It hadn’t rained in 70 days before Saturday’s race, but it was a wet mess in Avondale, Arizona by late afternoon. With only 32 laps to go in Saturday’s Nationwide race action at Phoenix International Raceway, rain entered the area and drowned the track with raindrops which caused the red flag to stop action during the Blue Jeans Go Green 200, presented by Cotton, the fabric of our lives.
Kyle Busch had just gotten back to the lead after he and Brad Keselowski sparred after a restart on lap 142 after the engine let go in Derrike Cope’s car that caused a caution. At that time, Busch had led all but 13 laps of the race at the time of the red flag.
NASCAR officials threw the red flag on lap 164 when rain came down on the track and while Air Titan attempted to dry the track in a good amount of time, the rain kept coming and wouldn’t allow the race to resume. Just prior to the red flag, Rookie Ryan Reed spun out on his own and hit the inner wall hard. It was the next lap when the race was stopped. NASCAR called the race official when another downpour started accompanied with lightning and thunder. Kyle Busch was announced the winner of the race.
Pole sitter Brad Keselowski had a strong car for Team Penske but got shuffled back to the 27th position after coming into contact with Daryl Harr on lap 20. By lap 36, he got up to the 13th position. He took the lead back after Kyle Busch gave up the lead to pit under a green flag. By the end of the race, he was third.
It was Kyle Busch who was dominant in the race and came up with the win. Busch started third and it didn’t take him long to find clean air by lap 6. Busch didn’t look back as he took the checkered flag after NASCAR called the race due to inclement weather.
This was Busch’s third consecutive win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix International Raceway. Chase Elliott was the highest finishing rookie.
The rest of the top ten included: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, Chase Elliott, and Ty Dillon.
The next NASCAR Nationwide race will be Saturday, March 8 for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 4:15 p.m. ET. The race will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and Performance Radio Network (PRN) will have the radio broadcast (www.goprn.com).