Axalta presents the Pocono 400

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Daniel Suarez crew chief fined for unsecured lug nut at Pocono

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NASCAR has fined Daniel Suarez‘ crew chief, Scott Graves, $10,000 for having one unsecured lug nut on the No. 19 following the Pocono 400.

It is the only Cup penalty issued following the race at Pocono Raceway.

A fine was also issued to the interim crew chief on the No. 29 team in the Camping World Truck Series.

Buddy Sisco was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut on Chase Biscoe’s truck following the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sisco received the fine after his first of four races as the interim crew chief on the No. 29 truck owned by Brad Keselowski Racing. Sisco is substituting for Mike Hillman Jr. who was suspended along with two pit crew members after the left front wheel on Briscoe’s truck rolled off during the Truck race at Dover.

 

NASCAR America: Scan All from the Pocono 400

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You won’t hear much from Ryan Blaney in this week’s edition of “Scan All.”

Though the 23-year-old driver won the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway, the radio in his No. 21 Ford failed in the middle of the race. That forced him to communicate with his team via hand signals until he took the checkered flag.

Here’s a sampling of what you will hear in “Scan All.”

  • “Sorry, I hate these digital dashboards. I’m used to the analogue ones.” –  Darrell Wallace Jr. apologizing for his first of three speeding penalties in his Cup debut.
  • Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt foreshadowing the day’s outbreak of brake failures.
  • “When I hit the brakes, my pedal went to the floor. I got away with one there.” – Jimmie Johnson, who was unhurt after his hard crash near the end of Stage 2.
  • Kyle Busch and interim crew chief Ben Beshore communicating pit strategy via Toyota car models “Camry” and “Highlander.”
  • “Forget it.” – Kyle Busch after he lost the lead to Ryan Blaney with 10 laps to go. He proceeded to drop through the field, finishing ninth.
  • “I know you can’t talk, bud, but I’m so proud of you today.” – Crew chief Jeremy Bullins after Ryan Blaney won the Pocono 400.

Watch the video for more scanner highlights from the Pocono 400.

NASCAR America: Winless streak continues for Kyle Busch after pit strategy backfires

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It’s been a long time – 30 races in fact – since Kyle Busch won a NASCAR Cup race.

That streak continued Sunday when Busch stayed out during the final caution period, putting him on older tired for the final 13 laps.

It resulted in Busch unsuccessfully fending off Ryan Blaney and being passed for the lead with 10 laps to go in the Pocono 400.

NASCAR America analyst Slugger Labbe gave his thoughts on the strategy which he believes was likely decided on by Adam Stevens, who was serving the first of a four-race suspension while Ben Beshore sat on the pit box.

“With technology the way it is I’m sure Adam was in connection with the race team,” Labbe said. “It might have been a different call if he was on the pit box using the TV monitors from end of pit road to make a better decision. … (Busch) was a sitting duck. If the 18 had pitted, (Martin Truex Jr.) probably would have stayed out. They were in a no-win situation.”

Watch the above video for the full discussion about the No. 18 team’s pit strategy its recent setbacks.

 

Ryan Blaney: ‘I would be nothing if it wasn’t for’ Brad Keselowski

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The first person to talk to Ryan Blaney after winning his first NASCAR Cup Series race was Brad Keselowski, who conducted the Victory Lane Interview for Fox Sports 1.

Keselowksi was returning the favor after Blaney did the same on Saturday, interviewing Keselowski following his win the Xfinity Series race.

The moment had a deeper meaning for the two drivers.

While Keselowski and Blaney are teammates in the Xfinity Series with Team Penske, Keselowski is also Blaney’s former owner in the Camping World Truck Series.

Blaney made 58 starts for Brad Keselowski Racing from 2012-2015 and won four times.

“It was awesome to see him basically just take the microphone from Jaime Little,” Blaney said. “That was cool to see his support.

