Kyle Busch Ties Rusty Wallace On Cup Series Wins List With Pocono Victoryby Camille Jones June 2, 2019 0 comments
LONG POND, Pa. – Kyle Busch tied Rusty Wallace for ninth on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list on Sunday after winning Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Busch led the final 21 laps and survived a late-race restart with 12 laps to go en route to winning his fourth race of the season and the 55th of his career in the series. Busch was out in front of the field on four occasions as he led a race high of 79 laps.
“I passed one guy on the outside of Turn 3 and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess,” said Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Hazelnut Toyota. “It was hard otherwise. We kind of got stuck in traffic back there a little bit earlier in the race. We were about fifth or sixth and couldn’t really do anything. But overall my guys on pit road were awesome. We got some spots there, track position. Adam Stevens and some of our race calls getting us further up towards the front, so it’s cool to get a win here, cool to get a win at Pocono again, Rowdy Nation is up there supporting us, and having some M&M’s Hazelnut Spread Camrys that are fast like this makes my job of a hell of a lot easier.”
In a dominant performance to the finish in the final stage, Busch was able to hold off Kevin Harvick throughout the race, who soon faced a pit road penalty and steering issues. In the closing laps, Busch kept Brad Keselowski in his rear-view mirror as he drove to the finish. Keselowski was forced to settle for the runner-up position at the end of the 160-lap race.
“Yeah, good day,” Keselowski said. “We had decent speed. We didn’t have speed enough to go up and pass guys, but we could run with them. I feel like if we would have got to the front, nobody ever would have passed us. One of those races, with the way the cars are, if you’re the leader you could be a 20th place car, nobody is going to pass you. You just try to make the most you can and take advantage of the restarts and the pit strategy and do the best you can as a driver to make up for it.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones, finished in the third position. Jones has earned four top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway in five starts, and the finish is his second third-place effort in the past three points races.
Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer finished in fourth and fifth. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, William Byron and Aric Almirola completed the top-10.
Winner of Stage 1 and 2, Kyle Larson, finished in 26th following contact with the outside wall in the final stage. Larson led 35 laps on Sunday.
Wild restarts led to many points of contact for competitors, which resulted in multiple tires being cut down over the course of the event. The race saw eight cautions for 28 laps under yellow-flag conditions.
Kyle Busch leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings by four points over Joey Logano after 14 races.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will visit Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 9 for the Firekeepers Casino 400. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images