This week NASCAR traveled to the Northeast to Dover International Raceway for 400 laps at the famed “Monster Mile”. It was a very straightforward race and track position was key to staying upfront. This race however was won on pit road and shows just how important the pit crews really are. Let’s take a quick breakdown of what happened in Dover on Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin led the field to the green flag on Sunday after NASCAR’s new formula for determining the starting grid. Former champion Chase Elliott and Ryan Newman went to the back for failing pre-race inspection. At first glance, it looked like Martin Truex Jr. would dominate the race with an early lead after 15 laps. Truex Car began to fall backward which was how the rest of his race would steadily go. Early on Kyle Busch lost a cylinder and decided to race it out until his engine gave out. Kyle Larson took control of the race and didn’t look back for most of it. Kyle Larson won led the rest of stage one to win it and Chase Briscoe wrecked himself trying to stay on the lead lap. Larson once again led every lap of stage two and cruised to another stage victory. The race didn’t have many wrecks until with under 100 laps Aric Almirola smashed the outside wall effectively ending his day. Almirola is a solid driver but has had some awful luck this year. Shortly after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rear-ended Anthony Alfredo sending him into the inside wall.
With just over 90 laps Kyle Larson came to pit road in the lead but left in second place after the fastest pit stop all season. Bowman held off his Hendrick teammates the rest of the way to secure his second victory on the year to firmly secure his spot in the NASCAR playoffs. Kyle Larson finished second-leading 263 laps of the 400 lap race, Chase Elliott recovered to finish third, and William Byron continued his top-ten streak in fourth. It was a great day for Hendrick Motorsports with the first time since 2005 by Roush-Fenway racing that a team’s cars finish one through fourth. Kevin Harvick had another solid day finishing sixth, Kyle Busch recovered to finish 27th after being 7 laps down, and Cole Custer had a great run finishing 10th after starting 30th.
Next week NASCAR heads to the Circuit of the Americas for the first time ever and I will bring you the recap! Enjoy the races! All stats via NASCAR.com.