Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sports

Kyle Busch ends winless season with NASCAR Cup victory at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. — Kyle Busch watched the number of laps he has led this season cross 1,000, and he only really cared about the lap he hadn't led: the last one.

"We've had speed. We've been right there," Busch said. "We've been able to do what we should be doing, and that's running up front."

Busch also had the longest losing streak of his career, a career that includes the 2015 NASCAR Cup championship, 176 wins over three series and an elite ride for Joe Gibbs Racing. He can add two more feats to the list: 13 straight years with a Cup win and his first win at Pocono Raceway.

Busch used a bump-and-run on Kevin Harvick to take the lead with 16 laps left and held on to snap a 36-race losing streak and win the Overton's 400 on Sunday.

"I never thought this day would happen," Busch said.

Busch, who won from the pole, has never gone a full season without winning a race. Charlotte Motor Speedway is now the only track where he has failed to win a Cup points race.

Busch earned a spot in NASCAR's playoffs, a significant victory that left just three open spots with five races left before the 16-driver field is set.

Busch was in a victory slump that dated to the 2016 Brickyard 400. He did win the All-Star race this year — at Charlotte. But the exhibition doesn't count in the season standings.

He was racing for the lead last weekend in the Brickyard 400 when he wrecked with Martin Truex Jr., which led to a pit road altercation between members of both teams.

"We've all been fighting all year long and just wasn't sure why," Busch said. "This is something I've been waiting for for a long, long time."

Harvick finished second, followed by Truex, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski.

Crew chief Adam Stevens made the right calls a week after his confrontation on pit road with Truex's team. Joe Gibbs Racing suspended two of Truex's tire changers because of the profane outburst. Gibbs provides the pit crew for Furniture Row Racing as part of a technical alliance, giving it the authority to suspend members of that team.

IndyCar: Josef Newgarden dominated at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the way to his second straight victory of the season at the Honda Indy 200 in Lexington. Newgarden was not challenged most of the day on the 90-lap, 2.2-mile course and finished 5.156 seconds ahead of Team Penske teammate Will Power, the pole-sitter. With his third win of the year, Newgarden moved from fourth to first in the points standings, seven ahead of Helio Castroneves.

Formula one: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, hampered by a steering issue for most of the race, won the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest and extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 14 points heading into the month-long summer break. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was second as Vettel won his fourth race of the year. Hamilton finished fourth behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

NHRA: J.R. Todd joined the list of winners in both nitro classes when he won Funny Car at the Sonoma Nationals in California. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock), and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners.

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