Kurt Busch won Monday’s postponed Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 at Pocono Raceway on an economy run, saving fuel over a final 35-lap run to take the checkered flag.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski started from pole, but almost immediately ran into trouble following the first caution on Lap 23. The Ford driver was penalized for unapproved body modifications after pitting under the yellow, forcing him to serve a drive-through when racing resumed on Lap 27.
Keselowski was back near the front of the running order by Lap 109, starting tenth for the restart. Three more cautions then shuffled the field, followed by a fourth that came after Chevy’s Jimmie Johnson spun in Turn 1 and clipped the wall. The field restarted on Lap 127 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. leading followed by Chase Elliott, Casey Mears, Busch and Keselowski.
Elliott and Earnhardt then engaged in a battle for the lead, however Busch eventually found his way past the pairing in Turn 2 and took the lead for good. Crew chief John Klausmeier, who was filling in for Tony Gibson while he served a one-race suspension, informed Busch he was two laps short on fuel at the end of the final 33-lap run, forcing the Stewart-Haas Racing driver to drive conservatively while holding off runner-up Earnhardt and third place’s Elliott.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway next weekend for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 12th. Click here for full results from Pocono.