LONG POND, Pa. — Kyle Busch won at Pocono Raceway on Sunday to move into a tie for ninth on the NASCAR Cup Series victory list.
Busch, who topped 200 career wins across all three national series earlier this season, won for the 55th time in Cup and matched Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace on the list.
“Pocono’s been a struggle but it’s a lot better now,” Busch said.
Busch had the dominant car down the stretch and won for the first time in nearly two months. Busch has spent most of the last few months complaining about NASCAR’s current rules package designed to increase side-by-side racing and manufacture competition.
When he was back in the pack, Busch had no trouble passing the leaders at Pocono.
“I passed one guy on the outside of Turn 3 and that was the only guy I needed to pass, I guess,” Busch said. “It was hard otherwise. We kind of got stuck in traffic back there a little bit earlier in the race. We were fifth or sixth and couldn’t really do anything.”
Busch took off on the final restart with nine laps left and cruised to the finish line for his 13th top-10 finish in 14 races this season. Busch and Martin Truex Jr. had been the class of the field this season but Truex was knocked out with an engine issue in the No. 19 Toyota. He had won three of the last five races. Kevin Harvick was nipping at a win until a botched pit stop and a cracked steering box took him out of contention.
Brad Keselowski was second and Erik Jones third.
It was another wildly successful day for Joe Gibbs Racing: Busch won, Jones was third and Denny Hamlin was sixth. Truex had a fast car and looked like a contender until his engine woes.
“I can’t say enough about everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Busch said.
Hamlin opened the season with a win in the Daytona 500 in memory of J.D Gibbs, Joe’s son who died earlier this year following a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease. JGR has been the class of NASCAR with a series-best nine wins and Gibbs was elected this month to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.