Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images
DOVER, Del. — Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) was able to continue his weekend dominance at the Dover International Speedway by winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ Buckle Up 200.
Busch snapped Joey Logano’s (Team Penske) streak of four straight Dover wins with his outstanding performance in today’s race. Busch led 124 laps en route to his third win of the season and his fourth career Nationwide Series win at Dover. The win is Busch’s second of the weekend as the driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry also dominated yesterday’s Camping World Truck Series event for his self-owned team.
During this morning’s qualifying session for the race, Busch’s car left the 2009 series champion not feeling so sure about his chances of victory in today’s race. Busch would state before the race that he wasn’t feeling as confident as he normally does for Nationwide Series races. Busch and his crew, led by Adam Stevens, would continually work on the car throughout all 200 laps to get their car in the right place to be to take the win. Busch would give his crew credit for the win during his post-race press conference.
“I don’t know if it’s so much dominance as much as just hard work,” Busch said. “Adam Stevens and these guys through this weekend were trying to get the car right, trying to get the feel that I was looking for… It was a great race car, Adam and the guys did a good job.”
Busch held off a late-race charge by Trevor Bayne (Roush-Fenway Racing) and Logano to earn his 66th career Nationwide Series victory. Bayne and Logano would fight hard for the second position to get a shot at hunting down the No. 54 car, however, their battle for second would allow Busch to skirt away. Logano expressed his disappointment with his third-place run in his post-race press conference.
“It went okay,” Logano said. “We didn’t win. We were going for that five-in-a-row here today, we just came up short there. We didn’t really have good restarts on the inside which didn’t put me in a good enough spot to be able to pass cars on the restarts there. My car was just too loose and every time I’d get to someone I’d get freer and if I was able to get underneath them I was too loose to be able to clear them. It was just kind of frustrating for us there, still frustrating but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and we’ll give it another shot here in the fall and in a couple years we’ll be sitting here in the same spot again.”
Another driver who was disappointed with their run was two-time Nationwide Series winner, Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports.) Elliott would start his race on the right foot by immediately seizing the lead from Logano at the drop of the green flag, leading the first 18 laps of the race before dropping the lead to Logano by pitting on a Lap 18 caution. Keep in mind that Elliott finished fifth in his very first trip to Dover in a Nationwide Series car.
Elliott’s comments on his race during his press conference: “Frustrating. I think the difference was – we were all on the same strategy as Kyle – and he just did a better job getting back to the front and I didn’t. That was the difference maker today; lesson learned for the fall race when it really counts.”
Elliot was able to chip away at his teammate Regan Smith’s points lead with his top-five result, reducing Smith’s lead by six points to 22 as the series goes into a one-week break before heading to the Michigan International Speedway. Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing) was also able to knock one point off of Smith’s lead with his ninth-place run. Smith leads Sadler by four points heading into the series’ next race.
Top-10 Finishers of the Buckle Up 200
- 54 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 6 – Trevor Bayne – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
- 22 – Joey Logano(i) – Ford – Team Penske
- 20 – Matt Kenseth(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 9 – Chase Elliott# – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
- 42 – Kyle Larson(i) – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
- 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 3 – Ty Dillon# – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 11 – Elliott Sadler – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
Top-10 Drivers Standings after Round 12 of 33
- 7 – Regan Smith – JR Motorsports – 448 | Leader
- 11 – Elliott Sadler – Joe Gibbs Racing – 444 | -4
- 9 – Chase Elliott# – JR Motorsports – 426 | -22
- 6 – Trevor Bayne – Roush-Fenway Racing – 421 | -27
- 3 – Ty Dillon# – Richard Childress Racing – 414 | -34
- 2 – Brian Scott – Richard Childress Racing – 391 | -57
- 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Richard Childress Racing – 341 | -107
- 99 – James Buescher – RAB Racing – 332 | -116
- 60 – Chris Buescher# – Roush-Fenway Racing – 328 | -120
- 31 – Dylan Kwasniewski – Turner Scott Motorsports – 303 | -145
# = Rookie.
(i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.