Busch picked up his 12th win of the season Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, leading a race-high 169 laps.
Now, a year after he went winless in the Nationwide Series, Busch can match his career best 13-win 2010 season with a victory in next week’s finale at Homestead.
“Just looking forward to the rest of this year, there’s only one more left,” said Busch, who has a record 63 victories in the series.
“We look forward to going to Homestead, that’s a place we’ve run well in the past in the Nationwide cars. This year we need to lead the most laps and win the race to have a shot at winning the owners’ championship.”
Busch’s victory, coupled with Brad Keselowski’s 19th-place finish, sliced Penske Racing’s lead in the race for the owner championship to four points over Joe Gibbs Racing. Keselowski’s day was ruined when contact from Brian Scott sent him spinning into the wall.
Busch took no joy in Keselowski’s trouble.
“I hate it that he had trouble when both of us are racing well and racing potentially for a win together,” Busch said.
The battle for the more prolific driver championship stayed close, too, as Austin Dillon finished third to maintain his points lead over Sam Hornish Jr. Dillon takes an eight-point lead over Hornish into the finale,
TRUCK SERIES: In Avondale, Ariz., Erik Jones became the youngest winner in Truck Series history with his first career NASCAR national victory, and Matt Crafton finished fifth to make the season championship a formality next week.
Crafton needs only to start in the season finale at Homestead to seal his first series title after eliminating all other contenders Friday night.
Jones won at 17 years, 4 months to break the record set this year by Chase Elliott, who was five months older when he won in Ontario.
Jones got his win in his fifth start for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He got a shot to drive the Toyota when he caught Busch’s eye by beating him in the Snowball Derby last December.
Ross Chastain finished second driving for Brad Keselowski. Jones passed Chastain with nine laps remaining.