Chris Wilbers’ Fast Thoughts
1Kyle Busch plays his trump card again at Pocono. While Kevin Harvick was colliding with Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola on pit road in the final 50 laps Sunday, Busch was riding his pit crew to his series-tying best sixth victory of the season (Harvick has six, too). Sunday’s scene was nothing unusual, however. According to NBC Sports, Busch’s pit crew is averaging 14.837 seconds per four-tire stop this season, best in the series. (As a team, all four Joe Gibbs Racing cars rank in the top nine, including second-place Denny Hamlin at 14.921.) Wonder where the rest of the Big Three rank? Harvick’s crew is 10th on that list at 15.258, and Martin Truex Jr. is 12th at 15.295. Considering how competitive the playoffs are shaping up to be, a lack of mistakes could dictate who wins the championship. And right now, that’s advantage Kyle Busch.
2Numbers worth noting from Kyle Busch’s victory Sunday at Pocono (source: NASCAR):
49: Career wins by Kyle Busch, tying Tony Stewart for 13th on the all-time Cup list.
483: Career starts by Busch, 135 fewer than Stewart.
30: Poles won by Busch, twice as many as the 15 Stewart claimed in his career.
23: Cup tracks where Busch has won a points race; Stewart won at 22 Cup venues.
1: Cup championship won by Busch to date; Stewart won three.
0: Daytona 500 wins by Busch and Stewart.
192: Career victories by Busch in NASCAR’s top three touring series — 49 in Cup; 92 in Xfinity; and 51 in Truck. Richard Petty holds the combined record with 200, though every one of Petty’s was in Cup competition.
3Local spotlight: Austin Thaxton took advantage of Philip Morris’ rough ride at South Boston Speedway to win the 100-lap Late Model feature. Morris, the track and NWAAS Division I points leader, spun twice while battling for the lead. ... Dillon Brown won the second round of the FASTRAK Triple Crown Series at Wythe Raceway. ... Andy Anderson led all 35 laps to win the Late Model feature at Winchester Speedway. ... Robbie Babb and Andrew Fortin split 30-lap Modified victories at Langley Speedway. Track division points leader Shawn Balluzzo finished second in both races. ... Racing fans at Southside Speedway can get autographs from and photographs with drivers from all divisions Friday. The gates open at 6 p.m., the meet and greet begins at 7:20 and the green flag drops around 8:30. ... Get more information at RacingVirginia.com.