Busch Wins Heluva Race
Kyle Busch survived two late restarts to get the victory in the Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway Saturday afternoon.
The victory was his second of the season.
Busch lead all but 14 of the 205 laps and would have won sans drama had two yellow flags not waved in the final seven laps.
“It feels good. We’ve been passed here a lot at Dover,” Busch said. “We’ve had great race cars. Can’t thank these guys enough – this Joe Gibbs Racing team was awesome. Today was a good day for us. Real good race car. I’m real proud of these guys. The way we were good all day. We came off pit road real strong and everything – held our own.”
On the first of the late restarts, Busch jumped to the lead but just behind him second-place Clint Bowyer was rear-ended by Denny Hamlin. Several cars which had shots at the victory were also caught up.
Bowyer went to the pits but just before the next restart, he came back out onto the track and rammed and spun Hamlin, who would have restarted second.
“It was nothing intentional,” Hamlin said of hitting Bowyer on the first restart. “I barely misjudted it. I didn’t know how close I was (to Bowyer’s bumper).
“I just barely clipped him. It ruined his day and it ruined our day.”
NASCAR officials ordered Bowyer to pits and then to a meeting with officials.
Of the seemingly deliberate hit by Bowyer, Hamlin said, “I’m sure he was frustrated. It’s hard to say he was wrong.”
Busch was asked if all the chaos around him bothered him.
“Not much,” he said. “You just try to think through things that are going to happen on the restart. I was planning on Denny (Hamlin) being on my inside for the restart. Figuring, well I need to go to the outside to make sure I get a big run through (turns) one and two on the outside and try to clear him down the back. That didn’t happen. I had the 32 (Reed Sorenson) and I got him done getting to turn one. You just think through all the different scenarios that can happen and try to plan out the best you can. It never always goes to plan, but you can try.”
On the second restart, a green-white-checkered, Busch blew out to a big lead and won by 1.2 seconds over Ryan Newman.
Jamie McMurray was third and Reed Sorenson was fourth.
Point leader Brad Keselowski was crusing along in second place when, just past the halfway point, he blew a tire and spun on the front stretch.
Keselowski kept the spinning car off the walls, pitted and came back out in 20th place but on the lead lap. He kept moving forward and finished seventh. That allowed him to keep his point lead which now stands at 11 over Busch.No Comment