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.
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.
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.