Friday, July 31, 2015

Kyle Busch grabs Pocono pole

There's nothing Kyle Busch can't do these days.
When NBCSN asked if he thought he could win the Sprint Cup pole Friday at Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch was pretty confident.

“Probably not,” he said.

Well, Busch went out and proved himself wrong, earning the pole for Sunday’s Windows 10 400. It’s Busch’s first Sprint Cup of the season, his second at Pocono and 17th of his career.

“I told you I had a fast car, I just wasn’t sure we could get the balance right,” Busch told NBCSN. “(Crew chief) Adam Stevens and these guys, they did it again.”

Busch’s pole-winning speed was 178.416 mph, followed by Kevin Harvick, the only other driver over 178 mph (178.168).

Joey Logano was third-fastest (177.837), followed by Austin Dillon (177.658), Tony Stewart (177.630) and teammate Kurt Busch (177.613).

Read More Here....Starting Lineup

Keselowski, Kenseth fastest in first Pocono practice

Brad Keselowski (176.606 mph), Matt Kenseth(176.339), Denny Hamlin (176.267) and Austin Dillon (176.170) all exceeded 176 mph to lead Friday’s sole Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway.

Among those who struggled to find speed wereKasey Kahne (170.804 mph), and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (170.519 mph).

Qualifying for Sunday’s Microsoft 10 400 will take place at 4:45 pm ET on NBCSN.

There will be two Sprint Cup practice sessions Saturday: 9-9:50 a.m. and 11:35 a.m.-12:25 p.m. ET.

Read More Here....NBCSports.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Martin Truex Jr attempting to be eighth driver to sweep Pocono

Martin Truex Jr. is 8/1 to win at Pocono on Sunday.
DENVER, Colo. (July 29, 20015) — Martin Truex Jr. is in position to help Pocono Raceway establish a Super 8 Sweeper’s Club.

No, it’s not about a new hotel on the grounds of the Long Pond, Pa. track, but it’s about Truex becoming the eighth driver in Pocono Raceway history to sweep the two Sprint Cup season races at the 2.5-mile triangular venue.

Truex, who claimed the Pocono victory in early June driving the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, could join an elite group of drivers with a win in Sunday’s Windows 10 400.

The seven drivers who have achieved the Pocono sweep are Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1985), Tim Richmond (1986), Bobby Labonte (1999), Jimmie Johnson (2004), Denny Hamlin (2006) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014).

“That’s a stout group of drivers and it would be pretty special to be included with them,” said Truex. “After winning there last month how can you not feel good and upbeat about returning to Pocono? We’re going to have a big target on our back but that’s ok. We’ll use everything we learned last time and more to hopefully achieve a Pocono sweep.”

Though Truex was dominant in scoring the Pocono win in June, leading a race high 97 laps and securing a 1.346-second margin of victory, he is well aware that more speed will be required for a duplicate performance.

“Our Furniture Row guys have been working hard to find more speed for this weekend,” explained Truex, a native of Mayetta, N.J. “All the teams are also working harder as we get closer to the Chase. The toughest thing about Pocono is to find the right balance for all three corners. The three unique corners at Pocono are all different and the challenge is to figure out a way to make your car work in each of them. Conditions for this Pocono race will most likely be different, especially with the weather being hotter than in early June.”

Truex, who is coming off a fourth-place Brickyard 400 finish, has claimed one win, six top-fives, 15 top-10s in 20 of the 36 races completed this season. He ranks fifth in driver points and sixth in the Chase playoff standings.

Truex’s overall record at Pocono includes 19 starts, one win, three top-fives and seven top-10s. He has a 17.9 starting average and a 15.1 finishing average.

Pocono Raceway Totals
RacesWinT5T10PoleLaps
Led
Laps CompletedAvgStAvgFnDNFMoney
1913701083351 of 3368
99.5%
17.915.102,109,226
Truex’s 2015 Sprint Cup Series Results
No.DateEventStFnLapsLedStatusMoneyPointsStanding
12/22Daytona 500108203/2031Running489,772378
23/1Atlanta146325/3250Running150,61538/755
33/8Las Vegas82267/2673Running268,95043/1184
43/15Phoenix157312/3120Running121,02537/1553
53/22Fontana128209/2095Running136,24037/1923
63/29Martinsville36500/50023Running118,66539/2313
74/11Fort Worth159334/3340Running163,38035/2663
84/19Bristol1629504/5110Running120,12015/2813
94/26Richmond610400/4000Running114,71034/3153
105/3Talladega365188/1880Running169,60039/3542
115/9Kansas49267/26795Running122,06037/3912
125/24Charlotte95600/00131Running187,35041/4322
135/31Dover26405/405131Running148,81540/4722
146/7Pocono31160/16097Running201,81048/5202
156/14Michigan93138/1380Running137,58041/5612
166/28Sonoma124231/1100Crash88,1952/5632
177/5Daytona1938105/1100Crash115,6486/5695
187/11Kentucky517267/2670Running111,03527/5965
197/19Loudon1512301/3010Running117,48532/6285
207/26Indianapolis134164/1640Running283,17040/6685
Top 5s: 6  Top 10s: 15  Laps Led: 486  Avg. St: 11.3  Avg. Fn: 11.4  Money: $3,366,225
- DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing

Harvick bringing chassis with great history to Pocono

Kevin Harvick is 4/1 favorite to win at Pocono on Sunday.
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 29, 2015) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will make his 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in Sunday’s Windows 10 400. The defending Sprint Cup champion has won on short tracks, intermediate tracks, road courses and superspeedways, but it’s Pocono’s unique three-turn circuit that continues to leave Harvick puzzled.

For Harvick, it’s something akin to picking up the triangle solitaire puzzle game, where the goal is to jump golf tees over each other until just one remains. Each attempt starts with optimism but ends in frustration when more than one peg remains. Pocono is the racetrack equivalent to the triangle solitaire puzzle game for Harvick.

The “Tricky Triangle” is one of only five Sprint Cup racetracks where Harvick has yet to record a Sprint Cup win. Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta are the other four.

