NASCAR at Pocono results, standings: Kyle Busch wins Gander Outdoors 400 in overtime
Here is a full race recap from Sunday's action
LONG POND, Pa -- Kyle Busch won his sixth race of the season Sunday at Pocono Raceway in overtime. Busch started from the rear after failing post-qualifying inspection before going on to tie Kevin Harvick for the NASCAR Cup Series wins lead.
The trip to Victory Lane is the second of Busch's Cup career at Pocono. Busch also won this race last season before going on to finish second in the Championship 4. Sunday's effort completed Busch's weekend sweep of the track as he took the checkered flag in the Truck Series on Saturday.
Busch's win is the 49th of his Cup Series career and ties him with retired driver turned team owner Tony Stewart for 13th on the all-time list. Next up for Rowdy are NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett, who each have 50 career wins at the Cup level.
Chase Elliott started the race sixth and drove on to win Stage 1 after taking the lead from Denny Hamlin with less than 15 to go. The mid-race win is Elliott's second of the season, with the first coming in Stage 2 of last week's race at New Hampshire. Hamlin finished the stage second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and pole starter Daniel Suarez.
Harvick took control in Stage 2, earning his series-leading 10th green-and-white checkered flag of the season. Elliott would go on to finish the stage second ahead of Clint Bowyer, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson.
Gander Outdoors 400 results
- Kyle Busch
- Daniel Suarez
- Alex Bowman
- Kevin Harvick
- Erik Jones
- William Byron
- Chase Elliott
- Ryan Newman
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Clint Bowyer
- Ryan Blaney
- Austin Dillon
- AJ Allmendinger
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Michael McDowell
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
- David Ragan
- Jamie McMurray
- Paul Menard
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Kyle Larson
- Ty Dillon
- Aric Almirola
- Joey Logano
- Matt DiBenedetto
- JJ Yeley
- Jeffrey Earnhardt
- Kasey Kahne
- Kyle Weatherman
- Reed Sorenson
- Bubba Wallace
- Landon Cassill
- Ross Chastain
- Timmy Hill
- Chris Buescher
- Brad Keselowski
- Corey LaJoie
- BJ McLeod
2018 NASCAR Cup Series standings
|POSITION||DRIVER||CAR #||POINTS||BEHIND||WINS||PLAYOFF POINTS|
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stage 1: Elliott shines late in the stage again
Daniel Suarez started on the pole after original pole sitter Kevin Harvick had his qualifying time disallowed due to a failed inspection. Harvick, along with Kyle Busch, who also had to start from the rear, gained more than 10 positions on the first lap as they began their charge through the field.
Harvick had no problem making his way up front, cracking the top 10 less than 10 laps into the race. It took Busch a little less than 20 laps to pass Alex Bowman for his spot inside the top 10.
The No. 4 car got green-flag pit stops going on Lap 20. Two laps later, Suarez and second-place driver Denny Hamlin pitted from the lead. Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth were the lone penalties, both having to serve a pass-through for speeding on entry. Kurt Busch was the holdout on strategy, but eventually came into the pits on Lap 33.
Once the No. 41 finally went to pit road, Hamlin recycled as the race leader ahead of Suarez. Chase Elliott would then go onto pass the No. 19 for second position as the stage entered its final 15 laps. Harvick moved into the top five after pit stops as well.
With 11 laps to go, Elliott made the pass on Hamlin for the lead. Once Elliott took the top spot, he wasn't letting Hamlin get it back in the stage. The No. 9 driver would go on to win his second stage of the season. Also important to note, in a strategy play, Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones pit before the stage ended so they wouldn't have to come down between stages.
Stage 1 results:
- Chase Elliott (10 points plus 1 playoff point)
- Kevin Harvick (9 points)
- Denny Hamlin (8 points)
- Kyle Busch (7 points)
- Daniel Suarez (6 points)
- Clint Bowyer (5 points)
- Brad Keselowski (4 points)
- Kurt Busch (3 points)
- Alex Bowman (2 points)
- Ryan Blaney (1 points)
Stage 2: Harvick dominates ... again
Erik Jones led the field to green after staying out between stages and was immediately tasked with holding off Elliott and Harvick. The No. 4 eventually took second away from Elliott 11 laps into the stage with his sights set on last year's Rookie of the Year.
Fourteen laps into the stage and 64 laps into the race, Harvick completed his run up from the rear and took the lead from Jones. Once he claimed the top spot, Harvick began doing what we're so accustomed to watching him do: pull away from everyone else.
As Harvick led, Kurt Busch came in on a strategy call for four tires after taking only two between stages. However, it was Hamlin who really got green-flag stops going about 23 laps into the stage. It was perfect timing for Truex, who felt something fly off his car and was able to make quick repairs. Harvick come down a few laps later from the lead.
The first natural caution of the afternoon came courtesy of Corey LaJoie, who hit the wall hard in Turn 3. This was a break for six drivers: Suarez, McMurray, Blaney, Kasey Kahne, Menard and Brad Keselowski, who had yet to pit under green flag conditions and had the opportunity to come down during the yellow. Kurt Busch had to come down pit road twice during the yellow after reports of loose lugnuts.
Harvick and Elliott led the field to green on the restart, but it was Kyle Busch entering the fold, moving into second as the No. 4 led the first lap. Harvick then began doing his thing, building the lead with Busch in his rearview mirror. It was so long and goodbye for Harvick after that point, driving on to easily win the stage.
Jones, Truex, Hamlin, Almirola and Suarez pit before pit road closed knowing Harvick would win the stage, so that they would be able to restart from the front for the Final Stage.
Stage 2 results:
- Kevin Harvick (10 points, plus 1 playoff point)
- Chase Elliott (9 points)
- Clint Bowyer (8 points)
- Alex Bowman (7 points)
- Kyle Larson (6 points)
- Jimmie Johnson (5 points)
- Brad Keselowski (4 points)
- Jamie McMurray (3 points)
- Ryan Blaney (2 points)
- William Byron (1 point)
Final Stage: Kyle Busch gets it done
William Byron chose not to pit between stages and restarted from the lead ahead of the entire Joe Gibbs Racing lineup, fronted by Kyle Busch. While Byron was able to hold the No. 18 off for a few laps, Busch eventually moved into the top spot with less than 50 to go in the contest.
During the Final Stage, Keselowski was forced up the track by Larson and was worried about potentially cutting a tire. Unfortunately for the No. 2 team, Keselowski's worries came true and his car went spinning hard into the wall with less than 40 to go. Damage was irreparable and Keselowski had to bring his car to the garage.
It was a rough sequence for Stewart-Haas Racing, as Harvick and Almirola made contact on the way off of pit road. Both had to come back down for repairs while Bowyer was penalized for speeding. On the restart, there was fluid on the track, forcing NASCAR to throw the caution for cleanup.
Kyle Busch then restarted from the lead with Suarez and Elliott behind him. Joey Logano slowed in Turn 2 with damage, but was able to get his car down pit road for repairs without a caution.
Just as it appeared Busch would go on to win the race unchallenged, Bubba Wallace slammed the wall hard with seven to go, bringing out the caution. NASCAR had to display the red flag for track cleanup after as Wallace made his way to the infield care center.
Again it was Busch who restarted ahead of the field, but before he could take the white flag as the leader, Almirola went spinning to bring out yet another caution. This sent the race into NASCAR overtime.
Busch would not be denied in overtime however, overcoming a choppy restart to take the checkered flag over his teammate Suarez.
Miss any of the action? Check out our live blog for highlights, analysis and much more from Sunday's race.
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