Kyle Busch takes Race #2 at Pocono, winning the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 (6-27-21)

By: Becca Cottingham

Headline Photo Credit: NASCAR Twitter page

Michael McDowell brings us to the green flag for the second race of this doubleheader weekend. Anthony Alfredo brings out the first caution of the day with a blown right-front tire and into the wall. This will most certainly make a long day for Anthony and his team after two wrecks. Martin Truex Jr was getting a great run on the leader Michael McDowell and got around him. We should start to see pit strategies come into play as we come into the closing laps of stage one. There were just at least four different drivers that hit pit road for tires and gas trying to stay out at the end of the stage. Once again we will see the issue that the drivers may get lapped. William Bryon fought back to get himself un-lapped as Martin Truex Jr won stage one.

We went back racing with all of the drivers who pitted before the end of stage one right upfront. The racing takes us three wide throughout the field at the restart. Brad Keselowski got around and took the lead and did not look back until he went to pit road for tires and fuel. Brad had already pushed it to as far as he could as he had switched over to the reserve tank. With Brad Keselowski on pit road for needed fuel and tires, this puts Kyle Busch into the lead. With less than fifteen to go, we start seeing more drivers deciding to go through green-flag pit stops. Kyle Busch hit the pit road and lost a ton of speed due to transmission issues. They have radioed that they will attempt to fix the issue during the stage break. Otherwise, his car is going to have major issues with restarts. William Byron who un-lapped himself at the end of stage one will go on to win stage two.

We head back to green flag racing for the final stage with William Bryon leading us with Denny Hamlin right beside him. Cars are three and four wide trying to figure out where they want to be but contact was made with Erik Jones. This will bring out a caution that will throw a lot of pit strategies out of the window. Most everyone will still need one more pit stop because we are still outside of the pit window. This caused a lot of issues due to last-second calls and drivers not maintaining speed such as Chase Elliot. That allowed Christopher Bell to get in front of him on the restart. With this restart Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain make contact and both have possible tire issues. They will both have to make an unscheduled pit stop for damage repair and new tires. While all of this happens it allows Alex Bowman to get a good restart and Kevin Harvick a chance to get around everyone. So many drivers did not save enough fuel and it has become a fuel mileage game because pit roads closed. Drivers who they thought had saved enough fuel but came up just short. Denny Hamlin looked like he was going to win the race but he ran out of gas. This allowed for Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson to pass with some distance which their crew chiefs were telling them to back down. On fumes, Kyle Busch is our unofficial winner of the second race at Pocono.