The Bakersfield, California native has run well at Pocono, scoring seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in his 29 career Sprint Cup starts, but has yet to reach victory lane in NASCAR’s top series. He seems to be getting close, however, as he’s scored runner-up finishes in his last two Sprint Cup starts at Pocono.

In August 2014, Harvick started sixth, led five laps and finished second to Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 0.228 of a second. This past June, he started fifth, led 39 laps and was runner-up to Martin Truex Jr. by 1.346 seconds.

Harvick does have a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Pocono, scoring the win from the pole position while driving for his own team on Aug. 7, 2011. He led 44 of 53 laps to beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds.

The Sprint Cup points leader would like nothing more than to score his first Sprint Cup win Sunday at Pocono. A win would be Harvick’s third of the 2015 season. He scored his first of the year in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and his second the very next week at Phoenix International Raceway.

Only Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch have more wins in 2015. Harvick, SHR teammate Kurt Busch and Earnhardt are the only other drivers to win two races. Truex, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards each have one win. In total, the 2015 season has produced 11 different winners through the first 20 Sprint Cup races.

Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoff field with his eighth-place finish July 11 at Kentucky. Harvick is now guaranteed to finish in the top-30 in driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining six regular-season Sprint Cup events to secure his spot in the Chase.

Twenty races into 2015, Harvick has a series-best 14 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s and sits atop the driver standings with 777 points. The No. 4 Chevrolet SS has led a series-high 1,359 laps with an average finish of 6.6. The 1,359 laps led are 651 more than the next-closest competitor – 708 by his SHR teammate Busch.

Harvick has led at least one lap in 16 of 20 Sprint Cup races in 2015, including a streak of 14 in a row from March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway through June 14 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The staggering number of laps led and the 14 consecutive races with laps led is among numerous other impressive numbers Harvick has compiled this season.

He leads several other statistical categories: 123.1 driver rating, 29 bonus points, 848 fastest laps run, 22.1 percent of fastest laps run, 24.2 percent of laps led, 1,693.8 miles led, 5,187 laps in the top-15, 92.3 percent of laps in the top-15, and average running position of 6.119 in addition to his average finish of 6.6.

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next six races starting this weekend at Pocono.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS:

What’s it like taking a lap around Pocono?

“I think when you look at Pocono, you know that you’re going to have a challenge of getting your car to handle in all three corners. That’s the biggest challenge when it comes to Pocono. You have to make sure you can get all you can coming to turn three because that straightaway is really, really long. You can kind of give up the tunnel, but you still need to be very good in all three corners and it’s just a different style of racetrack than what we go to on a week-to-week basis.”

Explain what makes the tunnel turn at Pocono so difficult?
“The tunnel turn is difficult just because you try to carry so much speed through there. It’s not an extremely hard corner, but it’s an extremely hard corner to carry speed through there without having the front end push or the back slide out, or whatever the case may be. It’s not an extremely hard corner until you try to go through there as fast as you can lap after lap. It’s an easy corner to make a mistake and you can give up a lot of time there, but you can also make a lot of time.”

CHASSIS SELECTION
Chassis Information:
Chassis No. 4-843: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-843 in the Windows 10 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-843 won two races, two pole positions and led 748 laps in its first season. Harvick won the pole and led 238 laps en route to winning the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. At Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Harvick won the pole, led 223 laps and finished 13th. The final race of 2014 for Chassis No. 4-843 was perhaps the most impressive as it started third and led 264 laps in a must-win performance that kept Harvick’s slim Sprint Cup championship hopes alive at Phoenix International Raceway in November. In its two starts of 2015, Harvick started and finished second and led 116 of 325 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and started eight, led 26 laps and finished ninth in the Coca-Cola 600.

Kevin Harvick Pocono Raceway Performance Profile:
YearEventStartFinishStatus/LapsLaps LedEarnings
2015Axalta “We Paint Winners” 40052Running, 160/16039$232,850
2014Pocono 400414Running, 160/1600$119,523
 GoBowling.com 40062Running, 160/1605$206,058
2013Party in the Poconos 40059Running, 160/1600$130,571
 GoBowling.com 4001417Running, 160/1600$123,171
2012Pocono 4002114Running, 160/1600$122,121
 *Pennsylvania 4002116Running, 98/980$120,796
20115-Hour Energy 500325Running, 200/2000$153,961
 Good Sam RV Insurance 5001014Running, 200/2000$122,636
2010Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500224Running, 204/2045$153,249
 Pennsylvania 500144Running, 200/2000$151,476
2009†Pocono 5002424Running, 200/2000$108,078
 †Pennsylvania 5002312Running, 200/2000$114,628
2008Pocono 5002813Running, 200/2000$118,061
 Pennsylvania 500214Running, 200/2000$153,936
2007*Pocono 5001911Running, 106/1060$119,636
 Pennsylvania 5002317Running, 200/2000$114,186
2006Pocono 5001213Running, 200/2000$109,661
 Pennsylvania 500125Running, 200/2000$134,436
2005×Pocono 50088Running, 201/2010$125,011
 ×Pennsylvania 500106Running, 203/2030$131,661
2004Pocono 5002320Running, 200/2000$95,593
 Pennsylvania 5001832Engine, 141/2000$88,618
2003Pocono 5002025Running, 199/2000$84,018
Pennsylvania 5003112Running, 200/2000$88,428
2002Pocono 5003039Transmission, 81/2000$81,028
 *Pennsylvania 500296Running, 175/1750$98,943
2001Pocono 5001915Running, 200/2000$83,567
 Pennsylvania 500620Running, 200/2000$83,667
× Race length extended due to green-white-checkered finish. * Race cut short due to weather.
† Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

Kurt Busch a strong contender to win third Pocono trophy

Kurt Busch is 8/1 to win Sunday at Pocono (Roberts' picks to win).
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 29, 2015) – The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has started the process of winding down. This weekend’s Windows 10 400 Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway will mark race number 21 of 36 that comprise the nine-month long season.

A total of 16 events remain on the 2015 schedule, yet the countdown to the season finale is well underway. Evidence of this is the series’ second visits to a number of upcoming tracks. This weekend’s race isn’t the first return visit of the season for the Sprint Cup competitors, but it is the first of 12 repeat appearances that will make up the next 16 weeks of racing.

There’s still a lot of racing left. A champion has yet to be crowned. NASCAR’s version of the playoffs – the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship – is still six weeks away and all of the 16 drivers who will compete for the championship have yet to be determined. But, the field of title contenders is beginning to come into focus.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will be one of the 16 drivers in the Chase field.

Already having scored multiple wins this season, at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last month, Busch now has accumulated enough points to mathematically guarantee a spot in the top-30 in the driver standings through the regular-season finale Sept. 12 at Richmond.

While Busch had hoped to have a better result in last Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he had an impressive eighth-place finish after overcoming a flat tire early in the race. It was his first top-10 at the iconic speedway since 2010, and the finish put Busch 298 points ahead of the driver listed 31st in the standings, making him just the fourth driver to have clinched a berth in the 2015 Chase.

Now that the Las Vegas native knows he’ll be making his ninth career and third consecutive appearance in NASCAR’s 10-race playoff, he can turn his focus to going all out and racing for additional wins in the final six regular-season events. Additional victories would move Busch ahead in the postseason ranking, as the 16 drivers who qualify for the Chase have their points total reset to 2,000 and will be seeded based on bonus points – three per win – earned prior to the start of the Chase.

The quest to secure additional wins and those valuable bonus points starts this weekend at Pocono for Busch and Company.

Busch is one driver who not only has plenty of experience at Pocono, he has also experienced plenty of success along the way. He’s a two-time Pocono winner and also has 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s to augment his impressive stats in 28 career starts at the 2.5-mile triangle. Busch has led laps in 17 of those races, including a record-setting 175 circuits spent atop the leaderboard en route to his win in August 2007. He finished fifth when the series visited Pocono in June.

Busch’s solid performance statistics extend beyond tradition and into some pretty stout loop data numbers as he ranks in the top-five in a several categories at the Tricky Triangle, including laps led, fastest laps run, speed in traffic, green-flag speed and average running position. Add it all up and it equates to a third-place driver rating, placing Busch behind only six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who’s second, and perennial Pocono favorite Denny Hamlin, who’s first.

With the start of the Chase just six races away, Busch and the Haas Automation team are determined to race their way back to victory lane, and there’s no better place to start than this weekend at Pocono.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Which of the three turns at Pocono is your favorite?

“I love the tunnel turn – turn two. It seems like it is the easiest place to gain speed and lose speed. Every time I have won a race there, or competed well, I had a good car in the tunnel turn. It’s a challenge every time you go through there on how much speed can you really carry. Over the years, they have changed the shifting pattern for us. Sometimes you shift, sometimes you don’t. So there are always options when you go into the tunnel turn.”

Talk a little bit about racing at Pocono.
“I think it’s a fun track as far as how unique it is with the three corners being different. And the fact that your setup really can’t be dialed in for all three corners, you have to give and take. Some years it seems like turn one is tough. Some years turn three ends up being a tough corner, but I always focus on the tunnel turn. I always try to get through turn two as quickly as I can because, like I’ve said, it seems like the years I’ve won, that’s where I’ve had the best car.”

You’ve won twice at Pocono. Which was the better experience?
“The win in 2007 with Penske Racing – that was the fastest car that I’ve ever driven. That car would turn, stick, drive down the straightaway – that car did everything. It didn’t have a single flaw. I knew how good that car was on the first lap of the race. I remember telling myself, ‘Don’t screw this up.’ I ran the rest of the race more nervous than I had in years prior. I’ve never dominated a race like that. We led 175 of 200 laps. That was by far the best car I have ever driven. It was a great race to show the balance of that team and the strength of where we were at that point. I think the 25 laps that we didn’t lead were from a bad pit stop at one point. My first win at Pocono in 2005 was pretty great, too. It’s fun to win at a racetrack that is so unique because of how different that track is compared to all the other oval tracks. Pocono is a little bit like Darlington in that all the corners are different, so you have to manage them the best that you can and not be
perfect in one corner versus another.”

CHASSIS SELECTION
Chassis No. 894:
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 894 in Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Formerly a No. 10 chassis for StewartHaas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick, Chassis No. 894 debuted at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October 2014, when Patrick qualified 14th and appeared to be on her way to a top-10 finish before her solid run was derailed when she was involved in an ontrack incident on lap 247. Chassis No. 894 was outfitted with a new body over the offseason and saw its first laps of the season in February at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Regan Smith started 38th and finished 17th . Busch raced Chassis 894 in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where he started from the pole and led twice for 45 laps en route to scoring a 14th -place finish. It most recently raced at Pocono in June, where Busch started from the pole and brought home a fifth-place finish.

Kurt Busch’s Pocono Raceway Performance Profile:
YearEventStartFinishStatus/LapsLaps LedEarnings
2015Axalta “We Paint Winners” 40015Running, 160/1600$133,050
2014Pocono 40023Running, 160/1605$142,600
GoBowling.com 400413Running, 160/16030$84,415
2013Party in the Poconos 400207Running, 160/1600$119,430
GoBowling.com 40053Running, 160/1609$153,930
2012Pennsylvania 400630Accident, 84/983$80,760
20115-Hour Energy 50012Running, 200/20037$203,800
Good Sam RV Insurance 50053Running, 200/20038$162,000
2010Gillette Fusion ProGlide 50046Running, 204/2043$146,196
Pennsylvania 5001333Accident, 164/2000$110,198
2009†Pocono 500437Running, 182/2002$83,275
†Pennsylvania 50049Running, 200/20014$96,300
2008Pocono 500118Running, 200/2000$87,175
Pennsylvania 5001038Running, 198/2005$63,300
2007*Pocono 5002716Running, 106/1060$103,908
Pennsylvania 50021Running, 200/200175$212,108
2006Pocono 50022Running, 200/20031$193,258
Pennsylvania 50072Running, 200/2004$182,758
2005×Pocono 500222Running, 200/2012$114,250
×Pennsylvania 50021Running, 203/203131$261,275
2004Pocono 500275Running, 200/2000$95,600
Pennsylvania 500326Transmission, 192/2000$74,165
2003Pocono 5001036Accident, 193/2000$62,790
Pennsylvania 500132Running, 200/2001$152,695
2002†Pocono 500840Accident, 67/2000$43,100
*Pennsylvania 500232Running, 175/1753$113,570
2001Pocono 5004113Running, 200/2000$48,940
Pennsylvania 5003537Running, 187/2000$38,225

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

Kevin Harvick favored to win 2015 Windows 10 400 at Pocono

Kevin Harvick is the 4/1 favorite to win Sunday at Pocono.
LAS VEGAS -- Kevin Harvick has never won at Pocono Raceway in 29 career starts, but he's still the driver to beat in Sunday's Windows 10 400, according to odds posted at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

This is the second visit of the year the series has made to Pocono's 2.5-mile layout, affectionately dubbed the Tricky Triangle. On June 7, Martin Truex Jr. led 97 of the 160 laps for his lone win of the season. Only five other drivers led a lap, with second-place Harvick leading 39 of them. It was Harvick's second straight second-place finish at Pocono.

The biggest story heading into the weekend centers around Kyle Busch and whether he can win his fourth straight Sprint Cup race but his first ever at Pocono. The last two drivers to win four straight – Jimmie Johnson (2007) and Jeff Gordon (1998) – went on to win Cup titles.

Here’s a driver-by-driver breakdown of Sunday’s race, with opening odds posted at the Westgate:

ODDS TO WIN WINDOWS 10 400, POCONO RACEWAY

KEVIN HARVICK 4/1: After two races of wild aero-package changes – one that worked very well at Kentucky and another that wasn't so good at Indy – Harvick is probably more excited than any other driver to get back to the package that he started the season off with and was used in the first Pocono race. That's the package with which he dominated the series, finishing first or second in 11 races this season. However, it's been seven races since his last second-place finish (Pocono), and his last win was March 15 at Phoenix. With little passing expected again this week, it's a good bet that Harvick will finish with at least a top-three.

KYLE BUSCH 6/1: While Harvick is happy to see the regular package back, Busch isn't doing any cheering. Joe Gibbs Racing was ahead of the curve with the new stuff but is still a bit behind on the big horsepower tracks with the regular stuff. It’s amazing he was able to win three straight races with three different packages. In 21 Pocono starts, he's been all over the place – terrible finishes to near wins for an 18th-place average over 21 starts. He was ninth in the June race.

MARTIN TRUEX JR 7/1: Count him in as a driver happy to see the regular package back. He was fourth last week at Indy, but finished 12th or worse in his previous four races after having a top-10 in 14 of the first 15 races. Dale Earnhardt Jr. swept Pocono last season and the notes are still fresh from June, so there's no reason why Truex can't duplicate his domination Sunday.

JIMMIE JOHNSON 7/1: He's a three-time winner at Pocono, including a 2004 sweep, and has a 9.6 average finish, best among active drivers with at least four starts. He finished third in the June race, but was never able to get out front in clean air and lead a lap. While his last win here was in 2013, he's currently tied with Kyle Busch with four wins on the season to lead the series.

KURT BUSCH 8/1: In 28 career Pocono starts, he's got two wins and 12 top-five finishes, including fifth in the June race when he started from the pole. He's been a Pocono runner-up five times, which puts him in Mark Martin-type of company at the track. In Martin's case, he was second a record seven times but never won in 54 starts.

BRAD KESELOWSKI 12/1: He won this race in 2011 and was runner-up in the first race of 2014, but has finished 23rd and 17th in his past two starts. He’s not one who is excited about the return of the regular package.

JOEY LOGANO 12/1: He won here in 2012 at 22 years old to become the youngest driver to win at the track since its first Cup race in 1974. He finished third in this race last season and fourth in June. Nothing tricky about the triangle for him. He's got this place figured out.

JEFF GORDON 12/1: Sunday will be his 46th and final Pocono start. He leads all active drivers at this track with wins (6), top-fives (19), top-10s (31) and laps led (1,038). He's also finished second on six occasions and has a 9.9 average finish. While he belongs on NASCAR’s Mt. Rushmore, his Swan Song isn't going as planned – he has no wins and only two top-fives in what may be his worst season ever.

DALE EARNHARDT JR 12/1: After no wins in 28 Pocono starts, Junior swept the 2014 season and followed that up with an 11th in June.

DENNY HAMLIN 12/1: This guy is an absolute machine at Pocono. It doesn't matter whether he's got good or bad engines during the season, he always shows up. He's a four-time winner here, including a 2006 sweep as a rookie. He was 10th in the June race and has an 11th-place average finish in 19 starts.

Read More Here....complete list of odds offered by the Westgate

Will Power favored to win 2015 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK ODDS TO WIN
HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO
MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2015


WILL POWER 3
SIMON PAGENAUD 5
SCOTT DIXON 7-2
JUAN MONTOYA 6
HELIO CASTRONEVES 8
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS 12
JOSEF NEWGARDEN 15
CHARLIE KIMBALL 18
TONY KANAAN 20
GRAHAM RAHAL 25
RYAN HUNTER-REAY 30
CARLOS MUNOZ 40
LUCA FILIPPI 30
MARCO ANDRETTI 60
TAKUMA SATO 60
RYAN BRISCOE 50
JAMES JAKES 60
SAGE KARAM 40
JUSTIN WILSON 30
FIELD 60

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Greg Biffle always comes ready to race hard at Pocono

Greg Biffle is 200/1 to win Windows 10 400 at Pocono on Sunday.
Greg Biffle – Pocono Advance

Team: No. 16 Roush Performance Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia; @mpuccia16
Twitter: @16RFRCup, @gbiffle

ADVANCE NOTES

Biffle at Pocono

* In his 25 career Cup Series starts at Pocono, Biffle has one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
* In 2010 he earned his only victory at the “tricky triangle.”

