Brad Keselowski returns favor, interviews victor Ryan Blaney — NASCAR at Pocono

Driver Kyle Busch rubs his head before practice for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 auto race Friday
Kyle Busch takes Pocono 400 pole; Darrell Wallace Jr. a hit with fans
Author

12 June, 2017

Ryan Blaney has earned his first career NASCAR Cup victory by holding off Kevin Harvick down the stretch at Pocono Raceway.

"It figures the one race we don't have radio communication, we end up winning it", Blaney said.

Quotable: "I don't know what they party's going to be like.We've had a lot of bad luck, it's great to get back to where we should run". 99 for Wood Brothers Racing and its first since 2011 when Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500.

Erik Jones was third, followed by Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. "We ran top-five most of the day, had good strategy and it worked out".

After a caution late in the race, Blaney lined up second with 13 laps to go after a pit stop. You just don't get a true feel of what you're running down pit road. Kyle Busch led for 100 laps, and appeared to have the fastest auto most of the day as he had in qualifying, but couldn't finish it off. Blaney wound up getting to the checkered flag 0.139 seconds ahead of Harvick.

Harvick passed Busch one lap later and challenged Blaney right to the end, but couldn't find a way through.

The video below shows why drivers should be given microphones more often. He was super-fast. I want to thank [Harvick] for racing me clean. That was really cool of him, but it was definitely hectic. Hopefully the fans enjoyed it and excited for this.

South African Charl Schwartzel shot 66 and South Korean Whee Kim shot 67 to finish second - one behind Berger - in the final tuneup before this week's U.S. Open. Blaney took four tires and got out second, putting him fourth on the lap-148 restart. He also led five laps during his resurgence to the front.

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin Harvick makes a pit stop Sunday. Harvick couldn't quite get there, especially with weak brakes, something that bit numerous drivers on Sunday. Harvick cut into the deficit, though, over the course of the remainder of the first stage, closing to within two seconds by lap 50. "PESPT000009687-topic.html" class="local_link" >Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Holyfield's career spanned more than three decades and included a bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight titles, and two memorable fights against Mike Tyson Holyfield had an amateur record of 160-14 with 75 knockouts and finished his professional career at 44-10-2 with 29 knockouts. Kyle Busch retook the lead on lap 60. From second to last is nearly as big a fall as it gets. Johnson made hard contact with a SAFER barrier and McMurray's vehicle caught fire.

"I just started spinning and didn't have any brakes", he said. "The smoke, I think, is the brake fluid coming out of wherever failed and onto the rotors. This is what I always watched and wanted to do as a kid, so I got lucky to get opportunities to make it happen". I didn't even have a pedal to push on. I just mistimed it, or didn't have enough. Certainly, a big scare. Larson maintained his lead to take the stage, while Kyle Busch moved up two positions to second. Keselowski would restart on the inside of race leader Busch. Larson was first off pit road, but he restarted 12th, as 11 cars stayed out.

It is hard to imagine, though, that it couldn't have been as exciting as the way it unfolded Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

But after Saturday's sub-par practice session, the team changed engines and instead of starting on the outside pole Truex was sent to the rear of the field.


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