NASCAR results at Pocono: Kyle Busch ends drought with first career win at Tricky Triangle – Sporting News

Kyle Busch’s winless streak is finally over. 

Busch performed a bump-and-run move on Kevin Harvick with 16 laps remaining to take the lead in Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway and held on for his first victory in 36 races. It’s also Busch’s first career Cup win at Pocono, leaving Charlotte Motor Speedway as the only track at which he’s not won at points-paying race. 

Unlike last Sunday’s caution-ridden Brickyard 400, only five yellow flags were shown at Pocono, with the final 60 laps finishing under green, bringing into play a number of fuel strategies for drivers looking to punch their ticket to the playoffs with just five races remaining before the start of the final stretch. 

Putting strategy into play well before the end of the race at the three-turn, 2.5-mile track, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. decided to pit from the lead with three laps remaining in Stage 2. Clint Bowyer captured the stage win but Hamlin and Truex re-captured the lead for the start of Stage 3. 

Truex was in position for the win until getting stuck behind lapped traffic with 26 laps to go as Harvick shot by, and into second behind Hamlin among cars which had pitted. Busch was one of those drivers who waited to pit near the end of his fuel window with 24 laps remaining. It turned out to be the correct call as he quickly made his way around Truex with 18 laps remaining, then picked off Hamlin and Harvick. 

Sunday at Pocono was one of just three occasions this season which NASCAR held Cup qualifying on the same day of the race. Busch earned the pole and led 74 laps en route to the win and automatically punching his ticket to the playoffs. 

“It’s been a frustrating year, but an awesome day today,” Busch told reporters, per the NASCAR Wire Service. “This is also a meaningful win for me in another way. This is the first time I’ve been to victory lane in a points-paying race since my grandmother passed away. This one’s for her, and she’s smiling down on us here today, and I appreciate that.”

Harvick finished second followed by Truex, Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. 

All eyes were on Busch and Truex as the two Toyota teammates started on the front row a week after crashing from the lead in last Sunday’s Brickyard 400, sparking a confrontation between crew members in the garage area, leading to suspensions for the No. 78 team. Truex took blame for the wreck at Indy and Busch raced him clean at Pocono including passing him for third place with 18 laps to go. 

“I knew what he was thinking and that’s what it all came down to,” Busch said. “We didn’t really outsmart anyone today. We just kind of played our race and our own strategy and thought about it a little differently than others, and it worked out for us.”

Results from the NASCAR Cup Series Overton’s 400 at Pocono

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Daniel Suarez
  8. Erik Jones
  9. Matt Kenseth
  10. Chase Elliott
  11. Kasey Kahne
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  13. Kurt Busch
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. Danica Patrick
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. Ty Dillon
  18. Michael McDowell
  19. Paul Menard
  20. Trevor Bayne
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. David Ragan
  23. AJ Allmendinger
  24. Cole Whitt
  25. Corey LaJoie
  26. Jamie McMurray
  27. Joey Logano
  28. Chris Buescher
  29. Landon Cassill
  30. Ryan Blaney
  31. Gray Gaulding
  32. Stephen Leicht
  33. Kyle Larson
  34. Derrike Cope
  35. Jimmie Johnson
  36. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  37. Matt DiBenedetto
  38. Aric Almirola

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 winner: Clint Bowyer

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