One Year Ago at Pocono
Greg Biffle led 11 laps Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway on his way to a fifth-place finish in his No. 16 Ford Fusion. With just over 20 laps remaining, Biffle took over the lead and held the position for over 10 laps as the field spread out conserving fuel. A late race caution took away the lead Biffle had acquired, and in the final laps Biffle lost ground to fresher tires, crossing the finish line fifth.

Earlier this Season at Pocono
The No. 16 Ford only needed minor air pressure and wedge adjustments over 160-laps and in the end Biffle was able to save enough fuel to earn a 12th-place finish.

In the Points
Biffle is currently 18th in the point standings, 57 points out of 16th.

ROUSH Performance Parts
Created in 1995, ROUSH Performance Products combines race-proven technologies with advanced automotive engineering to continually provide customers the ultimate driving experience – the perfect combination of racecar and road car.

Local Ties
Three members of the No. 16 team call Pocono their home track. Wesley Lape (interior mechanic) and Dustin Keath (tire specialist) both come from Reading, PA. Pit support member Dale Hoffman is from Allentown, PA.

Biffle on Pocono:
“Pocono turned out to be a decent race for us earlier this year. It was after Charlotte, after we figured some stuff out and got a little more speed in our cars. We are going to go back with a similar setup and try and tune on that, we had a decent finish but we need to build on that. The hardest thing to figure out at Pocono is the three different corners, turns one and two act a lot different than the tunnel. Trying to get the balance between those three to get what you want is a challenge.”

Puccia on Pocono:
“We had a respectable finish at Pocono earlier this year so we have some good notes to look back on. We can also take some of what we learned at Indy this past weekend and apply it to Pocono since the two tracks have similar characteristics. Our Roush Performance Ford for this weekend is the same chassis we raced at the first Pocono so I’m looking forward to getting a good run.”

- Roush Fenway Racing

Kasey Kahne could use Pocono win No. 3 for Chase ticket

Kasey Kahne is 18/1 to win at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
No. 5 Aquafina Chevrolet SS / Kasey Kahne

Driver: Kasey Kahne 
Hometown: Enumclaw, Washington
Age: 35 
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

POCONO RACEWAY (2.5-MILE TRIANGLE)

LOCATION: LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA
EVENT: NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES (RACE 21 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 1:30 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, AUG. 2 (NBCSN/MRN/SIRIUSXM)

Kasey Kahne on returning to Pocono
“I think we learned a little bit from the June race. We learned some things not to do and I feel like with the less power and the shifting and how all of that worked, we can take our notes back and understand that a little better going into the race this week. Those notes hopefully will give us a little better balance. The bump in the tunnel turn was tough. It was much different than how it had been -- it was much bigger. The car moved around quite a bit, so when you were on the throttle or off throttle or where your braking was, things like that really made a difference on how fast you got through that area. The track really changed a lot over the winter. I doubt it will change much from then until now, so I think now it will be a really similar track to what we had in June. There might be a different grip level because of the time of year, but as far as the roughness, it should be exactly the same.”

Kahne on the Pocono area
“When you go up to Pocono, you go up there for the racing. I go up there trying to win the Pocono 400 and do the best that we can. I know there is other racing up in the area that we get to sometimes, I’ve floated some rivers there in the past and enjoyed that. You just never know what the weather is going to be like. You have to see whatever the weather is going to throw at you those weekends and then plan around it. Pocono treats us pretty well every year, so it’s nice to go up there and race.”

AQUAFINA CHEVROLET: The No. 5 Chevrolet will have a refreshing new paint scheme this weekend for the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway. Aquafina will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne’s Chevrolet SS with a paint scheme inspired by the Drink Up campaign. Powered by Partnership for a Healthier America, Drink Up is a mission to get people to drink more water more often.

THE TASTE OF VICTORY: Pocono Raceway is one of three tracks where Kahne has found Victory Lane on multiple occasions. He won the Pocono 500 on June 13, 2004, and the Pocono 500 on June 8, 2008. The other two tracks where he has earned multiple victories are Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

GOING HOME: The “Tricky Triangle” is the home track for Dave Radney, test truck driver for the No. 5 Aquafina Chevrolet SS team. He originates from Canton, Pennsylvania, a borough 134 miles northwest of the raceway.

FIFTH FOR THE NO. 5: According to NASCAR’s loop data, Kahne’s 161.628 average speed ranks him fifth-fastest in average speed late in a run. Kahne also ranks fifth in laps led at Pocono Raceway, leading 219 laps in his career, and fifth in quality passes, totaling 804 at the track.

FAST LAPS: Kahne ranks third in fastest laps run (306) at Pocono Raceway according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics.

SUMMER SESSION: Kahne is not known to take a summer break during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, as 10 of his 17 career victories have been achieved between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

RACE TO THE CHASE: Kahne is currently 14th in the standings, having earned 558 points through the first 20 races. He is 219 points away from the leader and just 33 points out of 10th place. Kahne is still seeking his first win this year to help solidify his spot to compete for a championship. Currently he is inside the Chase Grid's top 16, but is not yet locked in.

MAKE YOUR BODY HAPPY: Aquafina wants to make your body healthy and happy when you enter to win up to $5,000 toward LivingSocial through the Make Your Body Happy Sweepstakes. You could escape to an all-inclusive coastal vacation, rent a kayak for the day or even enter an obstacle course race – whatever makes your body happy. Enter now through Aug. 10here.
 

2015 Season

  • 14th in standings
  • 20 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 6 top-10 finishes
  • 46 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 416 starts
  • 17 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 85 top-five finishes
  • 152 top-10 finishes
  • 4,587 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 23 starts
  • 2 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 8 top-10 finishes
  • 219 laps led
 

Jeff Gordon looks to add to his record win total at Pocono

Jeff Gordon is 12/1 to win Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS / Jeff Gordon

Driver: Jeff Gordon 
Hometown: Pittsboro, Indiana
Age: 43 
Resides: Charlotte, North Carolina

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to visit the Pocono Raceway media center at 1:45 p.m. local time Friday.

