Kyle Busch raced to his 55th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Busch led 79 laps on his way to his fourth win of the season. He is now tied with Rusty Wallace for ninth on the series all-time win list.
“I passed one guy on the outside of Turn 3 and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess,” said Busch after his third Pocono win in the last five Cup races at the 2.5-mile track. “Overall my guys on pit road were awesome. It’s cool to get a win at Pocono again.”
Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.
“We had a top-five car all day,” Bowyer said. “We finished there, but it was a long way around. The last month-and-a-half we’ve gotten good finished but we’re not getting stage points…It was frustrating. About where you came off Turn 1 is where you ran.”
Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, William Byron and Aric Almirola completed the first 10 finishers.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Michigan International Speedway next Sunday afternoon.
How Busch Won: He inherited the lead back when it was given up briefly during a series of pit cycles. But when the day’s final restart came around, Busch was hammer down and drove away from the field without any challenge over the final laps to roll into Victory Lane.
Who Had a Good Day: Keselowski scored his seventh top-five finish in the last eight races at Pocono…Jones had his fourth top-10 finish at Pocono, which is tied with Kansas for his most on a single track…Elliott had his fifth straight top-five finish of 2019, the longest streak of his career…Hamlin had his only top-15 finish in the last five races of the season.
Who Had a Bad Day: Austin Dillon made an early exit from the race when he spun and made hard contact with the wall after he said Paul Menard hit him from behind…Matt DiBenedetto’s recent streak of bad luck continued Sunday when he spun out…Matt Tifft brought out caution in the second stage when he went for a slide off track…Corey Lajoie’s car suffered significant damage when he clipped the outside wall…Martin Truex Jr. had engine problems just eight laps from the end of the second stage to end his day (Read More)…Kevin Harvick once again had a fast car but problems on pit road for an uncontrolled tire penalty and then a broken steering box thwarted his chance to win…Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought out the last caution of the day when he slammed the wall.
What Else Happened: The day started with a pair of variable around both the weather and 2019 Cup Series rules package. NASCAR accelerated the start of the race because of the rain threat in the area, something drivers and crew chiefs also took into account as strategies were formulated around a possibly shortened race. As it turned out, Mother Nature did not intervene. The rules specifically added downforce was a focal point all weekend with many drivers concerned about the difficulty to pass. Several complained during Sunday’s race about the inability to get around even slower cars for several laps because of the turbulent air created in the wake of the aerodynamic changes.
Quotable: “Like passing a kidney stone,” an elated Bubba Wallace on his in-car radio after finally getting by Michael McDowell on track.
Notables: Busch leads the series with four wins…Busch scored the 166th career win for Joe Gibbs Racing…Hendrick Motorsports had at least one car finish in the top-five in the last five races, the longest active streak.