LONG POND, Pa. – Pocono Raceway is a unique track on the NASCAR circuit. The “Tricky Triangle” is often described as a road course with three big left turns.
It’s been affectionately called a “roval.”
Each turn is different with 14-degree banking in one, 9 degrees in the second and 6 degrees in Turn 3. The turns are all different and the three straightaways are different lengths. That makes for more shifting of gears than on a typical 2-½ mile track.
Add in the fact that NASCAR changed the rules this year by implementing restrictor plates, bigger spoilers and air ducts to slow cars and promote more side-by-side racing and the Xfinity Pocono Green 250 was bound to be even more intriguing than normal.
Still, when a driver is in a sweet spot like the one Kyle Busch is in, attempts to even the playing field don’t matter.
On Friday, Busch bristled at a comment about him having never won an Xfinity Series race at Pocono Speedway. He pointed out that he had won on every track in the Monster Energy Cup Series, including last September at Pocono. He also noted that he had only run one other time there in an Xfinity race.
Busch made it a moot point Saturday as he dominated to win the Pocono Green 250. However, the victory could be tainted, as the No. 18 Toyota failed a postrace inspection for height requirements. A NASCAR spokesperson said the car was too high in the left front,
Busch also got a penalty for speeding off pit road, which moved him to the back of the pack at the start of the second stage, but he fought his way back from the back to get his 92nd win in the Xfinity Series.
Busch had led 24 of the first 26 laps before his penalty. He moved back into the top 10 within 10 laps and ending up leading the final 40 of the 100-lap race.
“It feels good especially after I tried to screw it up,” said Busch, who finished 2.85 seconds ahead of Chase Elliott. “We were able to overcome our early deficit and get back to the front.
“We had to patient and try to make moves when we could. All and all, we knew had speed in our race car to get back up there.
“It means a lot to win here in Pocono in the Xfinity Series and check another box in having a win on all active tracks on the Xfinity schedule. There were a few that I missed out on, but they’re gone now, so I can’t. Overall, it was a great day.”
Busch, who will start on the front row of the Monster Energy Pocono 400 on Sunday, will learn his fate about the failed inspection in the coming week. According to NASCAR.com, Christopher Bell failed a postrace height inspection last week, resulting in a one-race suspension for crew chief Jason Ratcliff, a $10,000 fine, and a loss of 10 points for both the driver and car owner.