AVONDALE, Ariz. — Clint Bowyer won a stirring duel with Matt Kenseth on Friday, taking the lead with 14 laps left and holding on in the Busch Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kenseth, who won the Busch race last weekend in Texas, appeared on the way to another victory when he made a strong pass on the outside to take the lead from Bowyer 31 laps from the end of the 200-lap Bashas’ Supermarkets 200.
The former Nextel Cup champion started to pull away, but Bowyer didn’t give up. He moved his Chevrolet back to the rear bumper of Kenseth’s Ford by lap 180 and pulled off the same outside pass as Kenseth to regain the lead for good on lap 187.
Kenseth got one more shot when Stephen Leicht’s flat tire brought out the 10th caution flag of the night on lap 188 and bunched the leaders. But Bowyer managed to keep Kenseth behind him until a three-car crash on the final lap ended the race under caution and ensured the Richard Childress Racing driver his fourth career victory and first this season.
Las Vegas native Kyle Busch started from the pole and dominated the early part of the race but crashed out and finished 37th.
Busch, who had led the first 33 laps, came out of a pit stop in fifth just before the halfway point. He passed Ryan Newman after the ensuing restart and appeared to move in front of Newman a moment too soon. The two collided, sending both into the wall as David Ragan and Casey Mears also became entangled in the crash.
• CHAMP CAR — At Houston, Sebastien Bourdais won the provisional pole for the Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Houston, circling the 1.69-mile course in 58.376 seconds.
The defending champion hit 103.789 mph on his fastest lap in his Panoz DP01 to clinch a front-row start Sunday.
Points leader Will Power was second with a top speed of 102.852 mph.