Busch tames Dover’s 'Monster Mile'
Kyle Busch wins the Nationwide race at Dover after a late-race duel with Trevor Bayne.
Dover, Del. – For the second time in two days of racing on the “Monster Mile” at the Dover International Speedway, Kyle Busch raced his way to victory lane, doing so in the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket.
For NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, the Dover event was the 12th of the 2014 season.
Busch took over the lead exiting the pits on the 77th lap. From then on he was untouchable as he cruised to his fourth Nationwide victory on the high-banked concrete oval. In total, he led 124 laps.
Overall, the Nevada native has 10 wins at Dover and 134 in NASCAR’s three series. In Nationwide action, he has 66 victories in 280 attempts. For the season, he chalked up his third Nationwide victory and 10th top-10 finish.
In winning, he became the first driver to win both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and the Nationwide Series race in the same weekend at Dover.
The victor drove the Monster Energy Toyota.
Admitting he wasn’t overly confident going into the race, Busch said, “The car got pretty good after we got it tightened up, but toward the end it got pretty loose again. For the last 30 or 40 laps, I was just holding on, trying to hold those guys at bay as the lapped traffic loosened up my car.
“Our Toyota Camry was pretty awesome, and it was really good on long runs. Hard work made the difference, and we ended up with a great race car. It did get a little bit interesting for me the way the race played out. Once we cleared the traffic toward the end, we were able to pull away.”
Added crew chief Adam Stevens, “A key part of race was when the No. 22 (Joey Logano) stayed out, as he had been plenty fast. When we got out front, it was a big deal and for us calling the race, it wasn’t too difficult.”
Busch is the only driver entered in all three NASCAR races at Dover and hopes to sweep the weekend same as he did at Bristol four years ago. “We will definitely give it a shot,” he commented.
In a spirited late-race drive, Trevor Bayne finished second in the AdvoCare Ford, only a second off the pace after narrowing the margin until being slowed by a lapped car in the final laps.
“We had a good run,” said Bayne, who thought he had the best car ever at Dover. “I knew I had to battle hard after telling Jack Roush how good the car was, and this is a great start to our summer. Until recently, we have had a top-10 car, but we lacked speed to get into top five. My hat’s off to team that has been working so hard to getting things worked out.”
Fast-qualifier Joey Logano, who was seeking his fifth consecutive Nationwide win at Dover, brought the Hertz Ford home third. He led 59 of the early laps of the race.
Said the dejected Logano, “We didn’t have good enough restarts, so I wasn’t able to get my five in a row. Every time I would get near someone, my car would become freer. It was frustrating out there, and unfortunately all good things must come to an end.” Fourth and fifth were Busch’s teammate Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott.
Elliott noted, “We were on the same strategy as Kyle (Busch), but he just did a better job of getting back to the front than I did.” Rounding out top-10 were Kyle Larson, Brian Scott, Ty Dillon, Elliott Sadler and Regan Smith.
In points, the top-10 drivers are unchanged with Smith leading Sadler by four and Elliott by 22. Bayne, Dillon and Scott are next in order.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jeffrey Earnhardt races for the Austin Hatcher Foundation
Bayne earns a solid second-place finish in Dover