Kyle Busch ends winless streak with first Pocono victory

After a 36-race losing streak — the longest of his career — Kyle Busch picked up his first win career victory at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

Busch led 74 laps en route to his 39th career win in the Monster Energy Cup Series. He's now won at every track on the Cup tour except for Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

"I never thought this day was going to happen," Busch said in an interview on the track after his win. "I had such an awesome race car. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 18 team never gave up. They've been fighting all year along - we've all been fighting all year long. I just wasn't sure why or what was next.

"Obviously, this is a great day for us, a great day for all of our fans. I appreciate the fans here at Pocono - thanks for coming out. It's something I had to wait for, for a long, long time."

Busch held off Kevin Harvick at the line by 6.178-seconds to score Toyota's 100th Cup win.

“Finally, eh,” Busch told his crew after taking the checkered flag.

Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10. 

Truex regained the point for the final segment after pitting with three laps remaining in Stage 2. After the first five laps, Truex’s lead over Hamlin was 0.526-seconds. Kyle Busch moved around Harvick for third. Keselowski, Suarez, Kenseth, Bowyer, Earnhardt and Newman rounded out the top 10. 

With 40 laps to go, Truex extended his lead to 1.162-seconds over Hamlin. The top 10 drivers continued in the same order. Joey Logano ran 11th followed by Jones, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott (who restarted 24th after pitting before the stage), Danica Patrick, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Dillon, David Ragan and Michael McDowell.

Final round of pit stops

Green flag pit stops began with Kenseth on Lap 123 followed by Harvick, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch and Logano on the next circuit. The No. 22 was busted for speeding twice and was penalized with two drive-thru’s. Hamlin, Bowyer and Suarez followed on Lap 125. 

Kyle Busch regained the lead on Lap 126 when Martin Truex Jr. pitted. Ryan Newman also came in for service and Logano served a drive-thru penalty for speeding. Keselowski ran second followed by Jones, Elliott, Kahne, Patrick, Allmendinger, Ty Dillon, McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Busch pulled out to a five-second lead over Keselowski with 30 laps remaining. Truex cycled back up to 11th. 

Keselowski took the lead on Lap 135 after Kyle Busch pitted. Busch led 57 laps prior to service. Jones ran second followed by Elliott, Kahne, Hamlin, Harvick, Truex, Stenhouse and Bowyer. Busch cycled out to ninth. 

Keselowski held a 6.5-second lead with 21 laps to decide the race. Jones was second followed by Kahne, Hamlin, Harvick, Truex, Busch, Bowyer, Suarez and Kenseth. Kahne pitted on Lap 140 followed by Keselowski and then Jones. 

Battle for the win

Hamlin took the lead followed by Harvick, Kyle Busch, Truex, Bowyer, Suarez, Kenseth, Earnhardt and Kurt Busch. On Lap 144, Harvick passed Hamlin for the lead but Kyle Busch raced around the No. 4 Ford on the inside out of Turn 3 with 16 laps to go. 

Busch extended his lead by .721-seconds over Hamlin followed by Harvick, Truex, Bowyer, Suarez, Keselowski, Kenseth, Earnhardt and Jones.  On Lap 146, Harvick and Truex passed Hamlin, who dropped to fourth. With 10 laps remaining, Busch’s lead was four seconds over Harvick followed by Truex, Hamlin, Keselowski, Bowyer, Suarez, Kenseth, Jones and Elliott. 

The race was closed by five cautions. There were nine lead changes among 16 drivers. Sixteen cars remained on the lead lap.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 160 2:50'07 74
2 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 160 6.178 0
3 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 160 6.821 31
4 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 160 8.653 18
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 160 9.345 6
6 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 160 16.363 5
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 160 18.969
8 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 160 19.327 4
9 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 160 21.854 9
10 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 160 22.220
11 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 160 27.967
12 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 160 31.953
13 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 160 35.549
14 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 160 37.761
15 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 160 50.089
16 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 160 51.469 11
17 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
18 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
19 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 159 1 lap
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 159 1 lap 2
22 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 159 1 lap
23 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
24 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
25 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 159 1 lap
26 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
27 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 159 1 lap
28 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 159 1 lap
29 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 158 2 laps
30 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 158 2 laps
31 15 united_states Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 157 3 laps
32 83 Stephen Leicht  Toyota 153 7 laps
33 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 148 12 laps
34 55 united_states Derrike Cope  Toyota 85 75 laps
35 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 57 103 laps
36 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 24 136 laps
37 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 1 159 laps
38 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 0 160 laps

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Pocono II
Track Pocono Raceway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Race report