Joe Gibbs Racing driver steals victory after leaders run out of fuel RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " MORE: Shop Kenseth gear LONG POND, Pa. -- Matt Kenseth , the unexpected winner of Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway, had to do a double take. So did second and third-place finishers Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon . Kenseth got a gift on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch ran out of fuel halfway through the final circuit at the 2.5-mile triangular track. Seeking his fourth straight victory in the series, Busch didn't save quite enough fuel on the last green -flag run to complete the 160-lap event, but he still gained 10 points toward his goal of reaching the top 30 in the series standings. Busch, who finished 21st after getting a push toward the start/finish line from Reed Sorenson , is now 13 points behind 30th-place David Gilliland . Busch has five races to crack the top 30 to become eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Because Busch was pushed by another car, he did not get credit for completing the final lap, but that did not affect his finishing position. Collectively, the top three finishers led seven laps. Joey Logano , who handed the lead to Busch when the No. 22 Team Penske Ford ran out of fuel with fewer than three laps left, led 97. But Kenseth wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially after the driver of the No. 20 JGR Toyota did what others failed to do -- save enough gas to get to the finish. Kenseth's second victory of the season locked him into the Chase. "There's nothing like wins," said Kenseth, who collected his first victory at Pocono and the 33rd of his career. "We had a lot of wins in 2013 and were pretty spoiled and last year we had a big dry spell, and this year we were able to win Bristol. "We've been up front a lot, so just really, really thankful to be with these guys and to get the win. I never thought I'd ever win at Pocono, and I never ever thought I'd win a fuel mileage race, so we did both today." Despite coming tantalizingly close to a fourth straight win, Busch was philosophical about the near miss. "Man, that's a bummer," said Busch, who ran out of fuel on the Long Pond straightaway approaching the Tunnel Turn, less than a mile-and-a-half from the start/finish line. "I wish I would've saved a little more there that last run. "I wish I would've known that the 22 (Logano) was that far away from making it. He was way far away from making it. Man, that was just a shame that we weren't able to get it done there." Busch took a moment to reflect on what might have been. The empty fuel tank also cost him entry into the top 30. "We would be celebrating a win and a Chase berth," he said ruefully. "We got greedy. I don't know how greedy, but that's the position we're in. If it came down to other things that we haven't had the success that we've had here lately, we would've had to have pitted and just made the opportunity of it and made the best finish that we could. But, we went for broke today and come up a little bit short, so can't fault the team." Keselowski, who ran out of fuel as he approached the line, recovered from an early penalty for sliding through his pit, knocking his jack man off his feet and knocking a tire out of his front carrier’s hands. The No. 2 Ford lost a lap, regained it and came home second, 9.012 seconds behind Kenseth, as lack of fuel took its toll on the front-runners. The outcome left Keselowski with mixed feelings. "Unfortunately, just another race where I kind of feel like it didn't all come together for us, and this one certainly on my end with having problems on pit road and kind of sliding through the box," said the 2012 series champion. "That dug a hole, got us a lap down with the penalty and so forth. "I think the last restart with, had to be somewhere around 60 or 70 to go (actually 63), we restarted 12th and we were able to drive up to sixth and looked like we were going to be able to get to fifth, and then the fuel play came in there at the end. We were able to take care of it to bring home second, which is a very respectable day. Certainly probably not where we were going to finish without the fuel, but I guess that's sometimes how it works." Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran fourth and Greg Biffle fifth, as none of the top five finishers were threats to finish that high before the varying fuel strategies scrambled the final order. "There at the end we were one of the last ones to pit which allowed us to run hard all the way to the finish not having to conserve or save fuel," said Gordon, smiling at the stroke of good fortune. "I thought we were trying to get maybe 10th or 12th and all of a sudden they said you're third, and I think I was probably the most shocked person out there on the race track when I found that out. "I knew cars were peeling off, but I just didn't realize that many were either running out or coming to pit road." Note: Both Martin Truex Jr . and Logano, who along with Busch had the strongest cars all afternoon, were cited for speeding on pit road after running out of fuel and were dropped to 19th and 20th, respectively, in the finishing order, the last two cars on the lead lap. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Junior battles back from penalty, contact and vibration for fourth-place finish RELATED: Junior dishes on Hendrick's recent woes LONG POND, Pa. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . wasn't able to defend his Windows 10 400 title Sunday at Pocono Raceway, but after overcoming a self-induced pit-road penalty, on-track contact and a severe vibration, he was happy with a fourth-place finish. "Just had more fuel than everybody else," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We had a lot of trouble today." By Lap 40, the No. 88 car moved up to third from 15th at the start as pit strategies played out. But when he came to pit road 13 laps later, Earnhardt Jr. was caught speeding entering pit road. "Tach wasn't working right so we got caught speeding on pit road," Earnhardt Jr. said. "That was kind of my fault because we have a backup plan, and I didn't use it very well I guess. We got behind, and never could really get our track position back." Falling to 25th by Lap 70, Earnhardt was caught between Cole Whitt low and Casey Mears high in Turn 1 on Lap 72, bringing out the seventh caution of the race. "I must have come down on Cole Whitt down there into Turn 1," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I didn't think I had anybody underneath me. I was just kind of taking it easy getting down into the corner off the gas and waiting on everybody to sort it out. I must have come down on him. We got a little damage there. We fixed that. Got back out there." By Lap 80, Earnhardt Jr. had fallen back to 36th place after fighting a vibration that neither he nor crew chief Greg Ives could diagnose. "We had a lot of vibrations for some reason, not the driveline vibrations, kind of like a bad tire or something," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The right front shook real bad on one set, and the right rear shook bad. "We ran good lap times throughout the day. We got in front of the leader there one time and was running some good laps until we had a real bad vibration kick in and turn sideways down there." After seven cautions in the first half of the race, only one caution came out in the second 80 laps, and the No. 88 team was able to climb into the top 20 by Lap 140. Host of the popular "Back In the Day" show on SPEED Channel, Earnhardt Jr. was surprised that NASCAR waved no yellows in the final 63 laps and threw in a throwback Sunday reference to the year before his birth. "The booth up there, they turned the clock back to 1973 and let that thing play out a little bit, let everybody run out of gas," Earnhardt Jr. said. "That was pretty cool, kind of like some of the older races where you just can't count on them to throw the cautions at the end. They didn't today." Sitting 17th at Lap 150, several cars ran out of Sunoco Green E15 in the final 10 laps, and Earnhardt Jr. was able to earn his third top-five finish in the last five races. He was joined in the top six by fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon in third and Jimmie Johnson in sixth. On Friday, Earnhardt Jr. said Hendrick Motorsports may not be "on top of the mountain any more," and since his win at Daytona, the team has only led four laps over the past four races, including two on Sunday by Gordon. As Joe Gibbs Racing continues its recent dominance with its fourth consecutive victory and 353 laps led in that stretch, Earnhardt Jr. was optimistic that his team may have turned the corner. "Really enjoyed the power we had today," Earnhardt Jr. "We had great motors. I could tell down the straightaway it was as good anybody or better. "We just got to work on our car. Our car wasn't very good all weekend in the corner. We had a lot of balance issues we never really cured so that held us up. We weren't as good as we were earlier this year. "Still a top-10, top-five car, but just barely a top-five car. I thought we had a good enough car to win here when we come here in the summer earlier, but we lost a little on the balance." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up before Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) What: 42nd annual Windows 10 400 Where: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania When: Sunday, August 2, 2015 TV/Radio: NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Distance: 160 laps (400 miles) Green Flag: 1:46 p.m. ET Pit Road Speed: 55 mph Caution Car Speed: 70 mph Fuel Window: 32 laps Competition caution: Lap 15 (Track was washed Saturday night) On The Front Row ( Full lineup ) 1. Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (178.416 mph) 2. Kevin Harvick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (178.168 mph) To the rear Jeb Burton , BK Racing No. 26 Toyota (going to backup car) Failed to Qualify None Fastest in Practice ( Full practice results ) First Practice: Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford (176.606 mph) Second Practice: Carl Edwards , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota (175.812 mph) Third Practice: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (175.240 mph) Bumps be gone Two months ago, drivers complained about bumps in Turn 2 over Pocono's new waterfall entrance. The track paved over the section, and the racers have recognized the work done. " They did a great job repairing or improving the bumps and issues they had over in the Tunnel (Turn) especially on the apron," said an appreciative Dale Earnhardt Jr . But June winner Martin Truex Jr . may have lost an advantage, saying, "A few differences in the race track with the Tunnel Turn being smooth again, I think that certainly makes it a little bit easier on everybody else." Second consecutive sweep? Earnhardt won both races in 2014, and Truex will attempt to become the eighth driver to complete the season sweep at the Tricky Triangle. In addition to the two Juniors, the six other drivers who have achieved the Pocono sweep are Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1985), Tim Richmond (1986), Bobby Labonte (1999), Jimmie Johnson (2004) and Denny Hamlin (2006). Four-Time's last time The all-time wins leader at Pocono, Jeff Gordon , will attempt to make his seventh trip to Richard Petty Victory Lane in his last start at the track. Gordon's last win at the Tricky Triangle came three years ago in this race when he snapped a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott for lead. The facility incorporated "GORDON" into the start/finish line, and it has a "Thank you Jeff 24" sign greeting patrons and race teams as they drive out of the track under the Tunnel Turn. Birthday bonanza A win would be an early birthday present for Gordon, who turns 44 next Tuesday, as well as