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Kyle Busch wins Pocono Xfinity race, but fails post-race inspection

Kyle Busch finally picked up his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season.

Kyle Busch wins Pocono Xfinity race, but fails post-race inspection
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Comcast Salute to Service Juniper
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Comcast Salute to Service Juniper
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Comcast Salute to Service Juniper
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Comcast Salute to Service Juniper

Busch, who got sent to the rear of the field at the end of Stage 1 because of a speeding penalty, rallied to win Saturday’s Pocono Green 250, picking up his first series win at Pocono Raceway.

The win was Busch’s first of the 2018 season in his fourth start and 92nd of his career. 

However, Busch's car later failed post-race inspection after failing the heights. That will likely result in an L1 penalty, but he will keep the victory.

“As good as our car was, I tried to screw it up early again this week,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “My guys are amazing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Everybody at the Xfinity shop – you guys are amazing.

“The car was on rails this week. It was last week, too, but we were able to overcome our deficit we had this weekend and get back to the front. Winning here at Pocono feels really, really good.”

Asked about his battle back through the field after his pit road speeding penalty, Busch said, “You are always kind of worried of something crazy or unpredictable happening. We just had to bide our time and be patient for a little bit.”

Chase Elliott ended up second, 2.8 seconds behind Busch. Daniel Hemric was third, Austin Cindric was fourth and pole-winner Cole Custer completed the top-five.

The race was the first at Pocono to use a new aero package that features front air ducts, restrictor-plates, larger rear spoilers and splitters from the 2014 season.

Busch finally made his way back into the lead with 40 of 100 laps left in the race, just before a caution involving Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier.

“There was nothing I could have done there with Justin. We were just victims of Pocono restarts,” Bell said. “It just got really hairy. It was exciting. That’s why sometimes we love it and sometimes we hate it.”

With 30 laps left, Busch held more than a second lead over Custer.

With 13 laps to go, Hemric got around Custer and moved into the runner-up position behind Busch. Elliott got around Hemric the second spot with a lap to go.

Stage 2

With the help of a push from his teammate Cindric, Paul Menard passed Custer in Turn 3 on the last lap to take the Stage 2 victory.

Allgaier ended up third, Cindric fourth and John Hunter Nemechek completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, most of lead-lap cars elected to pit but Custer – who pit at the end of Stage 1 – stayed out and took over the lead when Stage 2 went to green on Lap 30.

Busch and Bell were both penalized for speeding on pit road during the stops and Reed had a crew member over the wall too soon, so all three had to restart from the rear of the field.

“Things are going to get awfully ugly here in a second,” Busch said during the break after the penalty.

Michael Annett spun off Turn 1 to bring out a caution on the restart. On the restart on Lap 35, Custer led on the restart followed by Elliott Sadler and Elliott.

Allgaier moved into the runner-up position shortly after the restart.

On Lap 39, Busch had made his way back into the Top 10 and Bell was up to 12th.

With five laps left in Stage 2, Custer maintained a small lead followed by Allgaier and Menard. Busch had made his way up to sixth.

Several teams elected to pit near the end of the stage so as they could stay out at the start of the final stage. Among them were Jones, Hemric, Bell and Michael Annett.

Stage 1

Busch dominated the competition on his way to lopsided Stage 1 victory over Bell.

Cindric finished third, Sadler fourth and Brandon Jones completed the top-five.

Custer, the pole-winner, took an early advantage in the race as Busch quickly moved into the runner-up position.

On Lap 3, Busch made his way around Custer for the lead as Jones moved into second.

With 10 to go in the first stage, Busch had built up a five-second lead over Bell, followed by Cindric, Custer and Sadler.

Custer elected to make a green-flag pit stop with two laps remaining in the stage, which should allow him to complete Stage 2 without having to stop again.

Alex Labbe had to start the race from the rear of the field for making unapproved adjustments after qualifying.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 100   64
2 23 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 100 2.852  
3 21 united_states Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 100 3.283  
4 12 united_states Austin Cindric  Ford 100 5.756 1
5 00 united_states Cole Custer  Ford 100 10.691 23
6 1 united_states Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet 100 11.044  
7 42 united_states John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 100 11.822 4
8 22 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 100 11.935 3
9 9 united_states Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 100 18.040  
10 11 united_states Ryan Truex  Chevrolet 100 20.267  
11 4 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 100 24.587  
12 3 united_states Shane Lee  Chevrolet 100 32.185  
13 16 united_states Ryan Reed  Ford 100 34.935  
14 2 united_states Matt Tifft  Chevrolet 100 35.833  
15 51 united_states Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 100 37.434  
16 61 united_states Kaz Grala    100 40.604  
17 39 united_states Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 100 45.850  
18 36 canada Alex Labbé  Chevrolet 100 52.558  
19 35 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 100 57.592  
20 52 united_states David Starr  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
21 90 united_states Josh Williams  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
22 78 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
23 28 united_states Dylan Lupton  Ford 99 1 lap  
24 19 united_states Brandon Jones  Toyota 99 1 lap 5
25 8 united_states Tommy Joe Martins  Chevrolet 99 1 lap  
26 0 united_states Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 98 2 laps  
27 15 united_states Matt Mills  Chevrolet 98 2 laps  
28 76 united_states Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 97 3 laps  
29 45 united_states Josh Bilicki  Toyota 96 4 laps  
30 40 united_states Chad Finchum  Toyota 96 4 laps  
31 01 united_states Vinnie Miller  Chevrolet 96 4 laps  
32 55 united_states Brandon Hightower  Toyota 95 5 laps  
33 74 united_states Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 93 7 laps  
34 38 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 68 32 laps  
35 5 united_states Michael Annett  Chevrolet 66 34 laps  
36 20 united_states Christopher Bell  Toyota 61 39 laps  
37 7 united_states Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 60 40 laps  
38 60 united_states Chase Briscoe  Ford 57 43 laps  
39 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Dodge 10 90 laps  
40 93 united_states Jeff Green  Chevrolet 4 96 laps


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About this article

Event Pocono
Location Pocono Raceway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Jim Utter