|Kyle Busch stops for his checkered flag at Pocono, Aug. 1, 2015.|
Credit: Beth Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs
Crew chief Jerry Baxter said the truck went a lap farther than they’d calculated and he credited Busch with saving enough gas at the end to get it done.
“I made sure under yellows to just save as much as I could and keep shutting it off. That’s the best opportunity you have,” Busch said. “You know, these things are gas guzzlers. They only get five miles to the gallon if you’re lucky.”
Busch even employed a slightly unconventional fuel-saving method.
“It may sound crazy, but I think we’re going 70 miles an hour and I was drafting off the pace truck, too, as much as I could. So, that may have saved a little bit.”
This victory makes it the 10th season in his career Busch has won at least one race in each of NASCAR’s three top-tier series.
Overall, the Pocono Mountains 150 started with a boom and ended with a bing-bing-bang.
First, the boom. Only six laps into the race, Kevin Harvick, who was filling in for Cole Custer, who at 17 is too young to run on the 2.5 mile Pocono track, swooped past under NCWTS points leader Matt Crafton. As a result, Crafton seemed to move up, tangling with Brad Keselowski up against the outside wall of Turn 3. Keselowski’s No. 29 truck was done for the day and finished 30th.
Crafton's immediate reaction was to assume that because Keselowski owns the No. 19 team battling Crafton for the championship, that Keselowski wrecked the No. 88 ThorSport entry on purpose.
"The idiot hooked me in the right rear. I mean that’s all there was to it getting into Turn 3," complained Crafton after exiting his truck. "But, I guess maybe that’s what he wants to win a championship for that 19 truck, but he’s got another think coming. I promise you that truck won’t win it. If that’s the way he wants to do it we’ll get it done."
Keselowski denied any malice, saying that he had no intent to wreck anyone's truck, much less to win a championship.
"The last thing I want to do is wreck the points leader, or any one of these guys," explained Keselowski. "I want our team to run up front and earn it."
Crafton’s team worked on his truck and got him back out, 43 laps down, in attempts to make up a spot in the points standings. He ended the day in 28th position.
The bing-bing-bang of three quick cautions started on Lap 56 and resulted in three green-and-white checkered attempts. First was an accident involving Ray Black Jr. and Wendell Chavous, with the latter smacking the wall hard in Turn 3. Next, hard racing between polesitter Erik Jones and Austin Dillon ending in Jones spinning. Then Mason Mingus and John Wes Townley got into each other, bringing out the last G-W-C, and fortunately for fans, the last caution.
Kevin Harvick finished second, with Tyler Reddick bringing home third and jumping to the top of the series standings, 11 points ahead of Matt Crafton. Rookie Cameron Hayley and last year’s winner Austin Dillon finished 4th and 5th, respectively.
Complete unofficial finishing order:
|13||8||John Hunter Nemechek|
|17||5||John Wes Townley|
|24||7||Ray Black, Jr.|
|26||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb|