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08 June 2018, 11:41 | Anna Jefferson
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While Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are the clear front runners, defending champion Martin Truex Jr. has reminded us his auto is no Clydesdale. And each driver spent enough time in front - Harvick led 89 laps; Busch 13 - that a one-two finish at Pocono seemed nearly certain on the 2 1/2-mile track. Truex Jr's win snaps a four-race win streak and three-race win streak of points-paying races that Busch and Harvick had strung together over the past one-plus month of Cup Series racing.
"I think three of those guys are definitely head-over-heels better than the rest of us", Larson said.
Larson wasn't so bad, himself.
If you look at the stat line for the 2017 champion, you can see that the number of Martin Truex Jr. compares quite favorable with Busch and Harvick. Brad Keselowski stayed out as long as he could, stretching 35 laps before coming down pit road in Stage 1.
The other two dominant drivers this season, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick stayed in contention all day, with Busch finishing third in his Toyota Camry and Harvick fourth in his Ford Fusion.
Truex won the first 50-lap stage by 1.1 seconds after passing Harvick on Lap 43.
"I hope they got a lot of Yuengling in victory lane", he said over the radio about the Pennsylvania beer. While he didn't lead a lot of laps (the reason he fell from No. 1 to 2), he still kept his vehicle in the battle and nearly stole a Pocono victory; instead, Truex snatched the win from him.
"I feel like we're getting back to what we were doing a year ago", Truex Jr. said. "But especially when you beat the best guys out there".
Stage Three: # 4 Continued to lead until lap 126 when the first incident of the race occurred when #99 Derrike Cope spun in turn three to bring out the caution.
Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson led laps for the first time this season.
A big item on Busch's bucket list is a race Petty won seven times. He cited how at this timelast year he only had two wins (he went on to win eight times in 2017), while this year he came into Pocono with just one win.
A year after he made his Cup debut at Pocono, Darrell Wallace Jr. was the first auto to the garage on Sunday. Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer finished third and Truex managed to climb back to fourth.
The series will shift to MI where Larson is the defending race victor. Larson is winless this season and is trying to make it two straight at the track. "So, it's been a little tougher to come by this year, but I feel like as far as where the team is, the speed of our cars, the job everybody's doing, we're right there and we showed it today".
Average Speed of Race Winner: 139.533 miles per hour.
He expected to race for the win again on Sunday.
Margin of Victory: 2.496 seconds.
This one wasn't much more lively, considering there wasn't a caution for contact over the first 124 laps. Harvick has five, Busch has four and Truex has two.
Certainly the veterans such as Busch, Harvick and Truex quickly reminded everyone they are repeat championship-worthy, but this week's MI venue, in particular, has recently been a track where the young stars have earned headlines and earned respect. 1 time for 4 laps; J. Johnson 1 time for 2 laps.
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