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Busch steamrolls Pocono opposition.

Caution periods ruined the final laps of Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway but they probably didn't affect the identity of the winner as Kurt Busch dominated the 20th round of the 2005 season.

From the outside of the front row, Busch stated his intent early on in the 200-lap race around Pocono's bumpy, triangle-shaped oval leading all but a handful of the opening 100 laps and even opening up as much as a ten second advantage over his nearest rival during the longest green flag run of the day between laps 75 and 120.

Although pit strategy saw Busch shuffled back to the lower reaches of the top ten with some 70 laps to go, only when he trailed his Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin and fellow veteran Rusty Wallace between laps 140 and 180 did anybody look remotely capable of keeping Busch and the #97 team out of victory lane.

A rash of nine caution periods in the final 80 laps including one that necessitated a green-white-chequered finish, which in turn ended under caution, badly broke up the flow of the race although it did lead to some great battling for the minor placings.

Generally whoever was at the head of the field in clean air had the best car, although nobody proved that more emphatically than Busch, who finally made his way around Wallace on lap 183 and safely survived three separate restarts to earn his first win since Phoenix back in late April.

Wallace played the pit strategy well, moving from tenth to second with the aid of a two-tyre stop on lap 120 and then another some 40 laps later. With Wallace leading and Busch sixth on the lap 166 restart the Penske driver may have had a chance if the race had stayed green but with Busch passing cars and then gaining track position with every caution, it was only a mater of time before Wallace was demoted.

In the closing laps much of the interest was centred on the battle for second as Martin, who dropped from first to fifth during the final round of pit stops, fought back. The battle between Wallace and Martin could well have gone down to the final metres had the final caution not waved just as Martin seemed to be sizing up the #2 Dodge for a move going into the Tunnel turn.

Even so, third place for Martin goes a long way towards solidifying his place in the top ten in points as he stays more than 100 markers clear of tenth place.

Defending Pocono race winner Carl Edwards drove from the back of the grid to take fourth place, giving Jack Roush three of the top four finishing positions. Wallace's Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman rounded out the top five despite losing valuable ground when he cut a tyre while Kevin Harvick was the first non Roush/Penske interloper home in sixth place.

Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Mike Bliss and Ricky Rudd rounded out the top ten although for points leader Jimmie Johnson, 12th was all he could manage after being caught one lap down early and never regaining track position.

Greg Biffle suffered a late puncture and finished 17th, dropping behind Tony Stewart in the points table while both Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr failed to take advantage and finished 13th and 32nd respectively.


Related Pictures

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04/10/05 Martinsville. Kurt Busch at speed in the Crown Royal Ford Taurus. Busch went on to finish 19th. Photo Credit: Autostock
BRISTOL, TN - APRIL 1:  Rusty Wallace, driver of the #2, Miller Lite Dodge during NASCAR Nextel Cup Food City 500 practice on April 1, 2005 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo By Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rust
07/10/05 Chicago. Mark Martin moved up two positions in the points to 6th with his 10th place finish. Photo Credit: autostock
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Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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