Kyle Busch ends longest race-winless streak of career in the Poconos
By Matt Courson
July 30, 2017
LONG POND, Pa.— After finishing in the second position three times this season, Kyle Busch reached victory lane for the first time in 2017 and first of his career at Pocono Raceway.
On Lap 146, for the lead, Kyle Busch moved Kevin Harvick out of the preferred line in Turn 2.
Busch lead the final 17 laps enroute to victory. “It’s been a frustrating year and this certainly relieves a little bit of that – I wouldn’t say all of it,” Busch said. “Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and these guys did an awesome job today. I can’t say enough about this M&M’s Caramel Camry – Toyota, this is their 100th Monster Energy Cup Series win.”
STAGE ONE (LAPS 1-50)
Kyle Busch started on the pole for the fifth time this year, alongside Martin Truex Jr.
On the opening lap in Turn 3, Matt Kenseth got loose and spun in front of the pack.
Kenseth did not receive any damage from the spin, but did make several pit stops for new tires and adjustments.
Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Landon Cassill, Danica Patrick, Michael McDowell, and Paul Menard we all involved in the lap one crash.
Kyle Busch escaped from the field on the lap eight restart.
Most teams came to pit road during the middle of stage to ensure they had enough fuel to make it to the end of stage one.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth, and Daniel Suarez stayed out on the track hoping for a caution, but the caution did not occur and the drivers were forced to pit road during green flag conditions.
Kyle Busch cycled back to the lead on lap 46 after Kenseth eventually pitted.
Busch went on to capture his eighth stage win of 2017. Busch also won stage one in this race last month.
STAGE TWO (LAPS 51-100)
29 cars began the stage on the lead lap.
The caution flag was displayed on lap 57 when Kasey Kahne got into teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson’s No. 48 machine backed into the Turn 3 wall. The damage to the Lowe’s Chevrolet was too extensive to continue the race.
On lap 65, Ryan Blaney’s No. 21 Motorcraft Ford came to pit road after experiencing a severe tire rub.
The yellow flag waved on lap 69 for debris that flew off Kyle Larson’s machine. They would suffer a driveline issue and head into the garage.
Kyle Busch got loose in Turn 1 and almost got into the wall. Busch would fight handling issues until the next pit stops, dropping from second to seventh in four laps.
Denny Hamlin stayed out on the racetrack on the lap 69 caution and led 16 laps until Martin Truex Jr. passed him on lap 89.
Another strategy call resulted in Truex Jr. coming down to pit road, surrendering the lead to Clint Bowyer.
This was Bowyer’s first stage win in 2017.
STAGE THREE (LAPS 101-160)
Martin Truex Jr. cycled back to the lead after race leader Clint Bowyer came to pit road for fresh tires and fuel.
Denny Hamlin pitted two laps prior to Martin Truex Jr., and Hamlin became the race leader after passing Truex during green flag pit stops.
Keselowski stayed out on the track hoping for a caution, leading six laps.
However, that caution never came and Denny Hamlin returned to the front.
Kevin Harvick chased down and passed Hamlin, but Kyle Busch was lurking behind.
On lap 146, Kyle Busch moved Kevin Harvick out of the groove in the Tunnel Turn and zoomed on by.
Busch would never need to look back, opening up a four-second lead in the next sixt laps.
This was Busch’s 39th career win, and first at Pocono Raceway.
Busch now has one racetrack without a win, that is Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This was the 100th win for Toyota Racing in NASCAR’s premier series.
Busch claimed his fifth top-five at Pocono Raceway.
Ten different winners have won the last ten races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
16 cars finished on the lead lap. SOURCES Racing-Reference.info Toyota Racing IMAGES Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts