HOMESTEAD, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Busch led 120-of-267 laps en route to winning Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The victory was Busch’s 56th career victory and clinched his second NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
“Today we had a really good car and I could race around and move around,” said Busch. “We have a great race team and a great owner, even the best sponsor in sports. I just can’t say enough, thank everyone enough for this opportunity.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr and Erik Jones finished second and third giving Gibbs a 1-2-3 sweep and his fifth Championship overall.
“I spent three and a half hours worried about everything, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” joked Gibbs. “It’s a thrill for me. It’s a thrill for us. The Lord blessed us with a great night.”
Truex, who was also eligible for the Championship, said he got stuck in traffic on the last restart and used up his car and couldn’t get back to Busch so he had to settle for second place.
“These things don’t come around every day,” said Truex. “Second two years in a row definitely stings a little, but the fact that we have one is still really a big deal. It’s hard to win these things. “Congrats to Kyle and the 18 guys. It’s a huge accomplishment just to get here I feel like. Yes, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. It just wasn’t our day.”
Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick was also eligible for the Championship and led three times for 44-laps. Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers tried an alternate strategy by staying out as long as possible for his final pit stop, hoping for a caution flag.
“We just needed to do something different,” said Harvick. “Those guys, they were so much better than us on the long run. Really our best chance was to have a caution there at the end and never got one. We just did something different hoping for a caution, and that’s what you’re supposed to do in those late situations like that. Just do the opposite of the cars you’re trying to race, and it just didn’t work out.”
Team Penske’s Joey Logano, the defending series champion, rounded out the Top 5.
Daniel Hemric’s 12th place finish helped him win the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
Toyota wins the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series manufacturers championship.
Denny Hamlin And Kevin Harvick Score NASCAR Cup Wins At Pocono Doubleheader
LONG POND, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s Pocono 350, the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series Doubleheader Weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Hamlin beat Kevin Harvick by 3.068-seconds to pick up his fourth victory of 2020 and 41st of his Cup Series career. Hamlin is now tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon for the most wins all-time at “The Tricky Triangle” with six.
“It’s awesome,” said Hamlin. “I think that’s the most wins I’ve got at any track now. It’s hard to believe because we went through such a dry spell there kind of the middle of my career. We’re doing a great job right now. Like I say, I hate to feel disappointed in a second and first. Man, I really feel like we should have won both races. Just didn’t work out.”
Harvick won Saturday’s race, taking two tires on the final pit stop to grab the checkered flag from a track where he had never won.
“Everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing has done a great job,” said Harvick. “We’ve had really fast cars every time we’ve come to Pocono, just hadn’t got to Victory Lane.”
The NASCAR Cup Series next event is the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a doubleheader with the NTT IndyCar Series.
Ryan Blaney Edges Ricky Stenhouse To Win NASCAR Cup Race At Talladega
TALLADEGA, AL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney picked up his first win of the season beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by a bumper at the rain-delayed Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Blaney and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones made contact on the front stretch, sending Jones into the outside wall as Blaney headed towards the checkered flag.
Inside of Blaney however was JTG Daugherty’s Stenhouse, who was leading hard charge of cars on the inside lane. The pair crossed the Start/Finish line with Blaney prevailing by 0.007-seconds in a photo-finish.
“I just kind of blocked, just trying to block the best we could,” said Blaney. “The 20 got to my outside and I tried to go up there to slow him down, I hate that I hit him, but just kind of trying to beat and bang to the line and things like that. We just edged it out, but I am really proud of this whole Menards/Sylvania Ford Mustang team.”
Stenhouse finished second and said he did all he could to get to the front.
“The 20 had a good run,” said Stenhouse. “Then they started banging fenders, slowing each other down. I just kept on the throttle, was able to get close to the nose of the 12 there coming across the line. All in all it was a solid day for us.”
Stewart Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola finished third with his rear bumper crossing the Start/Finish line first as he was caught up in the Jones accident.
Denny Hamlin finished fourth followed by Jones who after hitting the wall crossed the line in fifth.
Prior to the race drivers and crew members surrounded Bubba Wallace’s No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet and pushed it to the front of the starting grid in a show of support after a noose was found in the RPM garage area on Sunday.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the FBI is investigating and that whoever is responsible for the action will be suspended for life from NASCAR.
Chip Ganassi Condemns Noose Incident At Talladega
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Pittsburgh’s Chip Ganassi is condemning Sunday’s noose incident at Talladega Superspeedway.
Ganassi, who fields the No. 1 Monster Energy/Gearwrench Camaro driven by Kurt Busch and the No. 42 Credit One Bank/McDonald’s Chevrolet driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Cup Series, called the incident “horrific and completely reprehensible” and said now is the time to “rid NASCAR, and all sports, of these ignorant attitudes”.
Ganassi took to his Twitter feed to share those feelings. Here’s the tweet:
“What happened yesterday in the garage in Talladega is horrific and completely reprehensible. Now more than ever is the time for everyone in the sport to rid NASCAR, and all sports, of these ignorant attitudes”
— Chip Ganassi (@GanassiChip) June 22, 2020
Ganassi had to do exactly what he tweeted about when he fired former driver Kyle Larson, who uttered a racial slur in an online racing event.
Ganassi’s team also showed their support for driver Bubba Wallace and his Richard Petty Motorsports team. The noose was found in the RPM teams garage.
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) June 22, 2020
Ganassi has been a long-time believer of diversity and gender equality in his race teams, which in addition to the NASCAR Cup Series, includes 3-cars in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and an upcoming entry in Extreme E in 2021.