Ryan Blaney held off Kevin Harvick to win his first career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race after overtaking Kyle Busch, the overall laps leader, with less than 10 laps to go Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
Blaney became the 10th different driver to win this season, and the fourth to earn his first trip to Victory Lane at the Tricky Triangle. Harvick, who was also seeking his first win of the season, earned his ninth top-10 finish. Busch took Stage 1 over Harvick after starting the race in pole position. The No. 18 Toyota led 33 of the first 50 laps en route to his fourth stage victory this season.
The 23-year-old Blaney, a third generation driver, won for the first time in 68 career starts and made it to victory lane for the second straight day. He was a reporter for Fox during the Xfinity race and was stationed in victory lane. Blaney got there this time in the No. 21 Ford and without a working team radio. Blaney drives for the Wood Brothers, one of the most storied teams in all of NASCAR. The Wood Brothers have won at least one race in each of the last seven decades, but none since Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in 2011.
Now they can add Blaney to the list.
Blaney is part of a bumper crop of blossoming young talent that has hit NASCAR over the last couple of years. Two of those drivers were in the top 10: rookie Erik Jones was third and Chase Elliott was eighth. Darrell Wallace Jr. finished a lap down in 26th in the first start by a black driver in the Cup series since 2006.
Busch's crew chief, Adam Stevens, was suspended for four races earlier this week due to a tire violation at Dover. Kyle Larson edged out both Busch and 2015 race-winner Martin Truex Jr. in Stage 2. Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet ran the fastest in practice this week.
It was simply not meant to be for Dale Earnhardt Jr. this week as the two-time track winner saw his day end around lap 59 after starting from the rear and battling engine issues throughout the race.
Brake issues ended Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray's days around lap 95 when each went hard into the wall. Both drivers were running in the top 10 before the caution.
McMurray's No. 1 Chevrolet caught fire as a result of the wreck, bringing out the red flag. Fortunately, he was able to make it out of the car safely.
Here's how the top 10 finished:
Axalta Presents the Pocono 400 Results
1. Ryan Blaney (10 laps led)
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Erik Jones (20 laps led)
4. Kurt Busch
5. Brad Keselowski (11 laps led)
6. Martin Truex Jr. (5 laps led)
7. Kyle Larson (9 laps led)
8. Chase Elliott
9. Kyle Busch (100 laps led)
10. Matt Kenseth