An even dozen for Kyle Busch

jutter@charlotteobserver.comNovember 9, 2013 

NASCAR Nationwide Phoenix Auto Racing

RICK SCUTERI — AP

— Kyle Busch won Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race and no one lost the championship race.

So, next weekend’s season finale at Homestead, Fla., will decide the title.

Busch dominated much of Saturday’s Service Master 200 at Phoenix International Raceway and easily held off Justin Allgaier to win his 12th series race of the season and 63rd of his career.

Austin Dillon finished third and clings to an eight-point lead in the series championship race over Sam Hornish Jr., who ended up fifth.

“It was fun for us. Having a great car like that today shows what this season has been like,” said Busch, who won from the pole for a series-record ninth time this season.

“The car was good on long runs and we could sort of manipulate the speed to protect the lead I had a lot of the race.”

Busch will have an opportunity next weekend to win the series’ owner’s championship. His No. 54 Toyota trails Penske Racing’s No. 22 Ford by four points heading into the season finale.

Busch is scheduled to drive the No. 54 next weekend while Joey Logano will drive the No. 22.

A frustrated Dillon lost second place on the final lap in a tough battle with Allgaier. Dillon thought Allgaier had got into him and confronted the driver on pit road after the race about the incident.

“I wasn’t upset. We’ve raced hard against each other all season long,” Dillon said. “He’s racing hard for a top-five. We’re both running for the same manufacturer and trying to win a championship for Chevrolet.”

Although Hornish lost two points to Dillon on Saturday, he said his goal was to have a real a shot to win his first NASCAR championship at the season finale.

“We ended up better than we probably deserved to be. We were disappointed with the way the car handled (Friday) but we never got it as good as we needed to in the race,” Hornish said.

“I feel like we have a great opportunity. Eight points is a little more than I would have liked to overcome, but it’s workable.”

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