Penske’s Kyle Busch completes weekend sweep in Arizona desert

Kyle Busch made it a weekend sweep at ISM Raceway in the Arizona desert.

Just like he nearly did last week at Las Vegas.

Busch tracked down Ryan Blaney over a long green-flag run before passing his Team Penske rival for the lead with 16 laps to go, then made his fuel and tires last to the checkered flag to add a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday to his triumph in the Xfinity Series race at Avondale, Ariz., outside Phoenix.

“We were going to be right on the verge,” Busch said. “You have to go hard first and worry about fuel afterwards. After I got Blaney, I was able to save a little bit and take care of my tires for the rest of the lapped traffic I had to get through.”

Busch’s big weekend gives him 199 wins in NASCAR’s top three series, including 52 at the Cup level. He will go for the 200 milestone next weekend at Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County.

“It’s not for me to worry about. It’s for everybody else to discuss and talk about and debate over,” he said of its importance. “But for myself and the view I’ve had, I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of great people and a lot of great sponsors.”

Busch also won the Xfinity race the previous weekend at Las Vegas, and he would have hit the 200 mark Sunday if not for a speeding penalty in the Cup Series race that left him with a third-place finish.

Even after victory outside Phoenix, Busch was still ruing what might have been.

“This makes last weekend feel so much stupider,” he said. “I wish we would have swept last weekend, too, with two weekend sweeps in a row. But we’ll take what we got today.”

Martin Truex Jr. also got around Blaney to finish second, taking advantage of a No. 19 car that kept getting better on longer runs. Blaney wound up third after starting on the pole, and after having to make two stops during the final caution because of a lugnut that would have come loose.

“I was kind of riding, trying to save tires, trying to save gas,” said Blaney, who opted for two tires and track position on his final stop. “I think (Busch) was kind of riding back there, too. He knew what situation I was in. I started to get real tight and we got to lapped cars and I was done.”

IndyCar: Team Penske’s hot start to the motorsports season continued with a Josef Newgarden victory in the IndyCar season opener — the fourth win for a Penske car in seven days spanning three series.

Newgarden crossed the finish line on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., at almost the exact same time Ryan Blaney, another Penske driver, led the field to green in the NASCAR race outside Phoenix.

“So proud of our group, we have the best of the best working for Team Penske,” Newgarden said.

It was the 204th victory in IndyCar for a Penske driver.

Scott Dixon finished second in a Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing but was stymied by lapped traffic.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Penske-s-Kyle-Busch-completes-weekend-sweep-in-13677872.php.

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