Kurt Busch kept one eye on his fuel gauge and the other on a fast-closing Dale Earnhardt Junior down the stretch Monday afternoon, winning the rain-delayed event at Pocono Raceway. Busch got the jump on "Junior" on the day’s final restart and kept the Number-41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in front the rest of the way, stretching his fuel mileage through the final thirty-two laps to notch his first win of 2016. Busch’s margin of victory was one second over Earnhardt with pole sitter Brad Keselowski, rookie Chase Elliott and Joey Logano completing the top five. It’s Busch’s twenty-eighth career victory and third at The Tricky Triangle. The race was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon but persistent rain moved it to Monday.
Logano and Matt Kenseth showed power during the first third of the race, combining to lead forty-eight of the first sixty-five laps. Elliott took over from there and went on to lead fifty-one laps through the middle portion of the race before yielding to Earnhardt – who then fell victim to Busch on the final, pivotal restart … The race pace was slowed by ten cautions, just three shy of the track record. Busch won with an average speed of 125.490 miles per hour, some twenty miles per hour slower than Jeff Gordon’s track record set in 2011 … Speaking of Gordon, he’s the last driver to win back-to- back June races at Pocono – in 1996 and 1997. Martin Truex Junior had his sights set on matching that achievement but was involved in pit-road contact with Matt DiBenedetto early in Monday’s race and never fully recovered, finishing nineteenth … Kevin Harvick’s ninth-place finish was enough to keep him atop the regular-season point standings.