Rating the Race: Dover – Best Buy 400

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Mon, Jun 2 - 2:00 am EDT | 7 years ago by
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Best Buy 400
Image details: Best Buy 400 served by picapp.com

Kyle Busch stayed atop the Sprint Cup Series points standings, and he did so in convincing fashion by dominating the later portions of the Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway, outrunning the Roush-Fenway Racing cars to the finish. The race was 400 circuits long, and Busch was a third place car for over half of them, but his ability to get on and off of pit road quickly enabled him to pass Carl Edwards for the lead during a round of green flag pit stops with 163 laps to go, and there was no turning back after that.

The race had the looks of an exciting one early on with a huge pileup on lap 18 that involved twelve cars, six of which entered the day inside the top-12 in points. Elliott Sadler clipped the front end of the no. 38 Yates car of David Gilliland coming out of the turn, and the contact was enough to send Sadler spinning into the wall. Tony Stewart, who was driving behind Sadlers no. 19 Dodge at the time, ran right into the crash, and it became a domino effect after that, collecting Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Bill Elliott, Scott Riggs, Bobby LaBonte, and Paul Menard in the process. Hamlin and Sadler retired their cars following the accident, while Stewart and Harvick spent significant time in the garage. With the exception of Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, and David Gilliland, all of the other cars found themselves at least one lap down after the mele’.

From that point, things remained relatively uneventful until lap 154, at which point Greg Biffle had led all but four laps, surrending the lead only during the first caution period, at which point Michael McDowell stayed out to lead a lap, and then three laps during a round of green flag stops. Shortly after all of the cars had completed their green flag stops, the no. 84 Team Red Bull car driven by AJ Allmendinger stalled due to a problem with the fuel pressure to bring out the fourth caution flag of the day.

Under caution, Kurt Busch, who had been running inside the top-five for the better part of the day, spent a lot of time on pit road as the team try to correct a problem with the fuel intake. Busch returned to the track, but was two laps down, ending his bid for a much needed quality run. During the same caution period, Jimmie Johnson was caught speeding on pit road and was forced to start at the tail end of the longest line.

Carl Edwards finally took the lead from his Roush teammate on lap 171, marking the first time all day long that Biffle had been passed on the track. Biffle had spotted a problem with car, which they traced back to an altenator problem, and it cost him a bit of time on the track as he was forced to shut off several things in the car to save the battery, including the driver cooling systems.

Edwards held onto the lead until the field was set for their next round of pit stops on lap 232. A few drivers, including Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, and Paul Menard led the race during the exchange, but when the field had cycled through, it was Busch at the front of the pack with a 2 second lead, largely attributed to his ability to get onto pit road much more aggressively, and more quickly than the other drivers.

The caution flag waived only once more for debris in turn 2, much to the dismay of the Roush drivers that trailed behind Busch on the track. The field made two more pit stops under green, and Busch extended his lead on the field each time. He went onto win the race by a 4.225 second margin.

Edwards finished the race in second, followed by fellow Roushketeers Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth in third and fourth place. Jeff Gordon ended a solid day with a fifth place run, and last year’s winner, Martin Truex Jr, finished in sixth and was the final car on the lead lap. Jimmie Johnson recovered nicely from his earlier mistake on pit road, but not as well as he’d have liked to, and he came home in seventh. 8th place went to Jeff Burton, extending his streak to finishing every race this season in the top-15, but he ended his streak of completing every lap run, as he, too, finished a lap down. Dave Blaney and Jamie McMurray finished in 9th and 10th, giving them each their second top-ten finish of the season.

Travis Kvapil put together another nice run with his 11th place finish in yet another unsponsored car, moving him up now to 18th in the points standings. Brian Vickers ran up inside the top-ten for the first half of the race, but was caught speeding on pit road twice, and finished two laps down in 13th place. Ryan Newman had a top-ten run ruined as well, as he experienced the same issues with the fuel intake as his Penske teammate, Kurt Busch, and he went two laps down due to an extended pit stop with 80 laps to go, though he still maintained a 14th place finish.

Busch’s victory now gives Joe Gibbs Racing their season-leading fifth on the season, and extends his points lead over Jeff Burton to 142. Though no drivers dropped out of the top-12, there was quite a bit of shakeup. Greg Biffle jumped up six spots to take over fifth, and less than a hundred points now separates 12th place Kasey Kahne from 16th place Matt Kenseth.

