Kyle Busch wins in Pocono from deep in the field

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th July, 2018 - 11:00am

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Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch started 28th but led for nearly a third of the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway and ultimately beat team-mate Daniel Suarez in an overtime finish.

Busch’s #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was one of more than a dozen cars to fail post-qualifying inspections but he had already climbed to fourth position by the end of Stage 1.

He ceded track position by pitting from second position just before the end of Stage 2 but restarted from second position for the final stage.

After briefly dropping back to third, Busch took the lead for the first time when he got under William Byron on Lap 112 of the scheduled 160.

When a Caution came on Lap 122 for Brad Keselowski’s hit with a wall after his #2 Team Penske Ford blew a tyre, Busch pitted but retained the lead and Suarez second position.

They remained that way for the restart and an almost immediate return to Caution, for fluid on the track.

A longer green flag run followed until Darrell Wallace Jnr hammered into the wall due to a brake failure for his #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, despite trying to wash off speed on the infield grass.

The race would go to overtime when Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) and Ricky Stenhouse Jnr (#17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford) spun on the penultimate lap.

Busch nearly gave up the lead at the final restart but survived in no small part due to Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) attacking Suarez for runner-up honours.

Car #18 in fact won by 1.788s, and while Bowman couldn’t find a way past Suarez he did secure a career-best finish of third.

Suarez had inherited pole position due to the inspection failures and finished Stage 1 in fifth position, before he too pitted tactically near the end of Stage 2 and restarted third.

He and the #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led a total of 29 laps, including the first 21, before he ran near the effective lead for duration of the final stage.

Last-start winner Kevin Harvick took fourth after twin setbacks for the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driver.

He was fastest in qualifying only to be sent back to 29th on the grid as another to fail inspection but finished second to Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) in Stage 1.

Harvick then won Stage 2 but had to make an extra pit stop during the final stage after contact with team-mate Almirola in pit lane.

It put him 27th with 28 laps to go but he sat sixth for the final restart before gaining two more positions.

The top 10 was completed by Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Elliott, Ryan Newman (#31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet), Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), and Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota).

Kyle Busch continues to lead the series, with Round 22 at Watkins Glen on August 3-5 (local time).

Replay: Wallace Jnr hits the wall hard

Results: Gander Outdoors 400, Pocono Raceway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 164 52 Running
2 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 164 29 Running
3 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 164 0 Running
4 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 164 30 Running
5 20 Erik Jones Toyota 164 11 Running
6 24 William Byron Chevrolet 164 10 Running
7 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 164 14 Running
8 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 164 0 Running
9 41 Kurt Busch Ford 164 11 Running
10 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 164 5 Running
11 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 164 0 Running
12 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 164 0 Running
13 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 164 0 Running
14 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 164 0 Running
15 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 164 0 Running
16 34 Michael McDowell Ford 164 0 Running
17 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 164 0 Running
18 6 Matt Kenseth Ford 164 0 Running
19 38 David Ragan Ford 164 0 Running
20 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 164 1 Running
21 21 Paul Menard Ford 164 0 Running
22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 164 0 Running
23 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 164 0 Running
24 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 164 0 Running
25 10 Aric Almirola Ford 164 0 Running
26 22 Joey Logano Ford 164 0 Running
27 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 164 0 Running
28 23 JJ Yeley Toyota 164 0 Running
29 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt Toyota 163 0 Running
30 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 162 0 Running
31 99 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 161 0 Running
32 7 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 161 0 Running
33 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 153 0 crash
34 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 148 0 Running
35 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 146 0 Running
36 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 142 0 Running
37 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 123 0 Transmission
38 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 121 1 Crash
39 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 95 0 Crash
40 51 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 77 0 Engine

Standings Updated*

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Playoff pts
1 Kyle Busch 891   21 6 35
2 Kevin Harvick 833 -58 21 6 33
3 Martin Truex Jnr 762 -129 21 4 26
4 Joey Logano 690 -201 21 1 7
5 Clint Bowyer 677 -214 21 2 10
6 Kurt Busch 677 -214 21 0 2
7 Brad Keselowski 644 -247 21 0 4
8 Kyle Larson 626 -265 21 0 0
9 Denny Hamlin 618 -273 21 0 2
10 Ryan Blaney 612 -279 21 0 4
11 Aric Almirola 587 -304 21 0 1
12 Chase Elliott 569 -322 21 0 2
13 Jimmie Johnson 547 -344 21 0 0
14 Erik Jones 533 -358 21 1 5
15 Alex Bowman 496 -395 21 0 0
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 440 -451 21 0 2
17 Paul Menard 440 -451 21 0 1
18 Ryan Newman 408 -483 21 0 0
19 Austin Dillon 402 -489 21 1 5
20 Daniel Suarez 400 -491 21 0 0
21 William Byron 390 -501 21 0 0
22 Jamie McMurray 375 -516 21 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 338 -553 21 0 1
24 Chris Buescher 325 -566 21 0 0
25 Bubba Wallace 319 -572 21 0 0
26 David Ragan 308 -583 21 0 0
27 Michael McDowell 305 -586 21 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 296 -595 21 0 0
29 Ty Dillon 279 -612 21 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 234 -657 21 0 0
31 Trevor Bayne 185 -706 14 0 0
32 Gray Gaulding 113 -778 17 0 0
33 Matt Kenseth 108 -783 7 0 0
34 Landon Cassill 97 -794 14 0 0
35 Cole Whitt 87 -804 9 0 0
36 DJ Kennington 82 -809 7 0 0
37 Corey LaJoie 75 -816 12 0 0
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 69 -822 8 0 0
39 Brendan Gaughan 49 -842 3 0 0
40 Reed Sorenson 41 -850 9 0 0
41 Harrison Rhodes 23 -868 5 0 0
42 Kyle Weatherman 16 -875 3 0 0
43 Mark Thompson 15 -876 1 0 0
44 Chris Cook 6 -885 1 0 0
45 Tomy Drissi 5 -886 1 0 0
46 Blake Jones 4 -887 1 0 0
47 Derrike Cope 4 -887 2 0 0
48 Danica Patrick 2 -889 1 0 0
49 Cody Ware 1 -890 2 0 0
50 Justin Marks 0 -891 2 0 0
51 David Gilliland 0 -891 1 0 0
52 Ray Black Jnr 0 -891 1 0 0
53 Ross Chastain 0 -891 19 0 0
54 JJ Yeley 0 -891 6 0 0
55 Parker Kligerman 0 -891 2 0 0
56 Timothy Peters 0 -891 1 0 0
57 Cole Custer 0 -891 2 0 0
58 Joey Gase 0 -891 3 0 0
59 Timmy Hill 0 -891 9 0 0

* 10-point penalties for Car #4, Car #95 for failing post-qualifying technical inspection three times

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