NASCAR »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, right, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland smiles in his garage on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. after turning the fastest lap in final practice for Sunday`s Daytona 500. Gilliland turned a lap of 200.138 mph. [Picture Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Kroger/P&G Chevrolet, lead the field on a late restart during the NASCAR Nationwide Series John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 27, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on June 26, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on June 26, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on June 26, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on June 26, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, June 15, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. It was Johnson`s third win of the year and first at Michigan International Speedway.  He is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. With him is Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who finished thirteenth. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick in action. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 8, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.