For the first time in 45 years, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers qualified on the same day as the race of the Overton’s 400 at the two and a half mile track of Pocono Raceway – also known as the tricky triangle.
By Dough4872 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59816419
On the track that has no turn four, Kyle Busch will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag. Pocono Raceway is one of only two racetracks where Kyle Busch has not won a Monster Energy Cup Series race.
The starting lineup for the Overton’s 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Derrike Cope – missed drivers meeting
Jeffrey Earnhardt – made unapproved adustments
The drivers have only two and a half hours between qualifying and race start.
Stages one and two of today’s race are 50 laps each with stage three lasting 60 laps for a total of 160 times around the track who has a front stretch long enough to land a plan.
Only one week after a big crash battling for the lead, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr will start side by side on the front row.
Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag with Kyle Busch getting out in front for the lead, but the officials have barely waved the flag before they throw the first caution flag of the day when Matt Kenseth spins out and causes a big crash. Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, Danica Ptarick, Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher, Paul Menard, and Michael McDowell are also involved. Due to crash damage Aric Almirola and Matt DiBenedetto out of the race. Chris Buescher is on the five minute clock.
Just a couple of weeks back after missing seven races due to a back injury, Aric Almirola reports that his back is fine after being examined and released from the infield care center.
Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eight and gets out in front for the lead of the race.
Lap eleven Kyle Busch holds on to his lead with Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr is reporting a possible electrical issue.
Jeffrey Earnhardt is off the track.
Lap 15 Kyle Busch has a lead of a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr.
Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson begin green flag pit stops on lap 18.
Chase Elliott stalls the car on pit road.
Lap 22, leader Kyle Busch comes down pit road for service.
Lap 24, Dale Earnhardt Jr is caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty. Junior reports that the lights indicating pit speed was all over the place.
Erik Jones also stalls his car leaving pit road.
Lap 29 Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Daniel Suarez, and Matt Kenseth are one, two, three; but none of the drivers have come down pit road yet.
Lap 37 Matt Kenseth leads the race with 29 cars on the lead lap.
Daniel Suarez’ team reports some excessive tire wear with some cording showing.
On lap 42 Kyle Busch passes Matt Kenseth for the lead of the race. Martin Truex Jr also passes Kenseth to take over second place. There are 26 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 45 Kyle Busch has a lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 46 Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Martin Treux Jr with 25 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 50 Kyle Busch wins stage one for his eighth of the season.
The top 10 after stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.
Denny Hamlin was caught speeding on pit road.
After coming down pit road just before pit road closed at the end of stage one, Matt Kenseth stays out on the track and will bring the field to green.
Michael McDowell is stopped on the track.
Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 56 with Matt Kenseth getting out in front as the drivers et spread out across the track. Kyle Busch challenges Matt Kenseth for the lead of the race.
From the outside lane, Kyle Busch passes Matt Kenseth for the lead of the race on lap 56.
Jimmie Johnson brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall after making contact with Kasey Kahne. Dale Earnhardt Jr is the “lucky dog”.
Some of the drivers near the back of the field come down pit road to top off fuel tanks. Kasey Kahne spends some extra time on pit road checking for any damage to the car after making contact with Jimmie Johnson.
Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 62 and jumps out in front for the lead despite Matt Kenseth getting a push from Martin Truex Jr. The drivers get three wide across the track.
Kevin Harvick passes Matt Kenseth for second.
Ryan Blaney makes an unscheduled stop on pit road for a smoking tire rub on lap 64.
Jamie McMurray is reporting smoke in the cockpit; saying that it smells like oil smoke and gets worse when he hits the brake.
Lap 69 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a one second lead on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 69 Kyle Larson brings out the caution flag after slowing on the track with a possible drive shaft issue. NASCAR also reported debris on the track.
Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.
Kyle Larson takes his car to the garage. Jamie McMurray comes down pit road so the team can assess the car issues.
After staying out on the track, Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 75 with Denny Hamlin getting out in front for the lead.
Kyle Larson is in the garage to replace the driver shaft and is expected to return to the track.
On the outside lane Kyle Busch passes to take the lead but gets loose and runs slideways and loses several spots on the track.
Denny Hamlin takes over the lead of the race.
Jamie McMurray’s team reports the issue was a loose oil cooler line.
Lap 78 Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Brad Keselowski.
On lap 82 Martin Truex Jr and Brad Keselowsi battle it out for second with Denny Hamlin continuing to lead the race.
Lap 83 Kyle Larson returns to the track 12 laps down.
Lap 87 Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 90 Martin Truex Jr challenges Denny Hamlin for the lead; Truex passes Hamlin to take over the lead of the race.
Lap 95 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Denny Hamlin.
On lap 97 leaders Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin come down pit road for service just before pit road closes on lap 98. Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr were also among the drivers who came down pit road for service.
Clint Bowyer becomes the new race leader.
Clint Bowyer wins stage two for his first stage win of the season.
By Raniel Diaz – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ranieldiaz/4537843801, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49739691
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Clint Bowyer wins the race off of pit road.
Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Trevor Bayne, and Michael McDowell were all caught speeding on pit road.
The top five on the track are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green start of stage three and takes over the lead of the race.
Lap 109 Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second and Kyle Busch in third.
Lap 112 Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch right behind.
With 44 laps remaining in the race, all of the drivers must make one more pit stop.
Lap 121 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a one second lead on Denny Hamlin.
Lap 124 Matt Kenseth begins the cycle of green flag pit stops.
Joey Logano was caught speeding on pit road. When he came down to service his pass through penalty, he locked the tires and had to make a stop for fresh tires and then come down once again to serve the penalty.
Lap 128 Kyle Busch is the new leader of the race.
Lap 136 Kyle Busch finally comes down pit road for service, handing the lead over to Brad Keselowski.
Lap 140 Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Kasey Kahne have yet to come down pit road.
Lap 142 green flag pit stops finally cycle through and Denny Hamlin takes over the lead of the race.
Lap 143 Kyle Busch passes Martin Truex Jr for third.
Lap 144 Kevin Harvick gets nose to nose with Denny Hamlin and takes over the lead with Kyle Busch right on their tails.
Lap 144 Kyle Busch passes Kevin Harvick to take over the lead of the race. Neither Harvick or Busch have won a race at Pocono.
After only three laps out front, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a two second lead on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 149 Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over three seconds on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 153, Kyle Busch’s lead is now over four seconds over Kevin Harvick.
Lap 153, Kyle Busch is driving away from the field with a lead of over four seconds.
Five laps remaining in the race and Kyle Busch is far out in front of the field. It has been over a year since Kyle Busch has won a Monster Energy Cup Series race – his longest winless streak of his career.
Kyle Busch takes the white flag with a lead of nearly six seconds.
Finally ending the win drought, Kyle Busch earns his first win at Pocono Raceway, becomes the 13th different driver to win a race in the 2017 racing season, and gets car manufacturer Toyota their 100th Monster Energy Cup Series win – Busch also got Toyota their first win back in 2008.
By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41404499
The unofficial results of the Overton’s 400:
Share with your friendsFollow Us
Martin Truex Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr