By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
It appeared that Jimmie Johnson, who had led 225 laps on the day, had the best car and was destined to end his recent string of bad luck… However on his final pit stop of the day Johnson was busted for speeding down pit road. As a result Johnson had to do a pass through penalty which sent him to the back of the pack, and basically put Kyle Busch out front in a league of his own.
Busch of course nearly won the Camping World Truck Series race Friday (Ran out of gas), but he did go on to win the Nationwide event Saturday. As a result of his win today Busch became the first driver since Harry Gant in 1991 to win the Sprint Cup Series race and Nationwide race at Dover on the same weekend. This is Busch’s second Sprint Cup victory of the season, and he actually has clawed his way to second in the point standings.
According to Busch the move of the race, was the battle out of pitroad on his final pitstop.
“They did a nice job, and I think that the race off pit road there at the end really won it for us, being able to nick ahead of the 48 there and kind of coax him into speeding a little bit. I don’t know if that happened or not, but I’m going to say it did.”
This race also marks the second career victory for Busch’s crew chief Dave Rogers. Rogers was immediately on the hot seat as he came on the pit box for the No. 18 team, as he replaced established crew chief Steve Addington. Rogers explained that he was shocked by Jimmie Johnson getting caught speeding on pit road.
“Yeah, it’s surprising that the 48 got caught speeding. He typically doesn’t make those mistakes. You’ve got to give a hats off to Kyle Busch and our entire M&M’s pit crew. They’ve been stellar on pit road all day and all year for that matter.” Rogers said. “I think that put the pressure on him. I think Jimmie was probably just trying to make up a little bit. He saw Kyle close to his back bumper coming into pit road, and he knew our pit crew is pretty strong. I’m sure he was just trying to get all he could get, and he just went a little bit too far.”
Jeff Burton has been strong all season long, but he yet again came up short for the victory with a second place finish. Burton explained that he had a good run, and if the team keeps it up the wins will come.
“It was a good run. Obviously we didn’t think we were as good as the 48 most of the day. We had one run where I thought we were a little better than he was, but overall he was a touch better. I thought we were about even with the 18, a little better, and then he seemed to get a little better there late in the race.” Burton said, “We had a good run, and we just need to keep knocking on the door. We’ll get us some.”
Matt Kenseth finished third, which ends a string of four straight races without a top-ten finish for the No. 17 team. Kenseth if you remember started the season by finishing in the top-ten in each of the first five races of 2010. Kenseth was pleased with his finish, but explained that he and his team had to work pretty hard to get there.
“Yeah, it was a struggle. We had to work hard to get where we were at. We made really good adjustments in the pits, really good pit calls to get the track position we needed.” Kenseth said. “Overall it was a great day for us, we just worked all day and got the best we could out of it then.”
Kenseth was followed by Denny Hamlin in fourth and David Reutimann came home fifth.
Kevin Harvick was able to finish seventh after start way back in 30th at what has not been one of his favorite tracks through the years. The finish is good enough to keep Harvick atop the Sprint Cup Series point standings for yet another week.
A.J. Allmendinger was a refreshing story Sunday, he had an extremely fast race car, but a few miscues cost him. While running second he had to pit for a loose wheel, which trapped him two laps down, but Allmendinger kept fighting. He would eventually get both laps back before being busted for speeding on pitroad. However Allmendinger would still find a way to race his way to a 14th-place finish in his No. 43 car that was painted in Richard Petty’s familiar old STP paint scheme.
Polesitter Martin Truex Jr. is the latest driver to crack into the top-12 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. He ran in the top-10 for the majority of the race, and came home 12th. Couple this finish with the struggles of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Truex sits inside the chase right now with 14 races remaining until the playoffs cutoff.
Speaking of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sunday was an abysmal day for he and Lance McGrew… well the last few weeks have been really. The team started off much stronger than they were last season, and have been inside the top-12 in the standings virtually all season long, but on a restart around the midway point of the race Earnhardt radioed to his crew “Something Broke”. The crew spent five laps making repairs to the car, and as a result Earnhardt would finish back in 30th-place 10 laps off the pace.