NASCAR: Matt Kenseth takes a tactical win in Windows 10 400.
Back in Pocono at ‘The Tricky Triangle’, Matt Kenseth proved to be the best fuel manager and won the Windows 10 400, breaking Kyle Busch’s winning streak. The 160-lap-long race started at 1:52PM ET with Kyle Busch on pole position, followed by Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.
Jeb Burton and Ryan Newman started the race from the back of the grid because of utilising a backup car and a rear gear change. Harvick soon jumped to second spot and Austin Dillon climbed up to fourth position. In lap 5, Kasey Kahne lost control of his car and hit the inside wall on the pit road, causing a caution to be alerted, followed by a red flag.
At around 2:20pm, the race restarted on lap eight. Competition caution flew on lap 15 and Kevin Harvick emerged as he stayed while Kyle Busch decided to pit. Kurt Busch soon went to the lead and Harvick blew up his engine on lap 20, causing a yellow flag which lasted until lap 24.
On lap 29, Sam Hornish Jr. missed a shift and slowed down unexpectedly, causing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to hit him from the rear end him hard which caused a yellow flag. Joey Logano decided to stay and went to the lead as Kurt Busch pitted alongside Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick.
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After the restart, Martin Truex Jr. went to the lead which he lost to Logano on lap 40 when he made a pit stop. On lap 44, the second placed Jimmie Johnson pitted, leaving the position to Kyle Busch. Logano pitted on lap 53, promoting Kyle Busch to the lead.
However, the lead was short-lived as Busch decided to pit as well, which pushed Denny Hamlin to the top. On lap 56, Hamlin pitted too and Brad Keselowski went to the lead. Danica Patrick was the new leader when Keselowski went to the pits, collecting his crew members in the process. As a result of that action, he had to return to the pits and serve a penalty.
The fifth caution went on lap 61 for Keselowski’s tyre on the pit roads. The race restarted on lap 66 with Logano in the lead over Kyle Busch, but in the same lap, the race was yellow flagged again. The reason for the caution was a collision between Kurt Busch who went sideways and Sam Hornish Jr. who couldn’t manage to avoid him. The race restarted on lap 72 but the seventh caution flew on the same lap for smoke coming out of Dale Jr’s car. The restart was on lap 76 and was marked by a battle between Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. Larson eventually dropped to fifth and Hamlin climbed to third.
Halfway into the race, Joey Logano was leading Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin with Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson in top five. On lap 89, the top four pitted and Kyle Larson went to the lead. On lap 91, the caution flag flew for Alex Kennedy who backed into the wall. The pack returned to racing on lap 98 and Denny Hamlin jumped to second. On lap 100, Hamlin lost his position to Martin Truex Jr. and by lap 102, he fell to fourth, losing the spot to Kyle Busch.
On lap 124, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. decided to pit, putting David Ragan in the lead. Ragan gave up the lead with 35 laps to go when he pitted and left Greg Biffle as the leader. As Biffle pitted, Jeff Gordon went to the pits again, which returned Logano to the lead again. With around 25 laps to go, Kyle Busch was advised to save fuel and was slowly closing down on Logano.
With three laps to go, Logano started running out of fuel and was overtaken by Kyle Busch and with two laps to go, Martin Truex Jr. was out of the race. In the final lap, Matt Kenseth overtook Kyle Busch who ran out of fuel and didn’t finish the race, thus winning the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Brad Keselowski was second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr and Greg Biffle in top five. Behind them were Jimmie Johnson, AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards in top ten. Kyle Busch and Joey Logano finished the race in place 21 and 20 respectively.