Matt Kenseth wins fuel mileage battle in Windows 10 400 at Pocono, Kyle Busch finishes 21st


Matt Kenseth won twice in Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway.

He not only won the race, he also won a high-stakes fuel battle that cost Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and others a chance at victory when they ran out of fuel in the closing laps.

WATCH: Full replay of Windows 10 400

Kenseth’s second win of the season and 33rd career Sprint Cup win ended Busch’s streak of three straight wins and four victories in the previous five races.

Pole-sitter Busch finished 21st and is only 13 points out of the top-30, which would make him eligible to make the Chase For the Sprint Cup.

“I didn’t know we were that close (to running out),” Busch told NBCSN. “… Man, that’s a bummer. I wish I would have saved a little more on the last run.”

Brad Keselowski finished second, while Jeff Gordon was third. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won both Pocono races last year, finished fourth, and Greg Biffle was fifth.

Joey Logano led a race-high 97 laps, including the halfway mark, but ran out of fuel with three laps to go. Martin Truex Jr., who won at Pocono in June, ran out of fuel with two laps to go and finished 19th.

MORE: Results, stats for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono

MORE: Kyle Busch still outside the top 30 in Sprint Cup points standings after Pocono disappointment

How Kenseth won: Kenseth passed an out-of-fuel Busch on the final lap and even had enough gas in his own tank to do a celebratory burnout and victory lap in his first career win at the “Tricky Triangle.” “It feels good to get one today,” said Kenseth, who led just two laps in the race. “There’s nothing like wins.”

Who else had a good race: Jeff Gordon battled back to finish third in his final Sprint Cup start at Pocono, where he remains the winningest Cup driver in track history (six wins). It ties Gordon’s best finish of 2015. … Even though he also ran out of fuel on the final lap, Brad Keselowski still managed to finish second, salvaging the day for Team Penske after teammate Joey Logano ran out of fuel with three laps to go. … Clint Bowyer finished eighth, his second straight top-10 finish. Doing so pushed Bowyer up to 14th, giving him a bit more breathing room in his bid to qualify for the Chase.

Who had a bad race: Points leader Kevin Harvick’s day ended on Lap 20 when the engine in his car expired, leaving him with a season-worst 42nd-place finish. … On Lap 4, Kasey Kahne lost control of his car coming out of Turn 3 and slammed into the pit road wall. It was almost identical to Jeb Burton’s wreck during Saturday’s final Sprint Cup practice. Kahne finished 43rd and dropped from 14th to 15th in the point standings with five races remaining to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. … Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 41st after slamming into the rear of Sam Hornish Jr.’s car on Lap 29. … Hornish finished 39th after being involved in another wreck, this time with Kurt Busch, on Lap 66.

Notables: Ryan Newman was forced to start at the back of the field because his team found an issue with a rear-end gear. He finished 23rd. … Biffle’s fifth-place finish was only his second top-five showing this season. … Tony Stewart finished ninth, his second-best finish of the season. … After seven cautions in the first 73 laps, there was just one caution in the second half of the race. … There were no issues in postrace inspection. NASCAR took the cars of Kenseth, Keselowski, Gordon and A.J. Allmendinger back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C., as is routine after every race.

Quote of the day: “I never thought I’d ever win at Pocono and I never thought I’d win a fuel mileage race, so we did both today.” – Race winner Matt Kenseth.

What’s next: Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, Aug. 9 at 2 pm ET.

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NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600


The severe penalty to Chase Briscoe and his Stewart-Haas Racing team Wednesday for a counterfeit part dropped Briscoe from 17th to 31st in the season standings. Briscoe now must win a race to have a chance at the playoffs.

The penalty came a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for his retaliation in wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is 28th in the points. The 2020 Cup champion also needs to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Ten drivers have won races, including Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney. That leaves six playoff spots to be determined by points at this time. With 12 races left in the regular season, including unpredictable superspeedway races at Atlanta (July 9) and Daytona (Aug. 26), the playoff standings will change during the summer.

Among those without a win this season are points leader Ross Chastain and former champions Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Elliott.

Here’s a look at the Cup playoff standings heading into Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Drivers in yellow have won a race and are in a playoff position. Those below the red line after 16th place are outside a playoff spot in the graphic below.

NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction


NASCAR fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him six races, along with penalizing Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team 120 points and 25 playoff points each for a counterfeit part on the car.

The issue was a counterfeit engine NACA duct, said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, on Wednesday. That is a single-source part.

MORE: Updated Cup playoff standings

The team stated that it accepts the L3 penalty.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” said Greg Zipadelli in a statement from the team. “We accept NASCAR’s decision and will not appeal.”

Asked how then piece could have aided performance, Sawyer said Wednesday: “Knowing the race team mentality, they don’t do things that would not be a benefit to them in some way, shape or form from a performance advantage.”

The penalty drops Briscoe from 17th in the season standings to 31st in the standings. Briscoe goes from having 292 points to having 172 points. He’ll have to win to make the playoffs. Briscoe has no playoff points at this time, so the penalty puts him at -25 playoff points should he make it.

Briscoe’s car was one of two taken to the R&D Center after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 for additional tear down by series officials.

The penalty comes a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.