Race Recap for the Pocono 350

Date: June 28, 2020
Event: Pocono 350 (Round 15 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 140 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/55 laps/55 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/38th (Accident, completed 74 of 140 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (423 points, 158 behind leader)


Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

● Kyle Busch started 16th and finished ninth, earning two bonus points.

● The M&M’S Minis driver started 16th by virtue of the invert of yesterday’s finish, but a lightning delay pushed the start back 30 minutes and the race was red flagged six laps into the race for rain.

● After a delay of 50 minutes the race finally went back green, as Busch moved up into the top-10 by lap 13.

● The Las Vegas native gained one more position by the end of Stage 1 on Lap 30.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-85):

● Busch started fifth and finished 38th.

● Crew chief Adam Stevens elected to keep Busch out on track to start Stage 2, as he restarted fifth to start the stage.

● The M&M’S Minis driver steadily picked it way up to the front, as he was third by lap 45 and a brief leader on lap 57.

● Stevens called Busch to pit road for the first time of the race on lap 59 under green conditions to take on four tires, fuel, and adjustments for his tight-handling racecar.

● Busch came out of the pit cycle ahead of both cars on his strategy with Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. behind him.

● On lap 74 Busch’s car came upon the lapped machine of Garrett Smithley while they were heading into the tunnel turn. The right front of the car driven by Blaney made contact with the left rear of Busch’s car, sending him spinning into the SAFER barrier on the inside retaining wall.

● Busch was checked and released from the infield care center, but his once promising day ended in disappointment.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Minis Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

"The guys did an amazing job from yesterday to today. I guess it proves that if you get a little practice time in and we are going to be a force to be reckoned with so hopefully life gets back to normal eventually. But we are in 2020, so it doesn’t surprise me getting crashed out of the lead. The M&M’s Minis Camry was pretty fast today. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a great job. It’s just very frustrating and unfortunate. I know what happened but it doesn’t make any sense to talk about it."


Next Up: 

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 on Sunday, July 5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.