First Time Winner in Monster Cup at Pocono

They call it the Tricky Triangle! It’s the only racetrack on the NASCAR circuit that doesn’t have a turn four. The two and a half mile track has three different straightaways and three different corners providing drivers with a big challenge on every lap.

1200px-Defense.gov_photo_essay_070806-F-0193C-009By Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen – This Image was released by the United States Air Force with the ID 070806-F-0193C-009 http://www.defense.gov/photoessays/photoessayss.aspx?id=397, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21473662

After some engine issues during practice that required an engine and transmission change, Dale Earnhardt Jr will have to start the race from the back of the field.

A first in quite some time, all of the drivers passed inspection prior to the track opening for qualifying laps.

Making his debut as a Monster Energy Cup Series driver, Darrell Wallace Jr has been named the interim driver of the number 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car until Aric Almirola’s injuries have healed and he is able to return to the car.

Kyle Busch wins the pole and will bring the field down for the green flag start of the race.

The starting lineup for the Pocono 400:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr – moved to the back of the field for an engine change
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Blaney
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Jamie McMurray
Joey Logano
Ryan Newman
Michael McDowell
Kevin Harvick
Paul Menard
Danield Suarez
Erik Jones
Darrell Wallace Jr
Austin Dillon
Denny Hamlin
Jimmie Johnson
Clint Bowyer
AJ Allmendinger
Trevor Bayne
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Danica Patrick
Chase Elliott
Kasey Kahne
Ty Dillon
Dale Earnhardt Jr – moved to the back of the field for an engine change
Chris Buescher
Matt DiBenedetto
David Ragan
Cole Whitt
Gray Gaulding
Landon Cassill
Corey JaJoie
Reed Sorenson
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Cody Ware
Derrike Cope

Stages one and two of the race will last for 50 laps with stage three lasting 60 laps.

Choosing the outside lane, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front of the field as the drivers get four and five wide behind him.

Lap two and leader Kyle Busch has already jumped out to a half second lead on Ryan Blaney.

It’s a bit on the windy side at Pocono and there is a good bit of paper flying around.

Lap five Kyle Busch has pulled out to a one second lead on Ryan Blaney

Joey Logano makes an unscheduled trip down pit road, reporting a vibration. The team is changing all four tires. FOX Sports video shows the left rear tire is shredded.

Lap eight, Kyle Busch’s lead is up to a second and a half.

With the smaller spoiler and less down force, the drivers are topping speeds of 200mph.

Lap 12, Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over two secods on Ryan Blaney.

Erik Jones is reporting a vibration.

Ryan Blaney brings his car down pit road

Lap 13 Kyle Busch is running away with it, he has a lead of over four seconds on second place driver Brad Keselowski.

Drivers are beginning to make green flag pit stops.

Lap 14 that lead is now over six secnds for Kyle Busch ahead of older brother Kurt Busch. Derrike Cope is the only driver a lap down.

Lap 16 Kyle Busch brings his M&M’s number 18 down pit road for service and giving up the lead to brother Kurt.

Kyle Larson is leading the race as green flag pit stops continue.

Ryan Blaney makes a second trip down pit road with a loose tire.

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road.

Erik Jones is leading the race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr reports a soft brake pedal.

Darrell Wallace Jr was caught speeding on pit road.

On lap 22 Erik Jones has a 13 second lead on second place driver driver Danica Patrick.

Darrell Wallace Jr is again caught speeding on pit road when he comes down to make his pass through penalty. The next penalty will be a stop and go.

Lap 26 Erik Jones still has not come down pit road and holds a 13 second lead over Kyle Busch. There are 28 cars on the lead lap.

Once Erik Jones makes his pit stop, Kyle Busch will once again take over the lead of the race.

Kevin Harvick is reporting possible brake issues with overheating.

Lap 29 Kyle Busch has closed Erik Jones’ lead to 10 seconds.

Lap 34 Erik Jones has only a six second lead on Kyle Busch. Erik Jones comes down pit road for service, giving Kyle Busch the lead of the race. Busch has a near six second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 37 Kyle Busch’s lead is down to less than five seconds over Kevin Harvick.

Jamie McMurray is also reporting possible brake issues.

Lap 42 Kevin Harvick has cut into Kyle Busch’s lead, Busch has a four second lead on Harvick. Third place driver Brad Keselowski is 10 seconds behind Busch.

Lap 44 Kyle Busch’s lead is down to three seconds on Kevin Harvick. There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 38 Kevin Harvick has cut Kyle Busch’s lead to just over two seconds.

Kyle Busch wins stage one for the fourth time this season.

718px-TSM_-_Kyle_Busch_-_2015_-_Stierch_-_08By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41336076

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Jimmie Johnson
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray
Austin Dillon

After changing only two tires, Erik Jones wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Ricky Stenhouse Jr will bring the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 57. With fresher tires, Erik Jones challenges Stenhouse for the lead and takes over the lead of the race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr brings his car down pit road. He is having more engine and transmission issues and takes his car to the garage. Jr reports that the car keeps going to second gear.

Clint Bowyer has a smoking car with a possible flat tire

Lap 60 Kyle Busch takes over the lead of the race with Kyle Larson ins second.

Lap 65 Kyle Busch has a one second lead on Kyle Larson. Drivers who made early green flag pit stops are beginning to come down for service.

Lap 70 Kyle Busch has a six second lead on Erik Jones as green flags pit stops continue to recycle through.

