LONG POND, Pa. – Kyle Busch responded to a disappointing Coca-Cola 600 finish from a week ago with a resounding statement victory on Sunday in the Pocono 400.
Busch led four times for a race-high 79 of 160 laps at Pocono Raceway en route to his fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season, most among all drivers.
Sunday’s performance was also Busch’s 55th Cup Series win overall, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace for ninth on the all-time series win list.
The 2015 Cup Series champion didn’t top either of the first two stages – those were swept by Kyle Larson – but Busch was in control when it counted. He took the lead for the first time on lap 56, when the green flag waved to start stage two, and rarely trailed after that.
Perhaps the most daring move of Busch’s day came on lap 76, when he sailed past Clint Bowyer on the outside of turn three to retake the lead that Bowyer had wrested from him briefly on the preceding restart.
From there, only pit stops kept Busch from leading the entirety of the remaining distance.
“I passed one guy on the outside of turn three and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess,” Busch said. “It was hard (to pass) otherwise. We got stuck in traffic early in the race and couldn’t really do anything, but my guys on pit road were awesome and we got some track position there that got us up into contention.
“It’s cool to win here at Pocono again,” Busch added. “Having fast cars like this makes my job a hell of a lot easier.”
Busch had to survive a brief scare after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slammed the wall to bring out a late-race caution, but rocketed away from teammate Erik Jones on the final restart of the day with nine laps left and held off Brad Keselowski for the win by 2.224 seconds.
Keselowski, whose Team Penske Ford appeared to keep pace with Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota briefly during the final sprint, fell off late and had to settle for second in the end.
Jones crossed the line in third, followed by Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer.
Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, polesitter William Byron and Aric Almirola completed the top 10.
Though Larson won the first two stages, he pounded the outside wall coming off turn one on the final restart and had to come to pit road for damage repair. Larson finished 26th.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.