Buschwacking in Pocono
One of NASCAR’s Big 3 found their way to victory lane on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in the Gander Outdoors 400, this time it was Kyle Busch. The win was Busch’s sixth on the season and 49th of his career.
Daniel Suarez brought the field to green and proved he did have the speed to be upfront as he comfortably led teammate Denny Hamlin by a second for much of the 50-lap stage. Harvick wasted no time slicing through the field and by lap 15 he was in eighth. Pit stops started on lap 21 and Suarez beat Hamlin off pit road but Hamlin would get by while both were in traffic so the 11 assumed the lead after the pit cycle with 16 to go. Hamlin’s lead was short lived as Chase Elliott drove past him with 11 to go to win the stage.
Erik Jones, who pitted prior to stage 1’s end, took the lead as everyone else pitted during the stage break. Jones managed the lead for 15 laps but Harvick ultimately got by him on lap 65. Harvick kept the lead through pit cycles and a restart following a Corey LaJoie wreck. The 4 would win the stage.
Harvick had a slow stop and lost a few positions in the pits. William Byron elected not to pit and took the green flag as the final stage got underway. Old tires only lasted so long though as Busch took the lead with 49 to go.
The caution flew with 40 laps left after Brad Keselowski blew a tire and backed into the fence. This led to an extended caution period as Landon Cassill put down oil prior to going back green. The restart finally came with 28 to go and Busch set sail on the field. He seemed to have the victory well in hand but another yellow came out with 6 laps remaining after Bubba Wallace lost his brakes going into turn 1 and hit the wall hard. This brought out a red flag.
Another restart came with 3 to go but the caution flew a lap later after Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun in turn 1. The race would go into overtime and Busch got a great restart and went on to win.