“I wouldn’t be here without Brad, to be honest with you. He’s the one that gave me my start in 2012. I started driving his trucks then and it led to the Penske deal, led to the Wood Brothers deal. I would be nothing if it wasn’t for him taking a chance on me. He’s been a huge person I’ve looked up to. For him to do that really, really makes me feel good. It’s really cool to see his support still. He’s a great person.”

Keselowski’s victory lane interaction with Blaney sparked a memory for the 2012 Cup champion. Keselowski posted on Twitter following the race a picture of him celebrating his first Cup win on April 26, 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway.

In the picture, Keselowski is being congratulated by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Keselowski competed for Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series from 2007-09, winning five times before joining Team Penske in 2010.

Tagging Earnhardt in the tweet, Keselowski said “8 years later I finally know how you felt that day.”

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Ryan Blaney outruns Kevin Harvick to claim first Cup win in Pocono 400

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Ryan Blaney fended off Kevin Harvick in the final 10 laps to win the Pocono 400 for his first NASCAR Cup Series win.

Blaney passed pole-sitter Kyle Busch on the frontstretch to take the lead for good and then outdueled Harvick. Both Busch and Harvick were seeking their first win of the year.

“It’s hard man to process,” Blaney told Fox Sports 1. “First we had to pass Kyle and that was tough. He was on older tires. He was struggling off of (Turn) 1, and were able to get under him there. Then we had to hold Kevin off, and he was really fast all day. I just didn’t want to make a mistake. That would’ve been the worst thing to do. I got to thank (Harvick) for racing me clean, that was nice of him to do.”

Blaney is the third first-time winner this season after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Talladega) and Austin Dillon (Coke 600).

Blaney, driving the No. 21 Ford, gave Wood Brothers Racing their first win since the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne. It’s the 99th win for the team and just its third of the 21st Century.

A malfunction in the team’s radio system prevented Blaney from talking to his team all day. It also kept Blaney from initiating his desired celebration.

“I wanted to pick (team owners) Eddie and Len (Wood) up,” Blaney said. “I wanted to find them and pick them up, but it figures the one race we don’t have radio communication we end up winning it. Maybe we should turn the radio off more often, but I wanted to try to find Eddie and Len. I wanted to give them a ride to victory lane. That would have been cool, but maybe if we can get another one we’ll be able to do that.”

Blaney, the son of former Cup driver Dave Blaney, is the seventh driver to earn their first Cup win with Wood Brothers Racing.

Completing the top five was Harvick, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.

Harvick’s result is his best of the season and his fifth top five.

“There at the end we couldn’t get in the corner like we needed to all day,” Harvick told FS1. “(Blaney) could charge the corner, so I needed for him to make a mistake and try to get underneath him on the exit of the corner. Never made a mistake and did a great job.”

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Larson

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Rookie Erik Jones earned his best result and his first top five in 17 Cup starts … Kurt Busch earned his second top five of the year and his first since winning the Daytona 500 … Kyle Busch led a race-high 100 laps and won the first stage, but dropped back to ninth after being passed by Blaney … Martin Truex Jr. led five laps and finished sixth after starting from the rear because of an engine change.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray wrecked out with five laps left in Stage 2. It’s McMurray’s third DNF and Johnson’s second … Dale Earnhardt Jr. left the race on Lap 59 with a mechanical problem after a bad shift on a restart … Kasey Kahne also crashed due to brake issues with 19 laps left in the race … Darrell Wallace Jr. finished 26th, one lap down in his Cup debut after being caught speeding on pit road three times.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think it exceeds the dream a little bit. I grew up watching my dad race on this race track and it’s so cool to get the Wood Brothers in victory lane … and to do it here at a race track that is really close to Ohio – a home to me – is pretty awesome.” – Ryan Blaney after earning his first Cup Series win.

NOTABLE: The accidents involving Johnson and McMurray resulted in a 23-minute red flag period and a one-lap shootout to end the stage, which was won by Kyle Larson.

WHAT’S NEXT: FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway at 3 pm ET on June 18 on Fox Sports 1.