his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, who turns 40 next Wednesday when fellow Hendrick crew chief, Chad Knaus, turns 44 as well. Last year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner, Kyle Larson , celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday, and 38th-place qualifier Jeb Burton will join him at that age next Thursday. A two-time Pocono winner, Kurt Busch , turns 37 next Tuesday. Four in a row Coors Light Pole Award winner Kyle Busch will attempt to become the first driver to win four consecutive Sprint Cup Series races since Jimmie Johnson won four Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in a row in the fall of 2007. Other drivers with wins across a month of consecutive Sundays include NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott , David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough. Others to turn the trick have been Harry Gant, Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin and Billy Wade. If Busch wins, he'll go for five in a row at Watkins Glen and try to become the first driver to accomplish the feat since another NASCAR Hall of Famer, Bobby Allison, did it in 1971. Richard Petty holds the record with 10. Taking the fifth Kyle Busch and Harvick haven't won on five of 23 Sprint Cup Series tracks, and Pocono is one they have in common. In addition to the Tricky Triangle, Harvick is winless at Dover, Kentucky, Sonoma and Texas while Busch hasn't gone to Victory Lane at Charlotte, Homestead-Miami, Kansas and Martinsville. Chevy seeks milestone The Bowtie Brigade has won six consecutive races at the track, and if it wins on Sunday, it will make the 750th victory for the manufacturer. Seventy-six different drivers have won in a Chevy, which has claimed 38 manufacturer titles including the last 12. Gordon boasts the most wins with 92, followed by Johnson with 74, Earnhardt (73), Waltrip (60) and Yarborough (48). Next new winner? Through 20 races, 10 drivers have won their way into the Chase with Kyle Busch on the cusp of making the top 30 and becoming the 11th driver to make the playoffs, leaving five spots with six events until the field is set. Of top 30 drivers without a win in 2015, Larson has the best average finish of eighth. The second-best driver in that group is two-time Pocono winner, Stewart, with a 12.1 average finish. Another former winner, Ryan Newman , is third with a 12.4 average finish. Double-duty dudes JJ Yeley skipped Saturday's practices to head to Iowa and run the XFINITY race. Four drivers competed in Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono: Kyle Busch , Austin Dillon , Harvick and Brad Keselowski . Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Pocono based on races since 2005: 1. Denny Hamlin , 108.3 2. Jimmie Johnson , 106.9 3. Kurt Busch , 105.9 Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet Former Pocono winners in the field Jeff Gordon (6); Denny Hamlin (4); Jimmie Johnson (3); Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards (2); Ryan Newman , Joey Logano , Brad Keselowski , Greg Biffle , Martin Truex Jr . (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Coors Light Pole Qualifying, 11:35 a.m. ET, July 25 (NBCSN/Live Extra) Entry Car # Driver Team 1 19 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Toyota 2 40 Josh Reaume # Phoenix Air Dodge 3 74 Mike Harmon Battery Saver Dodge 4 70 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 5 52 Joey Gase Donate Life/DB Sales Company Chevrolet 6 13 BJ McLeod (i) Grafoid/Main Gate Dodge 7 89 Morgan Shepherd Malamphy Electric Inc. Chevrolet 8 0 Harrison Rhodes # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 9 15 Stanton Barrett Navy Seals vs Zombies/Lilly Trucking Ford 10 90 Martin Roy Gamache Truck Center Chevrolet 11 97 Peyton Sellers # VroomBrands Chevrolet 12 24 Eric McClure Reynolds Wrap Toyota 13 4 Ross Chastain # Watermelon.org Chevrolet 14 51 Jeremy Clements AllSouthElectric.com/RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 15 44 David Starr Zachry/Build Your Future Toyota 16 26 Timmy Hill (i) JGL Racing Toyota 17 01 Landon Cassill Flex Seal Chevrolet 18 14 Cale Conley # IAVA Toyota 19 28 JJ Yeley HSG/CodeBlue Toyota 20 8 Blake Koch LeafFilter Gutter Protection Toyota 21 39 Ryan Sieg Uncle Bob's Self Storage Chevrolet 22 16 Ryan Reed Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford 23 43 Dakoda Armstrong WinField Ford 24 25 Alex Bowman (i) Zaxby's Chevrolet 25 3 Ty Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 26 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 27 60 Chris Buescher Zest Ford 28 88 Kevin Harvick (i) Morton Buildings Chevrolet 29 6 Darrell Wallace Jr . # Ford EcoBoost Ford 30 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Ford 31 7 Regan Smith AmericasPower.org Chevrolet 32 2 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Chevrolet 33 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 34 98 Aric Almirola (i) Sledgehammer Ford 35 18 Daniel Suarez # ARRIS Toyota 36 22 Ryan Blaney Discount Tire Ford 37 42 Kyle Larson (i) Dixie Chopper/Big Machine Records/Jacobsen Chevrolet 38 20 Erik Jones (i) Game Stop Toyota 39 33 Paul Menard (i) Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 40 54 Kyle Busch (i) Monster Energy Toyota
After a mechanical failure of some sort, Jeff Green's day ends with a hard hit in the tire barrier.
Jeff Green , who is subbing for Eric McClure, crashes hard into the wall after a tire blows on the No. 14 car.
Jeff Green gets heavy damage in a hard hit at Atlanta.
This week the guys debate their favorite racing movies, recap Kyle Busch's historic run and what it will take to capture glory at Pocono Raceway. Other topics include Jeff Gordon, weight loss and balloons.
Host Matthew Dillner takes a stroll through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Pocono Raceway as teams prepare for the WIndows 10 400 on Sunday.
Jeb Burton gets loose coming out of turn 3 and hits inside of pit wall during final practice at Pocono Raceway.