Grades:
the Race: 77%
the Drama: 80%
Coverage: 85%
Pre-Race: 76%

Overall Grade: 79.1

Complete Results (from nascar.com):

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Combos 190/5 400 Running
2 3 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 175/5 400 Running
3 1 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 175/10 400 Running
4 8 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT NANO Technology 165/5 400 Running
5 9 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 160/5 400 Running
6 12 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 150/0 400 Running
7 6 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 151/5 399 Running
8 15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 142/0 399 Running
9 11 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 138/0 399 Running
10 10 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 139/5 399 Running
11 13 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Yates Racing 130/0 399 Running
12 20 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline 127/0 399 Running
13 7 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 124/0 398 Running
14 5 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Samsung HDTV / ALLTEL 126/5 398 Running
15 16 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 118/0 398 Running
16 18 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditRep
ort.com
115/0 397 Running
17 24 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 112/0 397 Running
18 13 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 109/0 397 Running
19 26 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Jim Beam 106/0 397 Running
20 4 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 103/0 396 Running
21 25 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 100/0 396 Running
22 29 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 97/0 396 Running
23 19 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 94/0 394 Running
24 31 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 91/0 394 Running
25 21 40 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Target 88/0 394 Running
26 27 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 85/0 394 Running
27 32 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 82/0 394 Running
28 22 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 79/0 393 Running
29 34 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Auto Value / Bumper to Bumper 76/0 393 Running
30 33 00 Michael McDowell * Toyota Microsoft Small Business 78/5 393 Running
31 30 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 70/0 392 Running
32 37 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 67/0 391 Running
33 36 21 Bill Elliott Ford U.S. Air Force 64/0 389 Running
34 23 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row
/ DenverMattress.com
61/0 388 Running
35 38 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 58/0 387 Running
36 28 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 55/0 381 Running
37 17 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 52/0 365 Running
38 41 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 49/0 326 Running
39 40 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 46/0 308 Running
40 35 34 Tony Raines Chevrolet doorstopnatio
n.com / Continental Fire & Safety
43/0 296 In Pit
41 39 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 40/0 199 In Pit
42 42 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin / Autism Speaks 37/0 16 In Pit
43 43 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Kinko’s 34/0 16 In Pit

 Sprint Cup Series Standings (from nascar.com):

RANK +/- DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS POLES WINS TOP 5 TOP 10
1 Kyle Busch 2050 Leader 13 2 4 9 10
2 Jeff Burton 1908 -142 13 0 1 3 9
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1779 -271 13 1 0 5 9
4 +2 Carl Edwards 1713 -337 13 0 3 6 9
5 +6 Greg Biffle 1658 -392 13 2 0 5 7
6 +4 Jeff Gordon 1646 -404 13 2 0 6 7
7 +2 Jimmie Johnson 1644 -406 13 1 1 4 5
8 -3 Clint Bowyer 1633 -417 13 0 1 3 7
9 -5 Denny Hamlin 1630 -420 13 1 1 4 7
10 -3 Kevin Harvick 1566 -484 13 0 0 2 5
11 -3 Tony Stewart 1551 -499 13 0 0 4 6
12 Kasey Kahne 1524 -526 13 0 1 1 6
13 David Ragan 1516 -534 13 0 0 2 3
14 Ryan Newman 1495 -555 13 1 1 2 5
15 Martin Truex Jr. 1441 -609 13 0 0 1 4
16 Matt Kenseth 1429 -621 13 0 0 2 7
17 Juan Montoya 1390 -660 13 0 0 1 1
18 +1 Travis Kvapil 1370 -680 13 0 0 0 3
19 +1 Brian Vickers 1327 -723 13 0 0 1 2
20 -2 Bobby Labonte 1325 -725 13 0 0 0 0
21 Kurt Busch 1295 -755 13 0 0 1 1
22 +1 Jamie McMurray 1265 -785 13 0 0 0 2
23 -1 David Gilliland 1246 -804 13 0 0 0 1
24 Mark Martin 1215 -835 10 0 0 2 4
25 +2 Casey Mears 1193 -857 13 0 0 0 2
26 David Reutimann 1183 -867 13 0 0 0 1
27 +1 Paul Menard 1164 -886 13 0 0 0 0
28 -3 Elliott Sadler 1156 -894 13 0 0 0 2
29 Robby Gordon 1086 -964 13 0 0 0 1
30 Reed Sorenson 1054 -996 13 0 0 1 1
31 +4 Dave Blaney 1048 -1002 12 0 0 0 2
32 -1 Regan Smith* 1041 -1009 13 0 0 0 0
33 +1 Sam Hornish Jr.* 1039 -1011 13 0 0 0 0
34 -1 Michael Waltrip 1012 -1038 13 0 0 0 0
35 -3 Scott Riggs 981 -1069 13 0 0 0 0
36 J.J. Yeley 842 -1208 12 0 0 0 0
37 Joe Nemechek 604 -1446 10 1 0 0 0
38 +1 Patrick Carpentier* 600 -1450 10 0 0 0 0
39 +1 Jeremy Mayfield 578 -1472 8 0 0 0 0
40 +1 Michael McDowell* 562 -1488 8 0 0 0 0

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