Jeff Gordon on racing at Pocono
“I heard Pocono did a little bit of work to the tunnel turn since we were there last month. It was manageable in June, but I’ll be interested to see what was done, if it’ll be much different and how it might affect the racing.”

FIRST AT POCONO: Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet SS, holds the record for most wins at Pocono Raceway with six. The 43-year-old driver leads active drivers in top-five finishes and top 10s.

UP FRONT AT POCONO: The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has led 1,038 laps at the "Tricky Triangle" during his 23-year career. That ranks Gordon first on the all-time list at the 2.5-mile track, 228 more than second.

BIRTHDAY BOY: On Aug. 4, Gordon will celebrate his 44th birthday.

MEMBER ADVANTAGES AT POCONO: AARP Member Advantages will sponsor four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS to spread awareness about the many benefits available to AARP members. The special AARP Member Advantages paint scheme – which debuted at Sonoma Raceway on June 28 – will be featured in six Sprint Cup Series events in 2015 and is part of Hendrick Motorsports’ existing partnership with Drive to End Hunger, which is AARP and AARP Foundation’s multi-year effort to raise awareness of and support for the fight against older adult hunger. AARP Member Advantages is a collection of discounts, products, services and insurance programs available to AARP’s millions of members through third party providers. The provider offers include a variety of health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services.

 

2015 Season

  • 11th in standings
  • 20 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 11 top-10 finishes
  • 164 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 781 starts
  • 92 wins
  • 80 pole positions
  • 322 top-five finishes
  • 465 top-10 finishes
  • 24,828 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 45 starts
  • 6 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 19 top-five finishes
  • 31 top-10 finishes
  • 1,038 laps led
 

Carl Edwards tries for third straight week on pole at Pocono

Carl Edwards is 20/1 to win Windows 10 400 at Pocono.
Carl Edwards / No. 19 STANLEY Toyota Preview
Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway

No. 19 STANLEY Toyota News and Notes:
Edwards and the No. 19 Stanley team head to the Pocono Mountains which is located in the Magic Triangle – New York, Philadelphia and Pocono Raceway are all 90 miles away from each other. The track is known as the Tricky Triangle and provides a unique experience for our Northeastern fans.
EDWARDS’ STATS AT POCONO: In 21 starts at Pocono, Edwards has completed 3606 of 3772 laps (95.6 percent) and has led for a total of 237 laps. Edwards has earned two wins, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes there. His average start is 16.5 and his average finish is 15.5.
RACE INFO: Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile) begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 2nd. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Edwards’ 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
201242242$2,462, 33310.018.8
Edwards’ Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
39324110191155,084$ 77,148,55315.013.7

From the Cockpit:
Carl Edwards:
“We’re headed to Pocono and proud to represent STANLEY there. We feel like our cars are getting faster and faster every week. If we have any doubt at all, I promise you we’re just going to put Kyle’s setup in and cross our fingers. Those guys have been on an amazing roll and that’s motivation for all of us at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to step up our game, so we appreciate that. We’ve won the pole the last two weeks and we’d like to make it three in a row. Pocono is a big, fast racetrack. It’s a really technical track with three different corners. It’s a tough place to get the cars set up. I’ve heard they paved the bumps in the tunnel turn so the setups are going to change a little bit, and maybe a little bit of a different strategy because of that. We battled really hard last week with all the practices at Indy and my guys ended up giving me the fastest car for qualifying. I feel like a track like this really plays in our favor, being able to work through the issues, especially with the new pavement there. I feel like I’ve got an advantage with my group and their problem solving abilities. Hopefully, we can shine this week. Overall it is just another opportunity for us to go and have a little bit of fun and try to get another win for our 19 team and prepare for the Chase.”

About Stanley Black & Decker:
Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 company, is a diversified global provider of hand tools, power tools and related accessories, mechanical access and electronic security solutions, healthcare solutions, engineered fastening systems, and more. Well-known brands include: STANLEY, BLACK+DECKER, DEWALT, Porter-Cable, Bostitch, Facom, Mac Tools, Proto, Vidmar, Lista, and more.

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Kenseth hoping strong June Pocono run translates well to Sunday

Matt Kenseth is 15/1 to win at Pocono on Sunday.
Matt Kenseth / No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Preview
Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway

No. 20 Dollar General Toyota News and Notes:

KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS AT POCONO: In 31 Sprint Cup Series career starts at Pocono, Matt Kenseth has an average finish of 15.7, has completed 5,652 of 5,747 (98.3 percent) career laps, and has led for a total of 58 laps. Kenseth has earned three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes at “The Tricky Triangle.”

JOE GIBBS RACING AT POCONO: Joe Gibbs Racing has 102 Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono and has earned nine wins, 24 top-five, and 46 top-ten finishes. The organization has led for a total of 1,092 laps, has an average start of 12.7, an average finish of 16.2, and has completed 17,804 of 19,026 (93.6 percent) laps.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Gildan, Xtra, Sundown Naturals, Cottonelle, Airwick, Glad, Slim Jim, Hellmann’s, Nestle Drumstick, STP, AmeriGas and Velveeta will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

RACE INFO: The Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile) begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 2nd. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Kenseth’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
2016122143$3,314,38012.513.8
Kenseth’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedEarningsAvg. StartAvg. Finish
56432157282159,598$110,478,62818.014.1

From the Cockpit:
Matt Kenseth:
“I’m always working to try and improve my runs at Pocono because it’s always been one of my most challenging race tracks we go to on the schedule. I really have leaned on my teammates here at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) over the last few years since Denny (Hamlin) and Carl (Edwards) are past winners there. I still feel like I have a lot to learn about Pocono, but we had a really fast DG Camry for the June race and I felt that we ran better than our finish showed. In June, I thought that I could run with anybody out on the track during the race which is a really positive sign for me.”

