A winless streak of more than a year has now ended for Kyle Busch.
Following a pole-winning run Sunday morning at Pocono Raceway, Busch, who led 74 laps on the day, bumped Kevin Harvick in the final laps and ran away with the lead to win the Overton’s 400.
The win, his first at Pocono, is also his first of 2017, confirming his spot in the playoffs as the 13th winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“It’s pretty cool to finally get the monkey off our back,” Busch said. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s well-documented that it’s been more than a year. It’s very rewarding to achieve victory, especially here at Pocono.”
Harvick came home second for the fourth time in the last even Pocono races, unable to close in on Busch. Despite the additional runner-up result, Harvick knows not to take them for granted.
Martin Truex Jr. led 31 laps and finished third while Denny Hamlin played strategy to grab the lead for 18 circuits. Hamlin was happy to see teammate Busch end his winless drought, giving a second win to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017.
“He’s got five poles, he leads the first 150 laps of every race. Those laps can rack up quick, ” Hamlin said. “We know everything that have. I’m certainly giving it everything I can. We’re digging, we keep improving.”
The 160-lap race kicked off with a multi-car accident in Turn 3 after Matt Kenseth spun under Jimmie Johnson. The spin blocked the track, collecting Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon and others in the mess.
Though the wreck ended drivers’ days early, Kenseth was able to bounce back to finish ninth after leading nine laps.
The first-lap chaos wasn’t the only attrition on the day. Jimmie Johnson also found the Turn 3 wall when teammate Kasey Kahne tagged him in the left rear, spinning the No. 48 sideways before backing into the wall. The three-time season winner finished 35th.
Indianapolis winner Kahne finished 11th while Danica Patrick earned a fourth straight top-15 result in 15th.
Back in Victory Lane! pic.twitter.com/3PSCrtGUED
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 30, 2017
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) July 30, 2017
About the author
Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.