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Kurt Busch prevails at Pocono

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by Frank Ryan
August 5, 2007

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Kurt Busch
Jim Garrahan

Kurt Busch and his Penske Jasper powered Dodge was the class of the field today at the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono. Busch started on the outside pole and never looked back, leading 175 laps on the way to his first victory of the year. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson rounded out the top-five.

Busch just missed winning the Bud Pole for today’s race and started on the outside of the first row. Leading the field to green for the first time since 2002 was Dale Earnhardt Jr, who claimed the pole after a rain delay on Friday, but it didn’t take long for Busch to stake his claim, as he wrestled the lead from Earnhardt Jr on the very first lap and was clearly the dominant car of the day.

While Busch had the car to beat, it took everything Earnhardt Jr could muster to bring home a second place finish. Earnhardt Jr had a broken shock which the DEI crew repaired on pit lane and Earnhardt Jr also cut a tire and spun in turn 3, only to recover to finish second to Busch.

More importantly, Busch also staked his claim on 12th place in NEXTEL Cup points, knocking Earnhardt Jr back to 13th place and off the stage… for now. With only 5 races left before the Chase for the Cup begins, Busch holds a 7 point lead over Earnhardt Jr and a 90 point lead over Ryan Newman (14th place in points).

Prior to day’s victory, Busch has one win and six top 5 finishes at Pocono, and has been one of the toughest drivers to beat at Pocono. Over the last two years, Kurt Busch has been second best at Pocono in average running position (8.7), driver rating (109.9), fastest laps run (108), laps in the top 15 (720), and second fastest average green lap speed.

Busch’s win ended a 52-race winless streak that dated back to March 2006. It was his 16th career Nextel Cup victory and his second at Pocono. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson rounded out the top-five, while Stewart, Newman, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and Casey Mears comprised the remainder of the top-10.

PJ Jones finished in 37th place substituting for Robby Gordon after NASCAR announced they were suspending Gordon for a race because of his actions during yesterday’s Busch race in Montreal. Jones practiced the car for Gordon yesterday and was familiar with the setup and race track. Robby watched the race from a top his pit road war wagon.

The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule is the Aug. 12 Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The second and final road course race of the season starts at 2 p.m..

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 2 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 195/10 200 Running
2 1 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 175/5 200 Running
3 6 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet FedEx Express 165/0 200 Running
4 11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 160/0 200 Running
5 7 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 155/0 200 Running
6 24 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 150/0 200 Running
7 4 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Mobil 1 151/5 200 Running
8 15 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Camping World / RVs.com 147/5 200 Running
9 25 01 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 138/0 200 Running
10 8 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet National Guard / GMAC 134/0 200 Off Track
11 18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 130/0 200 Running
12 3 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Kellogg's / CARQUEST 132/5 200 Running
13 20 88 Ricky Rudd Ford Combos 124/0 200 Running
14 37 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 126/5 200 Running
15 17 96 Tony Raines Chevrolet DLP HDTV / "Rush Hour 3" 118/0 199 Running
16 9 42 Juan Montoya * Dodge Texaco / Havoline 115/0 199 Running
17 23 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 112/0 199 Running
18 21 21 Bill Elliott Ford U.S. Air Force 114/5 199 Running
19 32 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet Haas Automation 111/5 199 Running
20 19 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 103/0 199 Running
21 29 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 100/0 199 Running
22 12 16 Greg Biffle Ford "Dog the Bounty Hunter" / Dish Network 97/0 199 Running
23 13 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 99/5 199 Running
24 16 10 Scott Riggs Dodge Valvoline / Stanley Tools 91/0 199 Running
25 34 40 David Stremme Dodge Target 88/0 199 Running
26 35 15 Paul Menard * Chevrolet Energizer / Menards 85/0 199 Running
27 5 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 82/0 199 Running
28 10 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 84/5 199 Off Track
29 28 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 76/0 199 Running
30 26 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 78/5 198 Running
31 43 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 360 OTC 70/0 198 Running
32 14 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Dodge Dealers / UAW 67/0 198 Running
33 36 6 David Ragan * Ford AAA 64/0 197 Running
34 42 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 61/0 197 Running
35 27 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 58/0 197 Running
36 41 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation 55/0 197 Running
37 30 7 P.J. Jones Ford MAPEI / Menards 52/0 197 Running
38 39 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 49/0 194 Running
39 33 38 David Gilliland Ford M&M's 46/0 191 Running
40 22 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 43/0 177 Out of Race
41 31 00 David Reutimann * Toyota Burger King 40/0 159 Out of Race
42 40 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 37/0 151 Out of Race
43 38 4 Ward Burton Chevrolet Lucas Oil / State Water Heaters 34/0 109 Out of Race

 

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