He was already gone because he went at the first one and was two car lengths ahead of me. There was a stack-up behind me and a wreck. I never changed pace, I kept same pace – go get video from ESPN, I guarantee it 100 percent.

Keselowski said:

When you get to the first line, you have to maintain your speed and then once you get to the second line, it’s fair game. We got to the first line side-by-side and when we got to that zone, the restart zone, … I maintained my speed and he did not. So, when I got to the second line, I just went.

NASCAR agreed with Keselowski, indicating that the inside line (Keselowski’s) maintained its speed. Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said:

Whether [Busch] didn’t keep speed or he spun his tires or whatever, it looked like the outside lane didn’t go and the inside lane maintained the speed.

 The reason Busch was penalized is because he jumped before the first line indicating the restart zone and he moved to the outer lane instead of maintaining his lane.

After the race, Busch was asked about the incidents. He said:

I paid NASCAR back by winning.

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About the Author

Michael J. Smith is a NASCAR enthusiast and blogger. In addition to founding this website, Michael is a journalist with over a decade of experience writing for prestigious media organizations.

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