Kyle Busch wins fuel mileage derby at Pocono

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Long Pond, Pa. – Kyle Busch and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team were no fools on fuel.

Overcoming transmission problems that forced a crew member to enter his car at one point and attempt to pry loose a stuck shifter, Busch was able to stretch his final fuel tank all the way to claim his second win of the season Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

Fuel mileage became a factor as the laps wound down. With nine laps to go, Brad Keselowski was forced to pit for a splash, giving the lead to William Byron.

Byron held onto the point until two laps to go, when he had to go to pit road. That left Denny Hamlin and Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, in first and second.

Finally, Hamlin blinked, coming down to pit road as Busch continued on to the white flag – and then, the checkered flag.

At one point, such a result felt far-off. His car’s shifter was popping out of gear early on and then became stuck in fourth gear, which made pit stops especially tough.

“The biggest thing was trying to time the restart right,” Busch told NBC Sports. “Leave pit road and come back around and be at full speed by the time the field takes the start/finish line.

“We were a little bit off on that. But it was all you could think about doing in that situation, just trying to think through every opportunity and every obstacle on you. That’s just what we did.”

Kyle Larson recovered from front-end damage earlier in the race to finish second, bouncing back after losing the win Saturday to a blown tire.

Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top five finishers.

Wallace’s fifth-place finish is a season-best for him and the new 23XI Racing team, co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

This story will be updated…

STAGE 1 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.

STAGE 2 WINNER: William Byron

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Alex Bowman followed up his victory Saturday with a seventh-place finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: After starting from the rear in a backup car, rookie Anthony Alfredo blew a tire and hit the wall on Lap 2. He limped on to a 34th-place finish.

NOTABLE: Busch gives Joe Gibbs Racing its sixth victory in the last 10 races at Pocono.

NEXT: Sunday, July 4 at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wis.), 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC

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Kyle Busch wins fuel mileage derby at Pocono originally appeared on NBCSports.com