For Busch, the numbers keep adding up

Career win No. 49 for Kyle Busch came Sunday and the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is now tied with former teammate Tony Stewart for 13th on the Cup series’ all-time win list.

Stewart, retired from Cup competition since the end of 2016, won three series championships; Busch has one but is only 33 and likely plans to stick around awhile.

Busch has 20 wins in the series since 2015, the year he missed 11 races due to injury but returned to win five times and capture the title.

He also tied Ron Hornaday Jr. for the most career wins in the Camping World Truck Series Saturday with his 51st victory at Pocono.

And if you’re keeping track of JGR Cup victories, Busch has 45 of the organization’s 155 wins.

Overall, it was a solid day for the JGR group at Pocono with Busch (No. 18 Toyota) winning, teammate Daniel Suarez finishing second, Erik Jones taking fifth and Denny Hamlin 10th.

By the way, Busch now has multiple Cup wins on 14 of the 23 tracks on the schedule, with singles wins on the remaining nine. Perhaps that’s his next feat – multiple wins at all facilities?

A week after reports of sponsor 5-hour Energy’s impending departure from Furniture Row Racing, JGR officials announced a multi-race deal with Craftsman across two series with drivers Jones and Ryan Preece.

A division of Stanley Black & Decker, Craftsman will be featured on Jones No. 19 Toyota in four of this year’s remaining 15 races (Richmond, Dover, Talladega and Kansas). The sponsorship will ride with Preece in Xfinity Series races at Watkins Glen, Richmond, Dover and Kansas.

Team owner Joe Gibbs also said Sunday night that the plans are for Stanley to be a sole primary sponsor in 2019, likely on the No. 19 of Jones.

5-Hour Energy has been a primary on the No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota featuring 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr. this season. The company was paired with Jones when he was at Furniture Row in 2017. From 2012-16, 5-Hour was aligned with driver Clint Bowyer.

This weekend’s Cup schedule for Watkins Glen is similar to that at Pocono with two Saturday practices scheduled to be followed by qualifying. That may or may not mean more post-qualifying inspection issues.

Thirteen teams saw their qualifying times tossed out at Pocono due to problems clearing tech after qualifying had been completed.

Credit innovations in vehicle and track safety for allowing Bubba Wallace to walk away from Sunday’s hard Turn 1 crash at Pocono. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver suffered a brake failure on his No. 43 Chevrolet nearing the end of the front straightaway late in the race, shot across the grass inside the Turn 1 entry and then came back across the track to strike the outside wall.

Fortunately, the wall is covered with SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier.

Pocono has installed additional barriers on at least two occasions, most recently in 2017 when more than 5,000 feet was put in place.

Initial studies found the SAFER barrier could reduce lateral g-forces by as much as 75 percent during impact.

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