Kyle Busch dominated the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono to score his fourth victory of the 2019 season.
Busch, who started second in the #18 Toyota Camry took the lead of the race soon after the second 50 lap stage started.
He was relatively untroubled from then on, only relinquishing the lead during routine green-flag pitstop cycles at the end of stage two and mid-way through stage three.
A late caution for Ricky Stenhouse Jr hitting the wall with 14 laps of the 160 to run eradicated the three-second lead Busch had built up over his Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Erik Jones.
But Busch was able to control the restart to earn the victory and his first win since Bristol in April.
Brad Keselowski jumped Jones on the restart after the Stenhouse caution to take second for Penske, as Jones took his third top-three finish of the season.
Chase Elliott was the highest-placed Chevrolet finisher in fourth for Hendrick Motorsports and was one of many drivers to employ a counter strategy throughout the race.
Elliott, like the victorious Busch, pitted out of sequence during green-flag running in the hope of vaulting position while the majority of the pack pitted.
Daniel Suarez (Stewart-Haas) and pole-sitter William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports) were able to claim strong results in eighth and ninth respectively by using this strategy.
Suarez’s Stewart-Haas Racing team-mate Clint Bowyer was a “frustrated” fifth as he felt an up-and-down race prevented him from maximising stage points.
Denny Hamlin (JGR) narrowly pipped the #22 Penske of reigning Cup champion Joey Logano for sixth, as Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10 for SHR.
Kyle Larson won both of the first two stages but hit the wall late on to come home a lapped 26th.
Kevin Harvick’s afternoon disintegrated in a matter of seconds as a result of a drivethrough penalty for a loose wheel during a pitstop on lap 124.
Harvick had battled for the lead but was hit for an uncontrolled tyre infraction that earned him a drive-through penalty.
Having lost the chance to battle for the win, his race took a further hit when he suffered steering issues that left him one lap down in 22nd.
|1||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford|
|3||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|4||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|5||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|6||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|7||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford|
|8||Daniel Suarez||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|9||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|11||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford|
|13||Daniel Hemric||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|14||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|15||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|16||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|17||Matt DiBenedetto||Leavine Family Racing||Toyota|
|18||Paul Menard||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|19||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|20||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|21||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|22||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|23||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|24||Ross Chastain||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|25||Bayley Currey||Petty Ware Racing||Ford|
|26||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|27||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet|
|28||Reed Sorenson||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|29||Quin Houff||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|30||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|31||Landon Cassill||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet|
|32||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|33||Matt Tifft||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|34||J.J. Yeley||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|35||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|36||Corey LaJoie||Go FAS Racing||Ford|
|37||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|7||Martin Truex Jr.||452|
|20||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||308|
|28||Darrell Wallace Jr.||161|