Wreck costs Kyle Busch Truck Series victory
By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kyle Busch dominated another NASCAR race and was clearly the driver to beat until a late wreck knocked him out of the race.
Kyle Busch Motorsports still took the checkered flag.
Christopher Bell passed John Hunter Nemechek for the lead with six laps left and held on to win the Truck Series race Saturday at Pocono Raceway.
Bell chased down Nemechek and held off Ben Rhodes over the final two laps to win for the fourth time this season. Bell crashed out of one race but hasn’t otherwise finished worse than ninth in 12 races this season.
“Once I got to second, I kind of saw where (Nemechek) was struggling and started reeling him down,” Bell said. “I knew I needed to just follow him, regroup and rethink where I was going to pull the trigger at.”
Rhodes, the pole sitter, was second, followed by Ryan Truex, Nemechek and Johnny Sauter.
The 22-year-old Bell leads the series in wins, poles, playoff points, laps led and top-10 finishes in the No. 4 Toyota. He also holds an 18-point lead over Sauter and leads the point standings.
Busch, with two wins this season, led most of the race until he connected Justin Haley and spun into the outside wall. Haley, who won Friday’s ARCA race at Pocono, blamed himself for the wreck.
With 48 career Truck victories, Busch was on pace to make it 49 with wins in the first two stages. His departure forced drivers to consider how they would have fared had Busch stayed in the race.
“You don’t want to be the guy that wins and people say, ‘it’s because Kyle Busch wrecked,'” Truex said. “I would have liked to have raced him. I would have liked to beat Kyle Busch. So there’s no, what if. You beat the best.”
Bell, who won for the sixth time in 42 career races, would like to think he could have held off his boss.
“I think if I was out in front, it was going to be pretty tough for him to pass me,” Bell said. “But if he was out in front, it was going to be really hard for me to pass him.”
KMB won the Truck race at Pocono for the third straight year: Busch won in 2015 and William Byron took the checkered flag last year.
More racing news at www.racing.ap.org
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.