Dover in the Books
Kyle Busch led Joe Gibbs Racing with a sixth-place finish in today’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, while Denny Hamlin finished 18th and Joey Logano was 29th.
Kyle Busch started the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota from the fifth position and was able to race inside the top five for much of the day. Busch was able to lead a lap and pick up the important bonus point for doing so during a round of green flag pit stops on lap 113. The Interstate Batteries Camry would remain inside the top ten for most of the second half of the race despite Busch having to battle changing conditions to his car. Busch would run fourth when the green flag waived for the final restart of the day on lap 366 and he was able to quickly maneuver around Kasey Kahne to take the third spot. Suddenly Busch would find that his 18 car had become extremely loose however and he would spend the final 30 laps battling to remain at the front of the field. Busch would do an outstanding job and brought his Camry across the finish line in the sixth position.
Denny Hamlin qualified the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota in the 11th position and was strong through the early portion of the race as he climbed into the top ten and raced as high as second. A competition caution on lap 40 would bring everyone down pit road and the FedEx crew would make a four-tire change while many other teams attempted to improve track position while only changing two tires. Hamlin would restart just outside the top ten, but tight conditions would keep him from returning to the front of the field. Those tight conditions would plague the 11 team most of the day and Hamlin would battle the remainder of the race before going on to finish in the 18th position.
Joey Logano started the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the 33rd position and was able to gain several positions early in the race. He would battle handling conditions throughout much of the day as he raced just outside the top twenty. The No. 20 Camry would receive damage to the rear quarter panel from contact with the wall about three quarters of the way into the race and it would cause the car to become extremely loose. Logano would fall back to just inside the top thirty and the loose conditions would cause him to fall three laps off the pace and result in a 29th-place finish.
Kurt Busch captured the victory, while Jimmie Johnson was second, Carl Edwards third, Kasey Kahne fourth, and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. There were 10 cautions for a total of 44 laps and 24 lead changes among 13 different drivers over the course of the 400-lap race.
Busch dropped two positions to eighth in the current NASCAR point standings, but made a significant reduction to his points deficit and is now just 15 points behind the leader. Meanwhile Hamlin remains 12th and is now 68 points out of the top spot.
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
1. Kevin Harvick 2122
2. Carl Edwards (-0/tied)
3. Tony Stewart (-9)
4. Kurt Busch (-9)
5. Jimmie Johnson (-13)
6. Brad Keselowski (-14)
7. Matt Kenseth (-14)
8. Kyle Busch (-15)
9. Jeff Gordon (-19)
10. Dale Earnhard, Jr. (-34)
11. Ryan Newman (-41)
12. Denny Hamlin (-68)
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kansas next weekend on Sunday, October 9 for the fourth race in the Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup. Live Coverage will be on ESPN starting at 1 PM ET (race starts at 2 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius Radio NASCAR channel 90 and MRN Radio.