Pocono NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch finally gets first 2017 win

Kyle Busch took a long-awaited NASCAR Cup Series victory of at Pocono, pulling clear to secure his first win of the 2017 season and effectively secure his playoff place

Pocono NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch finally gets first 2017 win

Having won the first stage after taking pole position earlier in the day, Busch dropped down the top six when he had to catch a near spin.

Gambling on a caution towards the end of the race, he stopped later than the other frontrunners and on fresh rubber was able to carve his way past Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamlin, before barging his way past Kevin Harvick at Turn 3 with 16 laps to go.

With a significant grip advantage, Busch had the opportunity to stretch his legs and crossed the line over six seconds ahead of Harvick, taking his first win in 36 races and his first at Pocono Raceway.

Harvick crossed the line in second, having battled in the latter stages with Martin Truex Jr and Hamlin.

Truex was without two of his regular pit crew after they were suspended by Joe Gibbs Racing - which employs them on Furniture Row's behalf - following an altercation at Indianapolis, but was ultimately thrust out of contention after getting boxed in with traffic and losing out to Harvick.

Brad Keselowski - days after tying up a new Penske deal - finished behind Hamlin in fifth, seven seconds clear of sixth-place Clint Bowyer.

Bowyer was the winner of the second stage, inheriting the lead as then-leaders Truex and Hamlin pitted with three laps left of the stage to run.

Daniel Suarez was the highest-placed rookie, finishing seventh ahead of Erik Jones.

Matt Kenseth recovered from a spin on lap one to finish ninth, staying out long in the first stage to thrust himself back into contention for a good haul of points.

Kenseth spun at Turn 3 and brought out the race's first caution, collecting a number of cars and ending the races of Aric Almirola and Matt DiBenedetto.

Just under two months after getting his first Cup win in the last round at Pocono, and in the week he was announced as a Penske driver for 2018, Ryan Blaney had to settle for 30th due to two unscheduled pitstops to attend to bodywork rubbing on a tyre.

Reigning champion Jimmy Johnson retired early following contact with Hendrick Motorsports team-mate - and Indianapolis winner a week ago - Kasey Kahne, who survived to finish 11th.

RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160
3 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 160
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160
5 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 160
6 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160
7 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160
8 Erik Jones Furniture Row Racing Toyota 160
9 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160
10 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160
11 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160
13 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160
14 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160
15 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 160
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160
17 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 159
18 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 159
19 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 159
20 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 159
21 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 159
22 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 159
23 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 159
24 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 159
25 Corey LaJoie BK Racing Toyota 159
26 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 159
27 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 159
28 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 159
29 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 158
30 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 158
31 Gray Gaulding Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 157
32 Stephen Leicht BK Racing Toyota 153
33 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 148
34 Derrike Cope Premium Motorsports Toyota 85
35 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 57
36 Jeffrey Earnhardt Circle Sport / TMG Chevrolet 24
37 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 1
38 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 0

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Martin Truex Jr. 823
2 Kyle Larson 738
3 Kevin Harvick 726
4 Kyle Busch 723
5 Brad Keselowski 649
6 Denny Hamlin 649
7 Chase Elliott 616
8 Jamie McMurray 615
9 Matt Kenseth 594
10 Clint Bowyer 577
11 Jimmie Johnson 566
12 Ryan Blaney 529
13 Joey Logano 525
14 Kurt Busch 494
15 Ryan Newman 491
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 468
17 Daniel Suarez 464
18 Erik Jones 444
19 Kasey Kahne 414
20 Trevor Bayne 406
21 Austin Dillon 395
22 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 378
23 Paul Menard 363
24 Ty Dillon 360
25 Michael McDowell 326
26 Chris Buescher 320
27 A.J. Allmendinger 317
28 Danica Patrick 310
29 David Ragan 266
30 Matt DiBenedetto 233
31 Aric Almirola 226
32 Cole Whitt 226
33 Landon Cassill 226
34 Gray Gaulding 105
35 Reed Sorenson 91
36 Jeffrey Earnhardt 90
37 Michael Waltrip 29
38 Derrike Cope 29
39 Billy Johnson 15
40 Boris Said 8
41 Alon Day 5
42 Cody Ware 4
43 Kevin O'Connell 4
44 Tommy Regan 3
45 D.J. Kennington 2

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