Kyle Busch is two for two this weekend at the Dover International Speedway. After dominating the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday afternoon, Busch scored his 66th career win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and now has a total of 134victories in NASCAR’s top-three divisions.
Busch led 124 of the 200 laps in the Buckle Up 200, providing the eighth win at Dover for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series. He restated his dominance, especially on restarts as he was able to pull out front within the first two laps of each restart, providing the No. 54 car with a comfortable lead for the long green flag runs. Entering this weekend’s events at Dover, no driver had previously won both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series events at the Monster Mile. Busch will be looking to complete the Dover triple on Sunday afternoon during the FedEx 400.
Late in the race, Trevor Bayne was able to get around Joey Logano, who had won four straight Nationwide Series contests at Dover prior to this weekend. Logano led 59 laps on Saturday’s spectacle, but just didn’t have a car capable of keeping up with Busch who was setting a staggering pace after the second round of pit stops.
"This team has made some really big gains this week. We have been eighth to 10th every week and it kind of stinks to be that close. I will never complain about a second place finish, but when you can get that close, you want to keep going," Bayne said.
After being more than two seconds behind Busch, Bayne close the gap to less than half of a second with 15 laps to go. However, Bayne just could not keep up with Busch who showed signs of getting stronger within the concluding 10 markers. This marks Bayne’s second top-five of the year, and now sits fourth in points.
Regan Smith leaves Dover with a four point lead over Elliott Sadler as the two were battling for the ninth position late in the race. After leading the race early, Chase Elliott ended up finishing fifth, and is now 22 points behind his teammate, Smith, for the points lead.
Cale Conley was running 18th, just trying to earn experience when James Buescher got loose off of Turn Four, and slid into Ryan Reed. Reed tried to save it, but slammed into Conley, tossing his No. 33 Chevrolet into the outside wall in Turn One.
Dylan Kwasniewski had a track bar issue late in the race, sending his No. 31 Chevrolet to pit road where he went 12 laps down.
Kyle Busch has scored yet another victory in NASCAR’s third-tier division. Busch dominated the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover, leading over 75 percent of the event. The victory marks Busch’s fourth victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover, and it is 39th victory in 119 starts. This also marks the eighth time Busch had recorded a perfect rating in the Truck Series.
Throughout the first 22 laps, there were three cautions as Busch started to utilize higher groove.
Busch’s teammate, Darrell Wallace Jr. tapped the wall on Lap 43, forcing him to pit while in the sixth position.
As Kyle Busch was pitting on Lap 75, the caution came out for Brennan Newberry slamming the wall on the front stretch. Busch went from first to eighth, but worked his way to third within a lap.
“We were well inside of the top-10 and the NTS Motorsports guys were really good. We are trying to get some more exposure for Qore-24. My crew chief, Gere Kennon, had the truck working good where we actually practiced in the dark and kind of had a cloud. We were just trying to buy our time, and we were just catching people all of a sudden. Racing is tight here at Dover, and we didn’t get the groove that we wanted, and we ran out of real estate and spun around,” Newberry said after the race.
Crafton slammed the wall exiting turn two on Lap 157, forcing an abrupt end to his day as he seemingly had a truck that could contend with Busch for the victory. He entered Dover with an 11 point lead over Timothy Peters. After the race, Crafton said he broke a wheel and that was it. Now, Peters is ahead of Johnny Sauter and Crafton by just one marker.
German Quiroga got into Gray Gaulding entering turn three, sending the No. 20 Chevrolet spinning into the outside wall, and collecting Ben Rhodes in the process.
“ The No. 20 and No. 77 were battling hard and I was working on staying up high and setting him (Quiroga) up so I can work on the No. 20, but they got together entering the corner and the No. 77 was aero loose. They came together at the wrong time and collected me in the wreck,” Rhodes said.
Brandon Jones recorded a career-best finish of fourth after getting the lucky dog on the fifth caution of the day. Jones ran as high as second, but was able to earn his first career top-10 finish. Ryan Blaney was able to take advantage of Crafton’s wreck after running third all day, and finished runner-up to Busch.
There were a total of seven cautions with four different leaders and six lead changes.
The clouds might have been above the track, but no cloud could ruin a pole run for “Bad Brad.”
Brad Keselowski has won the pole for the FedEx 400 at the Dover International Speedway. Keselowski’s time of 21.892 set the track record at Dover as he was the first car to go on track in the final round of qualifying.
The pole award marks the fifth time that Keselowski will lead the field to the green flag in what will be his 174th career start in NASCAR’s premier division. With the new qualifying format, Keselowski’s average starting position was 6.8 with seven front row starts in 12 races, and the 11th front row start for Team Penske between Joey Logano and he.
"I don't know if it is any different from last year. At this time last year, we were very similar in the standings and in laps led. We just didn't have the finishes other than the one win, but we are qualifying better," Keselowski said.
"I think the cars are built a lot differently than they were last year, and I think Ford has done a great job catching up with the front nose piece that kind of put us behind when the Gen Six car came out. I don't think we were far off before, we just needed those little pieces that were kind of outside of our control."
Kevin Harvick, along with Logano, went out a second time, but was not able to improve on old tires. Harvick will start eighth on Sunday at Dover, and it is the seventh straight weekend where he will start 11th or better.
Kyle Busch set the initial track record of the day in the first round with a time of 21.898 seconds at 164.399 mph, but was not able to duplicate his lap in the second round, coming just short of Keselowski’s time to start on the outside pole.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. barely missed the cut as A.J. Allmendinger knocked him out of the top-12 with a minute remaining in round one. Earnhardt Jr. went back on track along with Marcos Ambrose and Kurt Busch, but none of them were able to advance to the second and final round of qualifying.
