Kyle Busch wins Cup race at Pocono in overtime

7 Comments

Kyle Busch held off Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman in an overtime finish to win Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Busch kept the lead on three restarts inside the final 35 laps in order to earn his sixth victory of the season and his second consecutive win in the Gander Outdoors 400.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 52 of the final 53 laps of the 164-lap race after passing William Byron. Busch started 28th after his No. 18 Toyota failed post-qualifying inspection on Saturday.

Busch tied Kevin Harvick for the most wins this season. Only twice before have two drivers had six wins through 21 races (1982 and 1974).

Harvick, who won Stage 2, finished fourth after he had to pit a second time under a caution in the final stage to repair damage from pit-road contact with teammate Aric Almirola.

On the overtime restart, Busch held off both Suarez and Erik Jones as they dove into Turn 1 three wide, before Busch cleared them.

“Suarez, I can’t say enough about my teammate,” Busch told NBCSN. “Suarez was the third best car and he gave us a run for our money the last couple of restarts. The last restart I spun my tires too much and he got a really good run and I think that gave Jones an opportunity to make it three-wide down into (Turn) 1. Those guys got to racing and it just kind of let me get away.”

The “Big 3” of Busch, Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have now won eight of the last 10 races.

The overtime finish was set up by an incident with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Almirola with two laps to go in the original 160-lap distance.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Elliott earned his second stage win of the year, a week after earning his first.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick claimed his 10th stage win of the season.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Suarez (second) and Bowman (third) each earned career-best finishes. Bowman’s result is his second career top five … Byron placed sixth for his career-best finish in 21 starts … Harvick earned his fifth straight top-four finish.

WHO HAD A BAD DAYCorey LaJoie placed 39th after crashing on Lap 83 … Brad Keselowski finished 38th after he lost a rear tire and hit the Turn 2 wall with 39 laps to go … Bubba Wallace walked away after a hard hit in Turn 1.

NOTABLE: With his 49th Cup win, Busch tied Tony Stewart for 13th on the all-time wins list … Busch’s six wins are his most since 2008 …Suarez led 29 laps from the pole position, a career-best for the second-year driver.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It hurts to be close,” Suarez told NBCSN.

WHAT’S NEXT: Cup race at Watkins Glen International at 2:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 5 on NBC

Penalty report from Bristol Motor Speedway

Leave a comment

NASCAR has issued three fines to Cup Series crew chiefs for unsecured lug nuts following Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief on Brad Keselowski‘s No. 2 Ford, Alan Gustafson, crew chief on Chase Elliott‘s No. 9 Chevrolet and Michael Bugarewicz, crew chief on Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford, have each been fined $10,000 for having one unsecured lug nut.

Those fines are in addition to the points penalties against Tyler Reddick‘s Xfinity Series team (10 driver and owner points) for failing pre-qualifying inspection four times.

NASCAR also indefinitely suspended Bayley Currey for violating its substance abuse policy.

Michael McDowell to honor Jimmy Means with Darlington scheme

Front Row Motorsports
Leave a comment

Front Row Motorsports is changing things up on its No. 34 Ford for the Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway next week (6 p.m. Sept 1 on NBCSN).

After three years of using the same retro Love’s Travel Stops paint scheme, the team will show up in Darlington next weekend with Dockside Logistics as Michael McDowell‘s primary sponsor. With that sponsor comes a tribute to long-time NASCAR owner and former driver Jimmy Means.

McDowell’s car will be made to look like the No. 52 Alka-Seltzer Pontiac Means owned and drove part-time from 1989-91 in the Cup Series.

One of Means’ cars, which was driven by Mike Wallace, is located in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car graveyard.

More: Retro Rundown of Southern 500 paint schemes

Front Row Motorsports was originally known as Means-Jenkins Motorsports, based on a partnership between Means and current FRM team owner Bob Jenkins. Their relationship began with Jenkins sponsoring Means at Bristol with his local Taco Bell franchise, which led Jenkins to a partial ownership of Means’ race team. The team was active for one year before Jenkins separated and founded Front Row Motorsports.

“Throwback weekend at Darlington is one of my favorites of the whole year,” McDowell said in a press release. “It’s fun to recreate some of the most well-known paint schemes throughout the history of our sport. Our owner, Bob Jenkins, has always admired Jimmy Means, and the Alka-Seltzer car is definitely a favorite of his. I’m really excited that we can honor their friendship with our No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford.”

Corey LaJoie to carry ‘Scooby Doo’ paint scheme at Martinsville

Go Fas Racing
Leave a comment

Rut-roh.

Popular cartoon character Scooby Doo will be featured as the theme on Corey LaJoie’s No. 32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang for the First Data 500 on Oct. 27 at Martinsville Speedway.

Long-time team sponsor Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.net will transform the team’s usual paint scheme to what it’s calling “the Mystery Machine” for the Martinsville race, which will be four days before Halloween.

“Scooby Doo was my favorite cartoon growing up, so when Tom and TJ (team co-sponsors Tom and TJ Keen) asked what I wanted to do for Martinsville, there was no doubt that I wanted to be driving the Mystery Machine,” LaJoie said in a media release. “They always have really cool themes behind their Halloween-weekend schemes and I’m excited to be part of this one and thankful for all that they do for our team.”

For last year’s fall race at Martinsville the team and sponsor combined for a purple and black Peanuts scheme that featured Snoopy and quickly became a much-talked about fan favorite.

“We are super excited to present this paint scheme to Corey to run at Martinsville,” said lTJ Keen. “This cartoon was his favorite as a kid and I bet it still is today. We cannot thank the team enough for letting us do these schemes and we hope you fans will enjoy it.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Richard Childress resigns from National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors

Getty Images
3 Comments

On Monday, Richard Childress submitted his resignation letter as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association and a handful of the organization’s committees, NBC Sports has confirmed.

The resignation came two days after the owner of Richard Childress Racing helped give the command to start engines  for the Cup Series night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was co-sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and the NRA.

“At this time, it is necessary for me to fully focus on my businesses,” Childress said in his letter. “I owe that to my employees, our partners, my family, and myself. Since proudly agreeing to serve on the NRA Board, I have supported the organization and its important mission to preserve and protect our Constitutional rights. But when, as now, I am no longer able to be fully engaged in any commitment I have made, it becomes time for me to step down. I have reached that point in my ability to continue to serve the NRA. As such, I must resign.”

According to the Washington Post, Childress is the sixth member of the Board of Directors to resign since May. The Board of Directors totals more than 70 members.

Childress was elected as the NRA’s second vice president in 2015 and had also served as the first vice president until he stepped down in April of this year.

Childress will retain his NRA membership moving forward.