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The Latest: Kyle Busch leads early in chase of 200th win

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FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the NASCAR race at Fontana (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Kyle Busch tied Richard Petty’s NASCAR record with his 200th national victory across the three major series Sunday, making an impressive late surge through the field to win the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

Busch dominated the first two stages, but a pit-road speeding penalty sent him back to 18th with 73 laps to go. After his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota carved up the field and got help from a timely caution, Busch catapulted into the lead for good with 26 laps left by drafting off Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

After winning the Fontana Cup race for the third time, Busch is in position to become NASCAR’s career victories leader with his next win. Busch has earned 53 of his 200 wins in the Cup Series, along with 53 in the Truck Series and 94 in Xfinity.

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2:32 p.m.

Kyle Busch has won the first two stages of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Fontana as he closes in on his 200th career victory across NASCAR’s three major series.

Busch led 100 of the first 120 laps and stayed well ahead of Brad Keselowski in a calm second stage of the 200-lap race.

The 33-year-old Busch led each of the first two stages of a race for only the third time in his career. He is less than 80 laps away from his 53rd career Cup Series victory, which would match his win total in the Truck Series.

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1:48 p.m.

Kyle Busch finished in the lead under caution in the first stage of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Fontana.

Busch was in control for much of the opening 60 laps, but the drivers hit the second stage under a yellow flag after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun out in Turn 2.

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Kyle Larson appeared to hit the wall while avoiding Stenhouse, and other cars sustained minor damage. The drivers had just returned to full speed followed another caution after Austin Dillon blew a tire.

Auto Club Speedway had near-ideal weather for the race after a week of high winds east of Los Angeles.

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12:30 p.m.

Kyle Busch is trying to tie Richard Petty’s NASCAR record of 200 victories when he hits the track at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday.

Busch earned his 199th career victory across NASCAR’s three major series last week at Phoenix, and the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver is in position to match Petty’s hallowed mark at Fontana.

Busch missed his first chance Saturday when he finished second to Cole Custer in the Xfinity Series race, falling victim to a bad pit stop in a race he had dominated.

Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are still looking for their first wins of the season under NASCAR’s new racing rules package. Jimmie Johnson has won six times at Fontana, but hasn’t won anywhere since mid-2017.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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