From the Pit Box:
Jason Ratcliff:
“I thought that the June race earlier this year was the best that we’ve performed at Pocono. Pocono is a track where you need to have the best of everything: a good engine and aero package, a good brake package, and you need to study transmission ratios since we also shift there so it’s an all-around different race track. To run well there isn’t something that we’ve done a lot of there with Matt (Kenseth) in the past, but I’m looking forward to going back this weekend based on what we were able to do back in June there. I think that we really have a great baseline to start from this week.”

DG at the Track:
Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America, with more than 12,000 stores in 43 states.

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Denny Hamlin goes for fifth Pocono Raceway win

Denny Hamlin is 12/1 to win at Pocono Sunday.
Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Office Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing


Race Info:
Race: Windows 10 400
Date/Time: Aug. 2/1:30 p.m. ET
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Track Shape: Triangle
2014 Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Express Notes:
Indianapolis Recap:
Denny Hamlin finished fifth in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, posting his third top-five result in the previous four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the #11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin lined up sixth for the ‘green-white-checkered’ finish at the historic 2.5-mile track, moving up one spot in the final two laps of the event won by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Hamlin started 17th and quickly worked up in the running order. The race featured a new aerodynamic rules package making passing at a premium, and teams employed varying fuel strategies at the long speedway. Crew chief Dave Rogers made a variety of changes to the car on pit road to help Hamlin navigate traffic, and after a caution during a cycle of green flag pit stops with less than 70 laps to go, Hamlin was in the top-10 for the restart. The team made its final stop with 39 laps remaining, and a host of late-race cautions enabled Hamlin to stretch his fuel enough to make it to the end. The finish moved Hamlin up one spot to 10th in the NASCAR standings following Indianapolis, 186 points behind leader Kevin Harvick after 20 of 26 regular season races.

Pocono Preview: The Series heads back to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for the second and final event on the 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track of the season. Hamlin finished 10th at Pocono on June 7. In 19 career Pocono starts, Hamlin owns four victories, nine top-five finishes and 13 top-10 results, leading 667 laps at the track. He has also recorded three poles at Pocono.

Hamlin Statistics:
Track: Pocono Raceway
Races: 19
Wins: 4
Top-5: 9
Top-10: 13
Average Start: 6.6
Average Finish: 11.8
Laps Led: 667

Hamlin Conversation — POCONO:

How can the FedEx Team secure another victory at Pocono this weekend?

“Pocono has been a great track for our team over the years. Obviously, we lost a little bit of our advantage there when they repaved it, but it’s still a place that I have a lot of confidence at. Our cars at Joe Gibbs Racing have certainly had the speed lately, and this weekend it will be important to put in a good qualifying effort, avoid mistakes on pit road and set ourselves up for a chance to win at the end.”

Sheraton Boston Along for the Ride in Pocono: The FedEx Office location inside the Sheraton Boston is a leading store in the company’s annual President’s Club program, and will be recognized with its “5036” code numbers on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota this weekend at Pocono Raceway.

FedEx Office – Closest to Pocono Raceway: 940 Schecter Drive, Ste 1, Wilkes Barre, PA 18702, (570) 819-0813

2015 FEDEX RACING TEAM – SEASON RESULTS
DATEEVENTLOCATIONSTARTFINISHLAPSSTATUSWINNINGSLEDPTSTREND
Feb. 22Daytona 500Daytona424203/203Running$680,48344th
March 1Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500Atlanta438284/325Running$111,1051419th
March 8Kobalt 400Las Vegas195267/267Running$162,3808th
March 15Camping World 500Phoenix2523312/312Running$92,85513th
March 22Auto Club 400Fontana628209/209Running$106.4855614th
March 29STP 500Martinsville151500/500Running$172,260917th
April 11Duck Commander 500Texas1811334/334Running$146,5258th
April 19Food City 500Bristol*526505/511Running$109,20011th
April 26Toyota Owners 400Richmond222398/400Running$95,35012th
May 3GEICO 500Talladega179188/188Running$127,645510th
May 9SpongBob SquarePants 400Kansas1341205/267Running$79,33015th
May 24Coca-Cola 600Charlotte58400/400Running$143,7205315th
May 31FedEx 400Dover121402/405Running$129,61011814th
June 7Axalta 400Pocono810160/160Running$101,61513th
June 14Quicken Loans 400Michigan1311138/138Running$106,01513th
June 28Toyota/Save Mart 350Sonoma1518110/110Running$108,48513th
July 5Coke Zero 400Daytona353161/161Running$194,4301012th
July 11Quaker State 400Kentucky83267/267Running$125,3351311th
July 195 Hour Energy 301New Hampshire514301/301Running$102,61511th
July 26Brickyard 400Indianapolis175164/164Running$249,87510th
Averages/Totals13.615.097.9% $3,145,418364  
* Drivers: Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones

- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing

Kyle Busch would love to cross Pocono off the list

Kyle Busch is 6/1 to win at Pocono in an attempt to win four straight.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 28, 2015) – Kyle Busch is back. And a quick look at the statistics says it all about the hot streak he and the M&M’S Crispy team are on.

Busch brought home what he called the biggest win of his career Sunday in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The win was his third in a row and his fourth win in his last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Those stats would be amazing without all that he has overcome so far in 2015, which makes the feat even more remarkable.

After suffering a broken right leg and left foot in February, Busch missed the first 11 races of the season before finally returning to the cockpit in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. What he’s done since his return defies logic. In just nine Sprint Cup races since his return, Busch has won four of them. In the ultra-competitive Sprint Cup Series, a hot streak of this nature is very rare, not mention the fact he’s returning from serious injury. In fact, there are only 20 drivers in the history of NASCAR who have won three or more consecutive races. Busch joins Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon as the only active drivers to do so.

Along with Busch, a partner he is closely aligned with has also made a comeback in 2015. After a 10-year hiatus, the M&M’S Crispy brand made a comeback of its own in 2015. The company brought back the product by popular demand with similar success. So as impeccable timing goes, just 50 miles separate the headquarters of Mars Chocolate North America and the site of the next Sprint Cup race – Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Busch will no doubt find plenty of encouragement during the prerace visit to Mars Chocolate North America. There, the M&M’S Crispy driver and the entire No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team will have the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Mars associates, and many of those same associates will travel just down the road to Pocono Sunday to cheer for Busch.

