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Kyle Busch Triangulates In On First Win Of ’17

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 30 2017

Kyle Busch found his way back to Victory Lane on Sunday.
(RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

RacinToday.com

Kyle Busch, the winner of four races last year and five in his series-championship 2015 season, won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the current season on Sunday when he took the checkers at Pocono Raceway.

Starting from the pole at the 2.-5-mile Pocono triangle, Busch gave the formerly beleaguered Joe Gibbs Racing team its second win of the season and second in the last three races.

Finally, Busch said.

“For today, that was the word,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating year and this certainly relieves a little bit of that – I wouldn’t say all of it. 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.

“I can’t say enough about all of our partners and everyone on this team. All these guys, the pit crew – they do a great job each and every week. We had to rely on them on that final stop so we didn’t lose too much time to those guys because we had so much distance that we were letting them have it on us with those fresher tires that they had. It’s been a frustrating year, but an awesome day today.”

Kevin Harvick of Stewart Haas Racing finished second and battled Busch, who passed him for the lead late in the race, to the end.

“Well, the only chance the I had (to keep the Busch behind me) was to get into the corner correctly,” Harvick said. “I got in there and was loose all the way through the corner on entry and just kept holding the brake down, holding the brake down, holding the brake down and finally, I’m sure he thought I was going to go and I didn’t accelerate.

“I was trying to stay on the bottom to park the thing to get going and he had a good run. Guys on the Mobil 1 Ford did a great job. Kyle (Busch) had the class of the field all weekend. His car was really, really fast. He got the pole. Got the wn. Pretty much just charged through the field. We definitely have a little bit of work to do. I feel like we got closer and closer.”

Finishing third was Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing.

Truex, who battled winner Kyle Busch for the majority of the race, lost valuable track position when his No. 78 Toyota got stuck in traffic after making a green flag pit stop on Lap 127 of 160. Before making the pit stop – which was his final one of the day — he was the race leader.

“We obviously lost the lead there when it cycled back around,” said Truex. “Then we just kind of got hung up in lap traffic a couple times. Got hung up once with a guy pitting and lost second to the 4 car (Kevin Harvick).”

Truex, who qualified second earlier in the day, ran a strong race. He was basically positioned in the top three for the majority of the race and led twice for 31 laps.

“Nothing spectacular but definitely a solid weekend,” noted Truex. “Really a good job by everybody on the team, especially the two new tire changers (John Royer and Kip Wolfmeier) who had to fill in today. I thought they did an excellent job.”

Clint Bowyer collected his first stage win of the season on Lap 100, after Truex, Busch, Harvick and Hamlin all came to pit road just before the end of the stage to set up their prospects for a race win. Bowyer finished sixth behind Keselowski.

(This story will be updated shortly)

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Overton’s 400

Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, Pennsylvania

Sunday, July 30, 2017

  1. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 160.
  2. (6) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 160.
  3. (2) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160.
  4. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160.
  5. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 160.
  6. (7) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 160.
  7. (8) Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 160.
  8. (9) Erik Jones #, Toyota, 160.
  9. (15) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 160.
  10. (13) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 160.
  11. (12) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 160.
  12. (23) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160.
  13. (18) Kurt Busch, Ford, 160.
  14. (20) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160.
  15. (22) Danica Patrick, Ford, 160.
  16. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 160.
  17. (30) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 159.
  18. (17) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 159.
  19. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 159.
  20. (19) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 159.
  21. (26) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 159.
  22. (33) David Ragan, Ford, 159.
  23. (28) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 159.
  24. (32) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 159.
  25. (34) Corey LaJoie, Toyota, 159.
  26. (3) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 159.
  27. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 159.
  28. (24) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 159.
  29. (31) Landon Cassill, Ford, 158.
  30. (5) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 158.
  31. (35) Gray Gaulding #, Chevrolet, 157.
  32. (36) * Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 153.
  33. (16) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 148.
  34. (37) * Derrike Cope, Toyota, Transmission, 85.
  35. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.
  36. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Engine, 24.
  37. (29) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, Accident, 1.
  38. (25) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 0.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  141.08 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 50 Mins, 07 Secs. Margin of Victory:  6.178 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes:  16 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   Kyle Busch 1-21; E. Jones # 22-24; R. Stenhouse Jr. 25-35; M. Kenseth 36-41; Kyle Busch 42-52; M. Kenseth 53-55; Kyle Busch 56-71; A. Dillon 72-73; D. Hamlin 74-89; M. Truex Jr. 90-96; C. Bowyer 97-101; M. Truex Jr. 102-125; Kyle Busch 126-134; B. Keselowski 135-140; E. Jones # 141; D. Hamlin 142-143; Kyle Busch 144-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch 5 times for 74 laps; M. Truex Jr. 2 times for 31 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 18 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 11 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 9 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 6 laps; C. Bowyer 1 time for 5 laps; E. Jones # 2 times for 4 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,78,4,2,21,1,11,14,42,24

Stage #2 Top Ten: 14,2,10,41,31,5,17,6,95,47

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 30 2017
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