Ryan Blaney Wins Axalta Pocono 400

Kyle Busch turns fastest lap at Pocono for 2nd straight pole

Qualifying races are already underway at Pocono Raceway and fans are ecstatic.

Team owner Eddie Wood was focused on his driver and for as long as he has him - he could move on to Team Penske, which has an Alliance with Wood, as soon as next year - he's proud that Blaney's first win came at Wood Brothers.

Kyle Busch, who led 100 of the race's 160 laps, was 10 laps away from his first win of the season before Blaney passed him for first place.

Kyle Larson is well on his way to Mark Martin status in NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup series.

No chance of a mic drop.

And that the breakthrough finally transpired in old-school fashion hearkening back to David Pearson and Cale Yarborough wheeling the white-and-red No. 21 auto only made it all the sweeter.

Kyle Busch rolled to his second pole of the season Friday when he qualified fastest at Pocono. Kimball's first pole comes in his 109th career start.

Busch's run at Dover was derailed when a tire came off the No. 18 Toyota during a pit stop.

That's a big no-no in NASCAR and the Joe Gibbs Racing team was slapped with some big penalties.

As a result of the pit-road incident, NASCAR suspended crew chief Adam Stevens, tire changer Jacob Seminara and tire carrier Kenneth Barber for a mandatory minimum four races.

"We talked about it right after we climbed out from the first run, but you get so fixated on those Xfinity cars and those things are all about momentum, so I was just kind of waiting for that thing to turn and get down to the bottom and get it all pointed, and I didn't muscle it up".

Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch completed the top five.

He had interviewed Xfinity victor Brad Keselowski in victory lane Saturday as part of an all-driver broadcast by Fox.

Between Ryan Blaney, Larson, Elliott, Erik Jones and hopefully more of Darrell Wallace Jr., the NASCAR Cup Series has a very impressive crop of young drivers who are proving that they are competitive with their more experienced counterparts. He will be racing for Richard Petty Motorsports with the familiar No. 43. "I've been dreaming about this since I was a little kid, being in the Cup Series, and now it's here, and I made a name for myself". "A little fist bump like he gave me earlier would be good".

The 23-year-old son of NASCAR driver Dave Blaney and grandson of dirt track star Lou Blaney was partying in victory lane for the second day in a row.

"Whenever I watched it, I saw a bunch of Confederate flags — stars and bars staring back at me", he said. That's common sense. I enjoy it. "It's a lot of fun unless it's a bad day, then leave me alone". He has never won in 33 career starts at the track.

Simon Pagenaud was third, ahead of defending race champion Graham Rahal, Gabby Chaves and Marco Andretti, the only other drivers to finish all 248 laps at the 1 1/2-mile track. Of course, when you've had as many weird and disheartening things happen to you as Truex has over the last few years, maybe he's just used to this.

Busch will go for his first checkered flag with a backup crew.

"It was just like us going back to the old days with no radios", team co-owner Eddie Wood said.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed a shift in practice and wound up damaging his engine.

He turned a qualifying lap with the new engine. A lot of other guys say it's fine, so I've just got to figure out what I've got to do better. "But that was just one of the problems that we had. I didn't have everything lined up, and thought I had the right mindset going into it". It was Johnson's 83rd Cup victory, tying him with Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time win list in the series.

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