Kyle Busch dominates Cup race; Newgarden win Indy Car opener

Monday, March 11, 2019

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — 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.

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

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.

Indy Car

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Team Penske’s hot start to the motorsports season continued Sunday with a Josef Newgarden victory in the IndyCar season opener — the fourth win for a Penske car in seven days spanning three different series.

Newgarden crossed the finish line on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg at almost the exact same time Ryan Blaney, another Penske driver, led the field to green in the NASCAR race at Phoenix. Team Penske won consecutive NASCAR races, two Supercars races in Australia and now a showcase on the IndyCar schedule.

The organization is off to such a strong start that Penske acknowledged his threedriver IndyCar lineup arrived at the opening race feeling pressure to match their counterparts.

Will Power and Newgarden delivered in qualifying by sweeping the front row, then Newgarden used tire strategy to put his Chevrolet out front. 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 in his bid to catch Newgarden.

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