This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Pocono Raceway delivered two unexpected finishes over the double-header weekend. In Saturday's race, it looked like Kyle Larson was destined to continue his win streak only for him to suffer a flat tire in the final turn, allowing Alex Bowman to sweep through to the checkered flag. Sunday's race then proved to be equally dramatic with Kyle Busch nursing his car – stuck in fourth gear for the majority of the race – and fuel all the way to the checkered flag, as multiple cars ahead of him were forced to pit road for splash-and-go stops to make it to the finish. With no new victors, the battle for the 16th and final playoff spot also heated up. Kurt Busch continued his reversal of fortune and was able to elbow his way past Chris Buescher in the standings to regain a playoff position he lost a number of weeks ago.
Teams and drivers will not have long to catch their breath before visiting another new road course July 4th weekend at Road America. It will be the first visit of the NASCAR Cup Series to the scenic natural-terrain road course, and they'll be joined by the Xfinity Series for their annual visit to the track. On-track practice and qualifying for the Cup competitors starts Saturday with qualifying and the race taking place on the holiday.
Kyle Busch – Busch won the opening stage at Pocono on Saturday and went on to finish that race second to Bowman, which signaled