Kyle Busch Phoenix NXS Race Advance
NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
Event: iK9 Service Dog 200 (Round 4 of 33)
Date: March 9, 2019
Location: ISM Raceway near Phoenix
Layout: 1-mile oval
Kyle Busch Notes of Interest
● This weekend’s iK9 Service Dog 200 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix is the fourth event of the 33-race NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule and the second with Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing.
● In 22 career Xfinity Series starts at ISM Raceway, Busch has earned 10 wins, 15 top-fives, 18 top-10s, nine poles and led 2,040 laps. He has also completed 4,302 of the 4,401 laps available (97.8 percent).
● Busch’s 10 wins and nine starts from the pole at ISM Raceway are the most of any driver in Xfinity Series history. His most recent win at ISM Raceway came on Nov. 12, 2016 when he started from the pole and led all but 10 of the race’s 200 laps.
● Busch earned the No. 18 iK9 team’s first victory of the year last Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Boyd Gaming 300. Busch overcame an early setback after a loose wheel forced the iK9 team to pit just 12 laps into the 200-lap race. After taking the wave-around and returning to the lead lap, Busch went on to lead 98 laps and held off his challengers through two late-race restarts.
● Saturday’s victory, paired with his win the day prior in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race, moved Busch ever closer to 200 wins across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He currently has 197 total wins in NASCAR’s top-three series – 51 in Cup, 93 in Xfinity and 53 in Trucks.
● Busch is the all-time leader in Xfinity Series victories. His 93 career wins are 44 more than next-best Mark Martin (49 wins). Busch broke Martin’s record on Aug. 26, 2011 when he won the Food City 250 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
● Busch made his Xfinity Series debut on May 24, 2003 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He started fifth and finished second in the Carquest Auto Parts 300. Busch’s first Xfinity Series win came on May 14, 2004 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in the Funai 250.
● The 2019 season marks Busch’s 17th year of Xfinity Series competition. In addition to his 93 wins, he earned the 2009 Xfinity Series championship, has scored 65 poles, logged 212 top-five and 250 top-10 finishes, and has led a total of 19,052 laps in 346 career starts.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra
What were the biggest takeaways from your first weekend working with the iK9 team and how will it translate to Phoenix?
“I’d say the biggest thing we faced in Las Vegas was finding the right balance. Even in practice, it was hard to find that happy medium. Sometimes you want to be right on the edge of loose or tight, especially when you’re running at a track that goes through a lot of changes during the course of a race. But when you can’t find that middle ground and work out the adjustments that are going to help get the car to that place, it can hinder your progress. The iK9 Toyota Supra has a lot of speed, and Ben (Beshore, crew chief) and the team have done a great job preparing for these races, but there is always something to work on.”
You’ve had a lot of Xfinity Series success at Phoenix. What is the key to winning there?
“A car that handles exactly how you want it to, all the way around. Phoenix is a track with two different corners, and you have to have a car that can turn and get off the corner at both ends. That’s what makes it such a challenging track and that’s a big part of the reward in being successful there. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Phoenix, maybe because I’ve always run well or because it’s close to home. Whatever the reason, I look forward to going back there and expect that we’ll have a great shot at two-in-a-row for everyone at iK9 and 1st Foundation.”