Kyle Busch drove his way into the record books with a win in the Dover 200 at the Monster Mile track in Delaware on Saturday afernoon. His 11th win of the season breaks the record he jointly held with Sam Ard who in 1983 became the first to achieve ten victories in the category now called the Nationwide series.
“It's very special,” Busch said of the record. “Sam is a great individual and was a great driver in his time. For myself to be able to come out and compete at that level and get as many wins in a season is hard enough to do, but then to go out there and beat a record â€¦
“From where Sam Ard was in his day and where we are today, I feel like a lot has changed in this sport, and, of course, it's always challenging to go out and get a win on a given weekend. But for us to win 11 this year is very, very special to me, and that's why I say it's so special to (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and to all these guys on the team, because they're all part of it.”
Busch led for all but eight laps of the race and crossed the line less than half a second ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Joey Logano, giving JGR their eleventh 1-2 in the series. Busch was troubled by a serious vibration in the last five or six laps and did just what was needed to be sure to get the car home and finally break the record.
Logano was frustrated to finish second for the 6th time this season saying he just couldn’t run with Busch on the restarts for reasons he didn’t understand. Once they were into the long runs he could start matching and then catching his teammate but by then it was usually too late.
Carl Edwards third place finish reduced his points deficit to series leader Brad Keselowski who, as in the spring race at Dover, started well and then faded in the second half, this time back to 17th place. Reed Sorenson finished fourth making three Toyotas in the top four followed by Kevin Harvick, Trevor Bayne, Paul Menard, Jason Leffler, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Newman.
The race was red flagged for just over ten minutes following a heavy impact between Elliott Sadler, who slid down the track after hitting the wall, and Drew Herring, his second crash of the weekend. With debris strewn across the track and a large spill of oil and coolant the race had to be halted whilst the clean up took place.
Danica Patrick brought out the first yellow when her right front tyre blew sending her into the wall. After extensive repairs she returned to the race, over 90 laps in arrears, to gain track time, initally just for a 15 lap run but in the end she drove to the finish of the race. She has described her season in the Nationwide Series as humbling and says that each time she feels she is going to run well she doesn’t and struggles to understand why. She went on to say that in the last run the car started off very loose (oversteering) but as the run went on so the car came to her. Danica knows that she now needs to learn just how loose it needs to be at the start so that it comes back to how she wants it as the race progresses but that it is tough learning all this stuff with the attention of the media focussed on her. She was classified 35th.
With Kyle Busch’s eleven victories and 18 top five finishes in nationwide this season he finds himself in third in the championship table, having only run a partial season in his #11 Toyota, behind Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards. “I would have liked to have run the whole season,” Busch said. “But I look back and I know what the bigger picture is. The bigger picture is Sunday.” That bigger picture is The Chase in the Sprint Cup championship.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas the Smith’s Food and Drug Store 350 race in the Camping World Truck Series was won by 20 year old rookie, Autin Dillon, the grandson of stalwart Sprint Cup team owner, Richard Childress, who hasn’t had his best week in racing these past seven days.
Dillon said, “I talked to (my grandfather) earlier in the week and he said, ‘Man, you’ve got to win this race for me out here.’ To come out here and do it is pretty awesome. You dream about stuff like this and when it comes true it’s awesome.”