Kyle Busch wins Cup race at Pocono in overtime

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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

Shane Lee to drive for new Xfinity team with Circuit City sponsorship

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Richard Childress Racing driver Shane Lee will compete for a new Xfinity Series team, H2 Motorsports, the team announced Thursday at Charlotte Motor speedway

Owned by 23-year-old entrepreneur and venture capitalist Matt Hurley, the team will be sponsored by Circuit City and will field Lee in the No. 28 Toyota with support from Toyota Racing Development. They’ll debut June 16 at Iowa Speedway with plans to compete for the rest of the season.

Circuit City, which is primarily an online store now, was notably a sponsor of Hut Stricklin from 1996-98 in the Cup Series.

“I grew up an avid race fan, my parents are from the Midwest and I’ve followed the sport very, very closely since I was a young kid,” Hurley said. “More recently felt like there was an opportunity to go into the sport and bring some of our invested brands back into the sport. I’ve really taken an interest in kind of trying to find a way in.

“We felt like now is the right time to enter the sport, to come in in a competitive way. … Felt like TRD was the right partner to help us do that in a competitive way.”

Lee, 25, competed in the Xfinity Series last year, making 13 starts in RCR’s No. 3 Chevrolet. His best result and only top five was a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Lee said. “I met Matt at a couple races last year. We actually became pretty good races and we weren’t really even working on a racing deal. Probably January or February we started talking about the race deal and wanting to get into racing. We sort of went from there and he got himself figured out and he really went down the line and hired some really good people.”

Lee will be paired with crew chief Pete Rondeau. Rondeau has 103 Cup races to his name, including as crew chief for Regan Smith’s 2011 Southern 500 win.

Rondeau also has one Xfinity Series win with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Bristol in 2004.

“I’ve had a history of accepting challenges,” Rondeau said. “As we did with Furniture Row team, we worked hard and … it ended up flourishing into a championship-caliber team. To me this is no different right here. We have a good core group and I’m happy to work with them. It’s going to be fun and a whole lot of work at the same time.”

Gallery: Coca-Cola 600 patriotic paint schemes

Photos by Daniel McFadin
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With Memorial Day weekend here, many NASCAR teams will be racing patriotic paint schemes in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s a look at the unique schemes that will compete in NASCAR’s longest race.

All photos by Daniel McFadin.

Landon Cassill – No. 00 Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski – No. 2 Ford

Ryan Newman – No. 6 Ford

Aric Almirola – No. 10 Ford

Ty Dillon – No. 13 Chevrolet

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – No. 17 Ford

William Byron – No. 24 Chevrolet

Corey LaJoie – No. 32 Ford

 

Michael McDowell – No. 34 Ford

Matt Tifft – No. 36 Ford

David Ragan – No. 36 Ford

Ryan Preece – No. 47 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson – No. 48 Chevrolet

Cody Ware – No. 51 Ford

Bayley Currey – No. 52 Ford

BJ McLeod – No. 53 Chevrolet

Alex Bowman – No. 88 Chevrolet

 

Kyle Larson wins Speed 51 Open kart race

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Kyle Larson kept his winning ways going Wednesday night when he won an Outlaw Kart race at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Four days after his win in the Monster Energy All-Star Race, Larson took the lead on Lap 2 of the 51-lap Speed 51 Open and led the rest of the way.

Larson held off Chase Majdic for the win, his second in the event.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver won despite losing his muffler in the middle of the race and having to replace his left side upper wing earlier in the night after a qualifying event.

Larson has a busy weekend ahead of him with World of Outlaws races at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday and Saturday night, the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, and the Word of Outlaws’ Memorial Day Classic at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana on Monday.

Coca-Cola 600 weekend schedule

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The longest race of the year arrives with Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Cup and Xfinity Series teams will be in action this weekend. Track activity starts today and is highlighted by Cup qualifying.

The wunderground.com forecast for Thursday calls for cloudy skies and a high 84 degrees.

Saturday’s forecast is for sunny skies and a high of 90 degrees. The early forecast for Sunday’s race is for sunny skies and a high of 92 degrees with a 0% chance of rain for the start of the race.

Here’s the full weekend schedule, with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Thursday, May 23

11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Cup garage open

1  – 9 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

2:35 – 3:25 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1 coverage begins at 3 p.m.)

4:05 – 4:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (FS1)

6:05 – 6:55 p.m – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

7:05 p.m. – Cup qualifying; single car/one lap (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Friday, May 24

No track activity

Saturday, May 25

6 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

8:35 – 9:25 a.m. – Cup practice (FS1)

9:35 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (FS1)

10:45 a.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

11:05 – 11:55 a.m. – Final Cup practice (FS1)

12:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

1 p.m. – Alsco 300; 200 laps/300 miles (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, May 26

12:30 p.m. – Cup garage opens

4 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

5:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

6 p.m. – Coca-Cola 600; 400 laps/600 miles (Fox, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)