Kyle Busch drove to the victory with an excellent fuel mileage strategy in the closing laps at Pocono Raceway. Busch took the lead coming to the white flag and had enough fuel to score the win. His Toyota teammate, Bubba Wallace (fifth), scored his first top-five finish of the season and the best finish for the new team, 23XI Racing.
Toyota Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Race 19 of 36 – 140 laps, 350 miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, KYLE BUSCH
2nd, Kyle Larson*
3rd, Brad Keselowski*
4th, Kevin Harvick*
5th, BUBBA WALLACE
11th, MARTIN TRUEX JR.
14th, DENNY HAMLIN
32nd, CHRISTOPHER BELL
37th, TIMMY HILL
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Mini’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
I don’t know where to start with this one. Kyle Busch winning at Pocono. Have you ever had a more bizarre win in your life? Stuck in fourth gear for a hundred some laps.
“Yeah, stuck in fourth gear. About out of gas (laughter). Just saving, just riding, playing the strategy the best, we could with what was given to us. Just can’t say enough about everybody on my team, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, TRD, all the work they’re putting in. Sometimes these races aren’t always won by the fastest car, but I felt we had the fastest car. Even though we were in the back and behind and having to come through and persevere through being stuck in fourth gear, no clutch, all that stuff. It’s all burned out. Nothing left in this M&M’s Minis Camry. It was awesome today. Thanks to Rowdy Energy, Interstate Batteries, Stanley, Rheem, everybody that works on this car. A lot of our M&M’s friends are here today, so it’s really cool to have them here back at the track. Thanks to Rowdy Nation, all the Kyle Busch fans up there supporting and pulling for us. Really great to pull off another win here at Pocono. Feels good.”
At one point you were like, should we pack it up and head home today? At what point did that switch for you?
“You know, I don’t know. You don’t know, you know? The biggest thing was trying to time the restart right. Leave pit road, come back around, be at full speed by the time the field takes the start/finish line. We were a little bit off on that. We were from here to pit road off on that. That’s about all we could do. That’s all you could think about doing in that situation, just thinking through any opportunity and obstacle that’s on you. That’s just what we did. Again, great job to my team. Thanks to Ben Beshore (crew chief). Thanks to Matt (Tyrrell), the fuel guy for getting it full. That’s a big important one today. Really great to take home another checkered flag.”
What a day, team effort. You’ve overcome some obstacles in your day, but anything you overcame today?
“No, I don’t’ think so. Sometimes you have to have a little bit of luck on your side, and today, we had some luck on our side. It felt good. I think the biggest thing this week – everything was second, and if that was all we had for today, we will take it. It’s pretty cool to win up here at Pocono. It’s such a tough racetrack and all of the guys and everyone in this package, it’s so hard to pass sometimes. We had to fuel save that whole last run to be able to get everything we could out of that gas tank. No clutch, no leaving pit road, extended time on pit road – to come back and be at full song by the time the field went green, that was an ordeal. I don’t know. Thanks to M&M’s Minis, Rowdy Energy drink, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, Stanley, Sport Clips, the fans of course – Rowdy Nation – all of those guys up there. My family, (son) Brexton, (wife) Samantha – they are here too, so I will celebrate with them.”
When did you knew that you had a shot?
“I knew that we had a shot when they let me go. In chasing Denny (Hamlin), I was trying to figure out – well, I saw the 24 (William Bryon) pit, and I’m like okay – it’s now a race between the 11 and I. I was running him hard just to try to get him short and get him to run out. When he pitted, we were coming to the light. I’m like it’s going to be close, it’s going to be really close. I fuel saved the whole rest of the end – the last lap – and was able to make it. It never stumbled on the cool down lap.”
Talk about the effort you and the team have put in to bring good racecars to the track.
“Pocono, we just have a good package for. We built on something back in 2015, and we just kept building on it. The aero package has changed, everything changes, so you have to stay on top of it. The overall baseline stuff that we work off of is really, really close. We were fast, yeah, we had great speed. The car was good yesterday. The car was great today. We did some things to try help our corner speed and our longevity in the front tires. Not sure we really hit on that, but it was enough for today with the circumstances in the end. We started last there on that last run, and we won this thing.”
Toyota Racing PR