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Pocono winners and losers

Kyle Busch holds off Brad Keselowski to win the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway.


Joe Gibbs Racing — It’s a recurring theme but Kyle Busch’s season-high fourth win gives JGR nine victories in 14 points races.

Chris Buescher — His 14th-place finish marked his third consecutive top-15 finish. It’s the first time he’s had such a streak since joining JTG Daugherty Racing in 2017.

Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin — Nothing bad happened to them. Jones finished third to move into a playoff spot. Hamlin was sixth, ending a streak of four consecutive finishes of 15th or worse.

Chase Elliott — His fourth-place finish marked his series-best fifth consecutive top-five finish.


Kyle Larson — Bold moves needed to be made to pass at Pocono, and Larson’s bold move backfired in the waning laps as he ran in the top 10. Contact with Clint Bowyer’s car caused Larson to hit the wall. Larson finished 26th, losing about 20 points from where he likely would’ve finished. Because of that failed move, Larson is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the final playoff spot. Will Larson need those 20 points when the playoff field is set in September?

Austin Dillon — Contact with Paul Menard sent him into the wall early and to a last-place finish. Dillon entered the race 27 points out of a playoff spot. He left Pocono Raceway 57 points out of a playoff spot.

Jimmie Johnson — He is tied with Kyle Larson for the final playoff spot but would lose the tiebreaker and wouldn’t make the playoffs if the field was set today. Johnson has 12 races to either secure a playoff spot with a win or put himself in a better position via points. Johnson has qualified in the previous 15 seasons of the playoffs.