Riding a tidal wave of momentum, Busch will take aim at one of the few remaining tracks in Pocono at which he has yet to win in the Sprint Cup Series. After crossing Indianapolis off the list this past Sunday, the Las Vegas native now has only five tracks where he has failed to reach victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series. Those are: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Homestead-Miami Speedway and this weekend’s venue in Pocono.

With four wins since his return from injury this season, Busch and the M&M’S Crispy team keep making huge gains in their march to make the top-30 in Sprint Cup driver standings, which would ensure them a berth in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs. With six races before the 16-driver Chase field is locked in, Busch sits just 23 points behind 30th-place Justin Allgaier. Busch has shaved an astounding 150 points off the deficit during the past five races, the only non-win during that span being a 17th-place result at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. With just a 23-point gap, it’s possible that a strong run Sunday at Pocono could place Busch in the top-30 in the standings.

So, as the series heads back to the Pocono Mountains, Busch, crew chief Adam Stevens and the entire M&M’S Crispy team will look to ride the huge wave of momentum back to victory lane for the fourth race in a row and for the first time at the “Tricky Triangle.”

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Crispy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

Do the four wins you’ve been able to get in a five-race span boggle the mind?

“It does, a little bit. This is unbelievable. This is something special. There’s nothing else like it. I’m so blessed to be in the position I’m in. I can’t thank everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing enough – Joe Gibbs (owner), J.D. Gibbs (president) and the entire family – for giving me the opportunity. I know I have plenty of blessings. My wife (Samantha) and my son (Brexton), too. This has been a phenomenal return. I won’t say phenomenal year because it was a dismal year to start with, but I guess I’ll take that 11-week vacation any year if it’s going to look like this. I can’t thank everyone at M&M’S and Toyota enough, all the people who stood behind me, for their support, as well.”

With all this momentum, what’s your outlook going back to Pocono for the second time this year?
“I’m looking forward to Pocono with our M&M’S Crispy Camry. It’s a place where you run similar setups to Indy, but with a different aero package than we had last week at Indy, but the same package we had at Pocono earlier this year, so there’s no change in that. I think there’s a good opportunity for us to excel. If we could bring home four in a row, that would be something special, especially at a place I have yet to win at, so I would love to cross that one off the list.”

How much did being away from racing make you hungry and help you out with your comeback? Also, how much has your role as a new father changed your outlook away from the track?
“Being away for 11 weeks was tough, but really there was nothing I could do about it. It was pretty hard times. It was tough to fight through all those things that I had to go through, Samantha had to go through while she was pregnant. She was helping me and everything that we did there. But, ever since being able to get back walking again, it was OK, and just all the steps we went through to get back into the racecar was quite challenging. Once we came back, I felt like I just continued right on my stride that I left with, and I knew Adam Stevens and I could achieve. He’s obviously a great leader of this team. I love him to death and he’s doing a really good job, and obviously we’re having fun doing what we’re doing.”

Are you more confident now that you’ll indeed be in the Chase?
“I don’t have any doubts, but we’re still not there and, even if we did get there, we still have got to be able to protect that spot and make it into the Chase. Whether we get into the Chase and become Chase eligible next week, or the week after or the week after that, it doesn’t matter as long as it comes by post-race Richmond. That’s all that matters. Whether we get in and whether we continue to grow and get top-25, none of that matters, just us being able to achieve the top-30 rule and get as many wins as possible in order to give us the top seed come Chase time.”

Since the track is unique, where is the best place to make a pass at Pocono?
“Most of your passing is going to be done probably through turn one and off of turn one and getting into turn two, if somebody can get a good run off of turn two, get back up high and get in line to get on that patch getting into turn three. Besides that, in turn one, we just can’t get the cars to turn down there because there’s so much load on the bump stops from going 210 mph down the front straightaway and then trying to slow it down to about a ‘buck-40’ (140). Turn two is kind of bumpy and kind of rough. There are different areas where you’ve got to maneuver through the tunnel turn to get your car right. If you miss it just by a little bit, you tend to knock the wall down off the corner, so it’s tight.”

KYLE BUSCH’S POCONO SPRINT CUP SERIES PERFORMANCE PROFILE
YearDateEventStartFinishStatus/LapsLaps LedEarnings
20156/7Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400109Running, 160/1600$134,456
20146/8Pocono 400612Running, 160/1600$129,481
 8/3GoBowling.com 400742Engine, 23/1600$99,871
20136/9Party in the Poconos 40086Running, 160/1600$141,318
 8/4GoBowling.com 40028Running, 160/1600$132,568
20126/10Pocono 400430Engine, 76/1600$117,193
 8/5Pennsylvania 4002033Accident, 74/980$115,443
20116/125-Hour Energy 500343Running, 200/2002$177,666
 8/7Good Sam RV Insurance 500112Running, 200/20027$213,091
20106/6Gillette Fusion ProGlide 50012Running, 204/20432$220,854
 Pennsylvania 5002123Running, 200/2000$115,256
20096/7Pocono 500622Running, 200/2000$115,723
 8/3Pennsylvania 5001416Running, 200/2000$117,073
20086/8Pocono 5001043Accident, 95/2000$80,999
 8/3Pennsylvania 5002736Running, 199/2000$81,600
20076/10*Pocono 50048Running, 106/1060$93,225
 8/5Pennsylvania 500312Running, 200/2002$87,650
20066/11Pocono 500922Running, 200/2000$81,175
 7/23Pennsylvania 500812Running, 200/2000$86,275
20056/12×Pocono 500384Running, 201/2010$120,025
 7/24×Pennsylvania 5002839Accident, 150/2030$66,975
†Qualifying cancelled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points.
×Race length extended due to green-white-checkered finish.

- True Speed Communication for M&M’s Racing