History made in Charlotte
Kyle Busch didn’t just win the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week. When the No. 18 crossed the finish line first at the Coca Cola 600 last Sunday, Busch made history.
He crossed off the final track on his list. Busch has won on every track that the Cup Series currently races. And even sweeter, he’s the only driver in history to ever do so. It was his 188th NASCAR national series trophy.
And it hasn’t been a quite year for him or Kevin Harvick. The two veterans have won nine of 13 cup races this season. But while each has dominated races, they have never have a showdown down the stretch against each other this season. While Busch picked up his fourth victory of the season last weekend, Harvick finished 40th after the No. 4 car crashed into the wall on Lap 83.
But it probably comes as no surprise that both Harvick and Busch are in the top 5 to start this Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway. Harvick is in the front row, starting second. Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch respectively round out the top five. So who won the pole?
Blaney’s history with Pocono
Ryan Blaney may have only won one NASCAR Cup event, but his history in racing comes in his lineage. Blaney is the son of former NASCAR driver David Blaney, as well as the grandson of dirt-track racer Lou Blaney. On Friday, Ryan Blaney topped the pole with a best lap time of 50.877 to capture his fourth career pole. He turned the lap at 176.897 mph at Pocono Raceway, the same site as his solo NASCAR Cup win. It was just last year while driving for Wood Brothers Racing that Blaney picked up his only Cup victory during a June 2017 event. It was the brothers 99th career win and it helped form an alliance with Roger Penske, who has placed Blaney in the Team Penske No. 12 Ford.
Blaney currently stands 11th in points. He has led 418 laps this season.
Will it be Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch at the finish this race?
It’s been the storyline of the season. And ok, they’re not invincible and only one of them can obviously win, but the question this season has basically become: Will it be Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch at the finish this race?
Or will someone new sneak in there? Harvick started from the back of the pack last week and didn’t even make it to lap 100. And while it’s a new week, a new track and new adjustments on the No. 4, Harvick is also 0-fer at Pocono. (0-for-34, to be exact.) Pocono is the only active track besides Kentucky where Harvick has failed to win a Cup race. He did, however, come close to taking the checkered in both races at Pocono in 2017. He finished runner-up in both.
And while Harvick leads this season’s total win tally 5-4, only one driver has more national series wins than Busch. And that’s Richard Petty. Yes, the king of NASCAR. Petty won 200 Cup series races before retiring at age 54. Busch turned 33 on May 2.
Kyle or Kevin?
Busch won both poles at Pocono in 2017. He led 174 laps in his last two races at the raceway. And he won there in July. Kevin Harvick has finished second in four of the last seven Pocono races, including both races last year. We’re calling this one a G-W-C between the No. 18 and the No. 4. You’ll have better odds picking how many times Darrell Waltrip shouts “boogity” at the start of the race. … It’s always three …