Lap 76 Kyle Busch has pulled out to an eight second lead over Erik Jones. Third place driver Denny Hamlin is over 15 seconds behind.

Ryan Blaney is reporting radio issues, he can hear the team, but they can’t hear him.

Lap 80 Kyle Busch has a nine second lead on Erik Jones with 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 85 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over eleven seconds on Erik Jones. There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Erik Jones has come down pit road for sevice; Kyle Busch now has an over 20 second lead on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 90 Kyle Busch finally brings his car down pit road for service, handing over the lead ot Deny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin comes down pit road for service and handing over the lead to Daniel Suarez who is gets passed by Kyle Larson for the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 96 when Jimmie Johnson has brake issues and slams the was. Jamie McMurray also has a brake issue and crashes with his right front on fire. McMurray quickly exits the car safely. McMurray’s car becomes engulfed in flames.

Jimmie John is sitting on the track against the wall trying to catch his breath. Johnson reported on the radio, “I got away with one there.”

NASCAR has red flagged the race while they get the track cleaned up and the cars off of the track.

Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson have both been to the infield care center and released. Both drivers report that they are fine.

After a 23 minute red flag delay, NASCAR pulls the red flag and puts out the caution flag with three laps remaining in the stage.

The “lucky dog” Clint Bowyer was coming around to get his lap back and was bumped into the wall.

Pit road was closed but eight drivers came down pit road. The penalty for coming down pit road when it is closed is restarting at the end of the longest line.

In a one lap shootout to end stage two Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag and holds on to the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Kyle Larson wins stage two.

Kyle_Larson_at_the_Daytona_500By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38678934

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Bread Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road, but eleven drivers did not come down pit road.

Kyle Busch will bring the field down for the green flag start of stage three.

There is concern in Kevin Harvick’s pit that he may have an engine issue.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 106 and pulls out in front of the field.

Darrell Wallace Jr was caught again speeding on pit road.

Lap 108 Kyle Busch has a one second lead on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 110 Kyle Busch is pulling away from the field with a near second and a half lead over second place driver Ryan Blaney.

Lap 112 Kyle Busch’s lead is now over two seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 114 Kyle Busch now has a lead of over three seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 117 Kyle Busch continues to pull away with a lead of over four seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 120 Kyle Busch continues to dominate the race with a lead of over four seconds on Ryan Blaney. There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 123 Erik Jones is the first driver to begin the cycle of green flag pit stops.

Lap 124 as green flag pit stops continue, Kyle Busch’s lead is seven seconds.

Lap 125 Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for service. Martin Truex Jr takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 128 Martin Truex Jr comes down pit road for service handing over the lead of the race to Brad Keselowski.

AJ Allmendinger was charged with having an uncontrolled tire while on pit road.

Lap 131 Brad Keselowski has a lead of over 13 seconds on Ty Dillon.

Lap 136 Brad Keselowski’s lead is down to less than eleven seconds on second place driver Kyle Busch.

Lap 139 Brad Keselowski is the only driver who has not made a green flag pit stop. Kyle Busch has cut the lead to less than 10 seconds.

Lap 140 Brad Keselowski finally brings his car down pit road for service. Kyle Busch resumes the lead of the race and had a lead of over seven seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 141 Kasey Kahne brings out the caution flag when he hits the wall with what he reports is a brake issue.

When pit road opens, Kyle Busch stays out on the track.

Taking two tires, Erik Jones wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race with just 13 laps remaining in the race and gets a jump on the field for the lead.

NASCAR is reviewing the restart.

NASCAR has determined that the restart was good.

With eleven laps to go Kyle Busch has a lead of only half a second on Ryan Blaney.

Ten to go and Ryan Blaney is challenging Kyle Busch for the lead of the race. Kevin Harvick is right behind them.

Ryan Blaney passes Kyle Busch for the lead with nine laps remaining in the race.

Eight to go and Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch is in fourth place.

Six to go and Kevin Harvick has puled to within three tenths of a second on Ryan Blaney.

Kyle Busch is falling back in the field with his older tires.

Four to go and Ryan Blaney’s lead is down to just over a tenth of a second.

Three to go and Ryan Blaney holds on to a narrow lead over Kevin Harvick.

Two to go and Ryan Blaney holds on to his lead with Kevin Harvick on his bumper.

Ryan Blaney takes the white flag!

With his first career Monster Energy Cup Series win, Ryan Blaney takes the checkered flag. Blaney is the tenth different driver to win in 2017. Many of his fellow drivers are congratulating him by bumping into his car on the track. Massive congratulations on pit road.

Ryan_Blaney_Road_America_2015(3)By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42901129

Ryan Blaney ran the entire race without being able to communicate with his team on the radio – he could hear them, but they could not hear him.

Reed Sorenson’s car caught on fire on pit road.

The unofficial results of the Pocono 400:
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Matt Kenseth
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Denny Hamlin
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
Daniel Suarez
Danica Patrick
Clint Bowyer
Ty Dillon
Chris Buescher
Paul Menard
Trevor Bayne
AJ Allmendinger
Joey Logano
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Darrell Wallace Jr
Landon Cassill
Corey LaJoie
Gray Gaulding
Cole Whitt
Reed Sorenson
Matt DiBenedetto
Derrike Cope
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Kasey Kahne
Jimmie Johnson
Jamie McMurray
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Cody Ware


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