MORE: Race Results
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“We’re back baby, we’re back!” Truex shouted on his radio after the race.
Truex had finished second in each of the past two races.
Truex, Harvick and Busch have combined to win 11 of the first 14 races this season. The trio ran at the front for much of the day and were 1-2-3 for periods of the event.
“It’s always fun to win but especially when you beat the best guys out there,” Truex told Fox Sports 1 of Busch and Harvick. “Honestly, we were all really equal. It was a matter of who could get out front. (Harvick) and I stayed out on tires. We felt like in practice we were really fast on scuffs. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) made a good call to stay out. Once we got clean air, this thing was a rocket ship.”
Truex and Harvick stayed out during a caution with 20 laps to go. Busch pitted, giving up the lead. Truex, who was second, moved into the lead. Truex and Harvick were among four drivers who stayed out. Three cars took two tires and Busch restarted eighth, the first car with four fresh tires.
“Once I got back there, I just couldn’t pass those guys,” Busch told FS1. “I was just stuck where I was at.”
Busch climbed to fourth before a caution for an incident between Denny Hamlin and Alex Bowman with 13 laps to go. On the ensuring restart, Erik Jones was hit and crashed on the frontstretch. NASCAR ruled that Busch had moved up to third before the caution came back out. That meant for what was the final restart Busch would be on the inside lane. The outside lane was the preferred lane. Busch could only manage to get by Harvick after the restart and never came close to making a run at Truex.
Stage 1 winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 2 winner: Kevin Harvick
How Truex won the race: He didn’t pit during a caution with 20 laps to go and moved into the lead. Truex held off the field on the final three restarts to earn the victory.
Who had a good race: Kyle Larson earned his third runner-up finish of the season. … Kyle Busch earned his ninth top-three finish of the year. … Brad Keselowski’s fifth-place finish marked his sixth consecutive top-five finish at Pocono. … Ryan Blaney’s sixth-place result was his second top-10 finish in the last seven races. … Jimmie Johnson’s eighth-place run is his fifth top-12 result in the last six races.
Who had a bad race: Denny Hamlin was involved in an incident with Alex Bowman late in the race and placed 35th, snapping a streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes. … Bubba Wallace blew an engine and finished last in the 38-car field.
Notable: Jimmie Johnson led his first lap of the season, taking the lead in the first stage during a cycle of green-flag pit stops.
Quote of the day: “There wasn’t a whole lot of conversation. Cole said stay out and I stayed out. I put a lot of faith in him and making those pit calls,” winner Martin Truex Jr. on the winning strategy to not pit with 20 laps to go.
Next: The series races at 2 p.m. ET on June 10 at Michigan International Speedway.