Busch on Pocono victory: 'It's a win and it's special'
Kurt Busch celebrates his victory in the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono Raceway Monday.
Photo by Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts

By Dominic Aragon
Editor
June 7, 2016
daragon@theracingexperts.net



LONG POND, Pa.—Passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 29 laps to go, Kurt Busch picked up his first victory of 2016 in Monday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Busch’s victory in the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400  marked his eighth consecutive top-ten finish in the Sprint Cup Series and his third career victory at the track.

The win was Busch’s 28th of his Sprint Cup career, tying Hall of Fame driver Rex White for 25th all-time series’ win list. Busch was asked post-race if he could rank Monday’s victory in comparison to his other top-tier series wins.

“It's a win and it's special, and any time you get a chance to enjoy a win at the Sprint Cup level, it's hard to rank them against other ones,” he said to The Racing Experts. “But there's certain tracks I've done well at in my career, and Bristol is one of them. New Hampshire I have three wins, Atlanta I have three wins, and now at Pocono I have three wins.

“So it's nice to have the confidence when you come to a track, and then you have a great team that's pulling together to pick up the workload of Tony Gibson missing.”

For interim crew chief Johnny Klausmeier, the victory was his first atop the pit box of a Sprint Cup race, according to Racing Reference.


“It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm sure tonight it will be,” he said to The Racing Experts. “Like I said, the biggest thing for me is just the relief of being into the Chase with one win. I think that's huge.

“Like I said, we've been so close, it's just a matter of getting that off our shoulders, and now we can just build our notebook for the Chase.”

Busch sits second in driver’s standings entering next weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway, 25 points behind teammate Kevin Harvick.


THROUGH THE FIELD
Monday’s race marked the first points-paying Sprint Cup Series event pushed back from its originally scheduled date in 2016, and first since Charlotte in October of 2015, 20 races ago.

Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano started on the front row, with Logano leading the first 17 laps of the race. Matt DiBenedetto brought out the race’s first of ten caution periods on lap three with a single-car spin in Turn 3.

At the halfway mark, Elliott led the field followed by Kyle Busch second and Matt Kenseth third.

The race featured 11 total leaders with rookie Chase Elliott leading the most at 51 laps.

The ten total cautions for 40 laps marked the most caution periods in a Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono since August 2009, and the most laps run under caution at the track in a Sprint Cup Series race since August 2005.

Brad Keselowski
Photo by Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts



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