Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kurt Busch Wins Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 At Pocono Raceway

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Kurt Busch used a risky late race fuel strategy to hold off a hard-charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win Monday’s weather-delayed Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway. Busch becomes the ninth different Sprint Cup driver to earn a victory this season, thus locking himself into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Earnhardt Jr. finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano to round out the top 5.

Busch continually turned his engine off and back on to conserve fuel in the final 10 laps, even though he was initially told by his team that he was two laps short on fuel. Still, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver aptly worked his way not only to the checkered flag, he even had enough fuel to do a celebratory burnout and victory lap and even drive all the way into victory lane. Busch led 32 laps en route to his 28th career Sprint Cup victory.

The win did not come without some adversity earlier in the race week.  Kurt Busch’s normal crew chief Tony Gibson was suspended one race by NASCAR for a lugnut violation after the Coca-Cola 600. Team engineer John Klausmeier served as Busch’s interim crew chief and earned his first career win in that role.

Other storylines from Monday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 At Pocono Raceway include:

  • Chase Elliott led a race-high 51 laps, including at the halfway point of the 160-lap event in a forth place showing.
  • Kyle Busch wrecked with Ryan Newman with 50 laps to go. While Newman was able to continue (finished 12th), Busch was forced to take his car to the garage for repairs. Busch finished 31st.
  • Tony Stewart had the best starting spot of the season, but his efforts to break 30th in points took another hit as he wrecked with teammate Danica Patrick (32nd) and finished 34th.

NASCAR’s finest make their way to Michigan International Speedway for the Firekeepers Casino 400 this Sunday.