Date: June 27, 2020
Event: Pocono Organics 325 (Round 14 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 130 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/52 laps/53 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/5th (Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (420 points, 114 behind leader)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):
● Kyle Busch started fourth and finished fifth, earning six bonus points.
● The M&M’S Minis driver started fourth, and moved up to second on the first lap. However, handling issues in turn three had Busch slip back to fourth by the time the competition yellow waved on Lap 12.
● Busch held onto fourth for the remaining 18 laps of the Stage to finish Stage 1 in the top-five.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-77):
● Busch started 26th and finished eighth, earning three bonus points.
● Busch came to pit road on lap 27 for tires, fuel and adjustments to get his M&M’S Minis Toyota freed up, especially in turn 3.
● With various pit strategies throughout the field, the defending Cup Series champion restarted 26th in Stage 2.
● Busch moved up from 26th to the top-15 in just three laps following the start of Stage 2 and moved up into the top 10 by lap 42.
● The Las Vegas native made his way back into the top-five in third-place on lap 45, as he kept gaining spots up through the field.
● Busch had made it up to second by lap 65 when the caution waved. Stevens called the M&M’S Minis Toyota to pit road on lap 66 for tires and fuel, as he restarted in 11th on lap 69 and finished Stage 2 in eighth-place.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 78-130):
● Busch started seventh and finished fifth.
● Busch started the final stage in seventh, but was not able to gains any spots, as he dropped to ninth by lap 87.
● Stevens called Busch to pit road on lap 91, changing just left sides tires and adding fuel, as the M&M’S Minis team also made an adjustment to help with grip, especially in turn 2.
● When the pit stops cycled out, Busch found himself in sixth, as he passed JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr. in the closing laps to secure a fifth-place finish.
● Busch now has seven top-fives and eight top-10s in the 14 races contested thus far in the 2020 NASCAR season.
● This marks Busch’s ninth top-five and 16 top-10 finish in 31 career starts at Pocono.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Minis Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“Our M&M’s Minis Toyota Camry was pretty decent. We had some speed and there were laps that I could run with the 11 (Denny Hamlin), but the 11 could just do it lap after lap after lap where I was pushing everything I had to keep up with him there. I just couldn’t do it. I would make the tires mad and would start to fall back. We were just a little tight all day. We really fought tight early on, but we made some really good adjustments and got it a lot closer and got it a lot better. Our strategy there worked out to get us in the top-five – that was about all we could ask for out of today. We got some really good ideas for tomorrow hopefully that will help us out and hopefully get us some speed so we can keep up with those front guys.”
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono is the Pocono 350 on Sunday, June 28. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!