After qualifying was completed, Busch said he came up just a little short of the pole as he got loose in between turns three and four.
Brett Moffitt, making his Sprint Cup Series debut for Identity Ventures Racing, will start 18th on Sunday at Dover. Moffitt, 21, has just one prior start in the Nationwide Series and two in the Camping World Truck Series. However, he is a two-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Dover, and is replacing Joe Nemechek in the No. 66 Toyota this weekend.
Here are some notables from qualifying:
- Carl Edwards will start 29th after being sixth in first practice.
- Tony Stewart will start 20th in the No. 14 car. Stewart is the reigning winner of this event and has not won a race since.
- Kyle Larson was the highest qualifying rookie in fifth.
- Kurt Busch will start 24th after being 20th in first practice.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is back at the Dover International Speedway this weekend for the 33rd running Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket. Joey Logano has dominated the past four Nationwide Series events at the Monster Mile. However, Logano has yet to win in NASCAR’s second-tier division in multiple starts this year as he has been enjoying success in the Sprint Cup Series with Team Penske.
If anyone will stop Logano’s dominance at Dover, it will occur this weekend. The Nationwide Series regulars have won nearly half of the events this season, and a track such as Dover falls into the hands of some younger drivers which often race well at the shorter tracks.
Regan Smith enters Dover with the points lead after 11 events in the Nationwide Series in 2014. After winning at Daytona to start off the year, Smith has been extremely consistent – finishing inside of the top-10 during each race this season. However, he has not led at any tracks this season other than the two restrictor plate races. In eight starts at Dover in Nationwide Series competition, Smith has recorded one top-10 finish.
“We just need to put ourselves in situations to get up front and lead laps. We are not lacking that much really. I think all three of our cars are capable of winning. Chase has two intermediate wins, and as you said – we have been top-10 all season long. It is just the little stuff. Maybe we need a better pit stop here or an adjustment there, or maybe a little better qualifying at some places,” Smith said. “I think in the first five/six races, we were really learning each other. We really had some struggles with the No. 7 car in particular. Around Darlington, we really started making a turn, getting better each week.”
Kyle Busch will be attempting to score his third victory of the season this weekend, and his fourth win at Dover in what will be his 18th career start at the track. Busch has finished inside of the top-five at each race he has been entered in this year, and is looking to score his 66th career Nationwide Series victory. Busch’s teammate, Matt Kenseth, is also racing in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. This will be Kenseth’s ninth start of the 2014 season, but he has been winless this year, albeit leading 253 laps.
“There’s always the argument being made that there are certain tracks where it is nice to get extra track time. It’s good at a track that you go to once a year and take two tires or something like that. It’s nice to get some extra time,” Kenseth said on how running the Nationwide Series races effects his Cup Series effort.
There are 40 drivers entered in the Nationwide Series event this weekend. Paulie Harraka is making his first start for TriStar Motorsports in the No. 44 Toyota. Todd Bodine returns to the Nationwide Series for his second start of the year in the No. 55 Chevrolet. Joe Nemechek will not be racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend, but is making his fifth Nationwide Series start of the year for his self-owned NEMCO Motorsports team. Morgan Shepherd is making his return to the Nationwide Series as well this weekend. Shepherd, 72, will make his 352nd career start in NASCAR’s second-tier division after resetting his previous record of being the oldest driver to start a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix earlier this year.
The Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket starts at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
After rubbing fenders with Carl Edwards, the Mac is back. Jamie McMurray has won his first career NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday evening, holding off an extremely hard charging Kevin Harvick.
McMuray led 31 laps en route to his third race at Charlotte (two points paying races and now the All-Star Race). The win is Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ first win at the Sprint All-Star Race.
Kyle Busch won the first segment after pole sitter, Carl Edwards, led the first nine laps. Busch was under heat from Jeff Gordon, but was able to hold him off by a half of a second.
Denny Hamlin stayed out after the first round of pit stops while Keselowski, Newman and Kurt Busch took two-tires only, trying to advance from the middle of the pack.
Kasey Kahne won the second segment after Denny Hamlin stacked up the field with a tire going down due to making contact with Greg Biffle while going three-wide on the front stretch.
Strategy came into play as four drivers opted to stay out after the second segment, but only had seven laps on their tires as they attempted to improve their total average finish. However, Kahne was able to win the third segment as well after maneuvering through traffic. Kahne hit the wall in the fourth segment, and said on his radio “"I hit it hard. I blew it bad.” Then, Kahne hit the wall hard at the conclusion of that segment.
“I can’t believe that happened…we had a great car. I blew a right front getting into one,” Kahne radioed into his No. 5 team after the second incident.
Jeff Gordon had “something break” during segment four, causing a fire to erupt from his No. 24 Chevrolet. Martin Truex Jr. had nowhere to go as Greg Biffle and he slammed into one another, ending both of their evenings.
Harvick won the fourth segment after having a hard fought battle with Jamie McMurray, who led 15 laps in that sector of the All-Star Race.
Here are the unofficial results from the Sprint All-Star Race:
1). Jamie McMurray
2). Kevin Harvick
3). Matt Kenseth
4). Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5). Carl Edwards
6). Jimmie Johnson
7). Clint Bowyer
8). Brian Vickers
9). Denny Hamlin
10). Brad Keselowski
11). Kurt Busch
12). Tony Stewart
13). David Ragan
14). Kasey Kahne
15). Josh Wise
16). Ryan Newman
17). Jeff Gordon
18). Martin Truex Jr.
19). Greg Biffle
20). A.J. Allmendinger
21). Kyle Busch
22). Joey Logano