KURT BUSCH – 2018 Pocono II Race Report

July 29th, 2018

Event:               Gander Outdoors 400 (Round 21 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format:             160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish:      7th/9th(Running, completed 164 of 164 laps)
Point Standing:  6th(677points, 214out of first) 

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner:Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner:Kevin Harvick or Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50): 

  • Kurt Buschstarted seventh and finished eighth, earning three bonus points.
  • The Haas Automation driver said the car was loose in and tight off on lap 14. He was running seventh.
  • Busch pitted on lap 34 for four tires and fuel. He was leading when he pitted and came out 12th.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100): 

  • Started third and finished 12th.
  • On lap 54 Busch pitted and took right-side tires and fuel.
  • The No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion pitted on lap 67 for four tires and fuel.
  • Busch pitted on lap 84 for four scuffed tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He said the car was just too tight.
  • The car returned to pit road on lap 86, as there was an issue on the previous stop with the front air gun. The team used a different air gun to make sure the lugnuts were tight, and Busch restarted 24th. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160): 

  • Started 24thand finished ninth.
  • Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
  • On lap 112 a left-front tire was cut, which forced Busch to pit road for four tires and fuel. He came out in 31stplace, one lap down.
  • Busch pitted on lap 128 for four tires, fuel and some minor damage repair. He restarted in 30th.
  • Busch worked is way up into the top-10 by lap 155 and finished ninth. 

Notes:

  • Busch finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points.
  • Busch led once for 11 laps to increase his laps-led total at Pocono to 549.
  • This was Busch’s 12thtop-10 of 2018 and his 20thtop-10 in 35 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono.
  • Kyle Busch won the Gander Outdoors 400 in overtime to score his 49thcareer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his second at Pocono. His margin of victory over second-place Daniel Suarez was 1.788 seconds.
  • There were seven caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
  • Twenty-eight of the 40 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“We have nothing much to show for the effort, but we do have a lot to show for it at the same time by going through all that adversity. I didn’t think we would get a top-10 out of today with the damage on the splitter. The left-front tire was weird. It blew out halfway down the front straightaway, and I was able to keep it off the wall and keep most of the damage to a minimum. The guys were able to fix me up, and we just kind of battled through and took advantage of other people’s mistakes. Thanks to Haas Automation, Monster Energy and Ford.” 

Next Up: 

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Go Bowling at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 5 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC. Pre-race coverage begins at 1 p.m. on NBCSN.