The NASCAR Xfinity series competed at ISM Raceway Saturday for the iK9 Service Dog 200 and this race showed who the big dog is that everyone is chasing after.
Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota just dominated the race leading four times for 116 of the 200 total laps. Early on it seemed as if Christopher Bell in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota would be able to challenge Busch but when he ran into trouble it was clear sailing for Busch.
“Christopher (Bell) was certainly going to give me a run for my money today,” Busch stated, “I can’t say enough about our guys at Joe Gibbs Racing, obviously they build really fast Supras.”
He added, “I want to thank the fans. It’s always cool to come out with Rowdy Nation and having their support, and everyone that backs us. Congrats to all these guys who work so hard to get me where I’m at.”
Stage 1 had only one caution in it when the No. 17 of Bayley Curry hit the wall. Some of the drivers opted to pit while others stayed out. Austin Cindric took advantage of the caution staying out and winning the stage.
Stage 2 went caution free and saw Bell and Busch battle for the lead. Halfway through the stage, Bell took the top spot and the stage win setting up what would be a great battle to the finish line. However, it wasn’t meant to be today.
The final stage saw Busch leading and Bell in second when the No. 01 of Stephen Leicht appeared to have an engine let go causing a huge plume of smoke. When the smoke cleared the No. 7 of Justin Allgaier had damage from tagging the wall, but Bell’s car was heavily damaged from hitting the wall and his day ended early.
Ryan Truex had a great day in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet bringing it home in second place.
“I guess it’s good when you lose to Kyle Busch.” Truex commented, “ Our car was just so good in the long runs. I was able to hold Tyler Reddick off and finish second. He added, “ I’m thankful to JR Motorsports for this opportunity, it felt good to be back up here.”
Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Austin Cindric round out the top five. Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, Michael Annett, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ryan Sieg finished sixth through 10, respectively.
Reddick is leading the NASCAR Xfinity Series Standings with 169 points, Bell is second with 165 points and Custer is in third with 158 points. Annett is in fourth with 147 points and Brandon Jones rounds out the top five with 147 points.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads next to the Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 16.